A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Our Planet is a beautiful nature docuseries about the effects of climate change on wildlife and habitats from the team behind Planet Earth and narrated by David Attenborough. Most of the show is dedicated to exposing viewers to amazing species and their survival methods, overcoming harsh climates, scarce food sources, and dwindling resources for shelter. The topic of climate change and humans' role in it is less consistent. Some scenes involve predators' hunting of prey, which sometimes culminates in the death of a young animal. Others show carcasses of animals that died as a result of accidents like falling from cliffs. This captivating series is a smart pick for family viewing, but be ready to field questions about mating and reproducing as they're mentioned in the content.
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What's the story?
In OUR PLANET, renowned naturalist David Attenborough narrates a sweeping tour of Earth's natural diversity and explores how climate change is affecting different species' efforts to survive. From the frozen Arctic tundra to the lush rainforest to the vast African deserts, this production from the creators of Planet Earth celebrates the marvels of nature, the interconnectedness of animal species, and the responsibilities and hazards of a growing human population's effect on the planet.
Is it any good?
Predictably gorgeous and awe-inspiring, this expertly produced nature docuseries turns thousands of hours of videography into eight episodes of captivating, compelling, and sometimes emotional drama. Life, death, feast, famine, and the eternal struggle to survive and reproduce lay the foundation for the show's content. Attenborough sets the scene by asserting the following statistics: As the human population has grown over the past 50 years, wildlife numbers have decreased by an average of 60%. From there he extrapolates that as humans have contributed to nature's increased instability, we alone can help ensure its recovery.
The trouble is, it's an argument that gets swept aside as Our Planet treats viewers to stunningly beautiful scenes of nature and wildlife. Only occasionally does Attenborough return to the topic of climate change and conservation. It does nothing to detract from the impressive presentation of the world's wonders, but it gives the series a slightly indecisive purpose overall.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what Our Planet intends to teach viewers. Is its goal to expose them to nature and its inhabitants or to inspire behavior of some kind?
What examples of instinct do you see in this show? How does instinct help animals survive? To what degree do people use instinct for the same purpose?
What big and small changes can you and your family make to be better stewards of natural resources? What responsibilities do we have to protect nature? What are the risks to humans of not doing so? Is it difficult to keep a positive attitude in light of worrisome news about the environment and the world?
Themes & Topics
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