Parents' Guide to

Life on Fire

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

In-depth look at volcanoes takes curious mind to appreciate.

TV PBS Educational 2010
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Narrated by Jeremy Irons, Life on Fire offers a unique snapshot of the far-reaching fallout of volcanic eruptions, from forcing evolutionary changes in animal species to having some surprising effects on farmers' nearby crops. Even if science -- and volcanology in particular -- isn't your thing, you'll still find yourself drawn into the stories of devastation and survival by stunning scenery, witness accounts, and close-up observation of experts' onsite research.

But for all the talk of eruptions, Life on Fire is hardly bursting with action. More often minutes pass with cameras hovering over hardened lava beds or steaming hot springs rather than capturing actual volcanic activity, and the interviews are equally slow-paced. But for those who can hang in there with the methodical content, the show offers a unique glimpse at these temperamental natural wonders.

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