Meerkat Manor

Common Sense Media says

Reality TV walks on the wild side; kids OK.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Offers educational insights into wildlife; shows that all families have their ups and downs.

Violence & scariness

Meerkats engage in pretty intense battles with each other and other animals. Some key characters are injured and/or die.

Sexy stuff

Animal mating scenes might raise some questions from kids.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that it's easy to get emotionally attached to these adorable furry creatures, so if disaster strikes (and it may), it can be pretty sad. Even though the stars are animals, voice-over narration explains their thought processes and assigns meaning to their sometimes-cruel actions. Parents may find themselves starting the "birds and bees" conversation after mating scenes or explaining nature's "survival of the fittest." Some scenes with predatory animals can be a little scary for young viewers.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Meet reality TV's newest stars -- the Whiskers family. Led by a domineering matriarch, this gang of about 30 struggles to survive their surroundings (and each other) in Africa's Kalahari Desert. The Whiskers are like a lot of other reality TV subjects. But what's unique about them is that they're actually foot-tall, two-pound meerkats, whose lives were the focus of a 10-year Cambridge University study. Narrated by Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings), Animal Planet's MEERKAT MANOR introduces audiences to these feisty desert residents and their social hierarchy.

Is it any good?


Meerkat Manor is the story of a family's reliance on each other to survive the perils of their surroundings. The series offers an educational view into the wild and is a great choice for family viewing.


The matriarch, Flower, wears a radio collar that allows researchers to track the gang's movements. Flower maintains a dominant reign over the group and uses intimidation and force to ensure submission from her relatives, most of whom are her direct descendants. At the heart of it all, the meerkat pups add comic relief as they put their babysitters to the test with their playful antics.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the circle of life and the way things work in the wild. What must the meerkats do to survive? What challenges do they face, and how do they overcome them? Families can also talk about the social hierarchy within the family. How does Flower assert control over her subordinates? Are her actions truly for the good of the majority of the family?

TV details

Cast:Sean Astin, Stockard Channing
Networks:Animal Planet, Discovery Family Channel
Genre:Reality TV
Topics:Science and nature, Wild animals
TV rating:TV-Y
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Meerkat Manor was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

This show is AWESOME! The best show on TV for animal lovers!

This is a warning to all those interested in this show: I garuruntee 100% you will get addicted to this show and attached to all of its characters...when the group suffers a serious blow, so do you. This is one of the best shows I've ever seen, and I recommend it to all ages!
Parent of a 10 year old Written bySuperTwinMom February 27, 2011

Family favorite for years

This has been a fav in my house for years and years coming... I have every DVD and it is a good educational show for my " home school "
What other families should know
Too much sex
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 10 years old April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

A great show for all.

I really think its a great show for people of all ages.Its really shows the life and the difficulties of a meerkat.


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