What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this series’ focus on ferocious prehistoric beasts means that there are lots of confrontations between the computer-generated images of the predators and their prey, whom they bite and disembody -- usually with plenty of bloody (though it's all re-created). There are also occasionally additional live-action video clips of modern animals hunting. That aside, there’s plenty of educational content in this intriguing show, and the material is relatable since it references modern regions that are rich in prehistoric evidence and current creatures that resemble extinct species. Expect a few references to and images of breeding practices, but nothing too eyebrow-raising.
What's the story?
In MEGA BEASTS, teams of scientists use fossil evidence and computer graphics to bring to life some of the most ferocious creatures ever to walk the earth -- including the mosasaur, Spinosauras, and Terror Bird. The series demonstrates how experts piece together clues to create a picture of how these ancient beasts looked and lived, how evolution favored their rise to dominance, and what factors eventually led to their extinction.
Is it any good?
This intriguing series is as close to a prehistoric field trip as families can get, and overall it’s worth the trip. Not only does it offer a visual sense of the creatures themselves, but it does a thorough job of completing the picture for viewers with the surrounding geological landscape. The show also compares its CGI subjects’ characteristics to those of modern animals and reptiles. And viewers get another great frame of reference when paleontologists visit sites like the Kansas Badlands to point out evidence of prehistoric life. Don't expect perfection, though -- some critics have called this show out for factual inaccuracies.
Mega Beasts is sure to pique budding young scientists' curiosity, but for all of its educational value, it’s not a show to share with your youngest family members. Much of the content relates to the ancient creatures’ predatory dominance, so violent exchanges between them and their prey are prevalent. And occasional references to breeding tactics and images of creatures in mating positions might prompt some questions from little kids -- so save this one for your tweens.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about science. How do scientists uncover clues about the past? How have their discoveries helped us understand extinct species like dinosaurs? Why is this important to us now?
Tweens: What aspects of science interest you? How do scientists make discoveries and invent products that improve our lives? What problems would you like to see solved by science?
What did you learn from this show? Could you have learned the same thing from a book or magazine? What rules should the media have to follow regarding content? Does it have a responsibility to provide quality/family-friendly content?
Can you find any inaccuracies in the show? Do you expect a show like this to always get its facts straight, or is it allowed some creative freedom to make the show more interesting?