Man, Cheetah, Wild

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Man, Cheetah, Wild TV Poster Image
Intimate wildlife special is beautiful, smart, intense.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series highlights the importance of understanding, respecting, and protecting wildlife. The ethics of interfering with wild life is briefly discussed.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Wolhuter's goal is to bring endangered species to the attention of people all over the world, and does his best to protect them or heal them when ethically permissible. He occasionally struggles with the need to stay emotionally detached from the animals.

Violence

Bloody scenes of cheetahs hunting, killing, and eating their struggling prey. Dead and dying animals, including cubs, are visible. Pictures of Wolhuter's father and grandfather and game they shot and killed are quickly shown. The danger associated with Wolhuter's work is discussed, and never underestimated.

Sex
Language

The word "s--t" is occasionally uttered, and fully bleeped.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Man, Cheetah, Wild will appeal to animal-loving kids, but the intense scenes of animals hunting and killing each other, as well as images of bloody or dead animals (including cubs), may be too much for younger or sensitive viewers. It has some rare bleeped language, too. Outside of this, the documentary contains positive and educational messages about respecting and preserving wildlife, and the importance of protecting the cheetah and other endangered animals.

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What's the story?

MAN, CHEETAH, WILD is a wildlife docuseries featuring maverick filmmaker Kim Wolhuter as he tracks family of cheetah, and successfully records their everyday lives on film. The third generation bushman, known for his uncanny ability to connect easily with animals from his native Zimbabwe, manages to track a wild cheetah he previously worked with on the Malilangwe Game Reserve. After discovering that she now has a family of five cubs, he spends over a year in the bush following them with his cameras. Incredibly, the animals allow him to sit with them, run along side them, and even collar them with tracking devices. Capturing Wolhuter's activities is novice cameraman Jules Braatvedt. Contending with the cheetah's natural enemies, as well as with many other predators living in the bush, lead to a few close calls, but Wolhuter does his best to follow, watch, and film the cheetah in hopes of raising awareness about their endangered status.

Is it any good?

From observing how a mother cheetah protects her young, to running alongside the cats as they learn how to build speed and hunt impala, the documentary offers a rare chance to see how the elusive cheetah live and survive in the African bush. It also underscores the many reasons why less than 20 percent of them actually make it to adulthood. Meanwhile, Wolhuter, who works tirelessly to raise awareness about endangered animals, demonstrates how he is able to get close to a wide variety of animal species without crossing ethical lines when observing, filming, and assisting them.

The filmmakers' ability to capture the intimacy between the bushman and the cheetah makes it easy to be drawn into their story. The images of the bush and the wildlife they come across during this journey are pretty stunning, too. Less-enthusiastic animal lovers may find it a little slow-going at times, but the information Wolthuter shares about the cheetah, and the role they play in the natural order of the wild, makes it well worth the watch.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the various ways that TV, film, and other media can be used to raise awareness about various issues. How can docuseries like this one help protect endangered animals?

  • If you could make a docuseries, what would it be about? How much time do you think it takes to create a documentary or produce a show like this one? What kind of training or experience do you need?

TV details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love animals and nature

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