Prehistoric Park

Common Sense Media says

Time-traveling animal rescues are hokey at best.

Age(i)

2
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6
7
8
9
10
11
12
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15
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Offers an educational look at ancient animals.

Violence & scariness

Computer-generated animals fight and eat each other and occasionally run into humans, leaving them bruised and bleeding.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the stars of this show are computer-generated versions of prehistoric creatures, including dinosaurs, massive insects, and giant crocodiles. The animals are shown in re-created versions of their natural habitats and at actual size (proportional to humans), and they're often aggressive toward humans and vicious with each other (biting, goring, and eating what gets in their way). Although the graphics aren't first-rate, the result is real enough to frighten young viewers and sensitive older ones. On the flipside, the show does allow viewers to visualize the world and its inhabitants as scientists theorize it may have been millions of years ago.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

PREHISTORIC PARK uses documentary-style filmmaking to follow real-life wildlife expert Nigel Marven, a \"wildlife adventurer\" who travels through time to \"rescue\" ancient creatures from extinction, taking them to a present-day wildlife park he's prepared. Time portals allow him to lure the creatures (including dinosaurs, giant insects, and ancient birds) to Prehistoric Park, where an army of personnel is busily replicating the animals' natural habitats. Head park keeper Bob (Rod Arthur) and veterinarian Susanne (Suzanne McNabb) work with Nigel to monitor the arrivals' well-being. If the animals don't seem to be thriving, the team experiments with changes of scenery or lifestyle until they find the right balance to placate the creature. A voice-over narrator (David Jason), meeanwhile, explains the characters' every move.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The fact that Prehistoric Park plays out like a documentary gives it the feel of a credible wildlife show -- but the plot is basically science-fiction. The time-travel angle results in a slew of unanswered questions for those with a logical bent, which might be forgivable if the show's graphics didn't leave so much to be desired. Scenes in which Nigel observes the computer-generated animals are momentarily intriguing, as he offers facts about their physique, eating habits, and natural predators, as well as the probable causes of their extinction. But these fleeting moments are often followed by Nigel moving in for closer contact, which leads to some pretty cheesy chase scenes. Viewers who do manage to suspend their disbelief will probably pick up some interesting facts and enjoy the images of ancient creatures in replications of their natural habitats, Prehistoric Park's format makes it so unbelievable that it's sometimes tough to figure out where it intends the line between science and fiction to fall.

Some of the show's face-to-face encounters with vicious, fairly realistic-looking creatures could very well frighten young viewers. Parents will want to watch with their grade-schoolers so they can help sift out the facts from the fiction.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the extinction of prehistoric animals. What does it mean to be extinct? What would life be like if some of the prehistoric animals (dinosaurs, giant crocodiles) still existed? What are the different theories behind extinction? Which theories seem the most likely to be true?

TV details

Cast:Nigel Marven, Rod Arthur, Suzanne McNabb
Network:Animal Planet
Genre:Educational
Topics:Dinosaurs
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD

This review of Prehistoric Park 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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Quality

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; OK 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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Written byAnonymous September 29, 2009
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

It's educational, but it may not be fun to watch for long.

What makes this series skips a 4 star and go to three is that it just seems badly mixed. Some of the content could only be understood by kids 8 and up, but much of the plot and the whole idea of the story is extremely childish, especially the idea of a time portal. While this is extremely educational, the question of whether it's worth it hangs in the air.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Educational value
Great role models
Parent of a 10, 12, and 14 year old Written bykphilbin September 12, 2014
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Our family loves this series

This series is very fun. You learn about amazing animals & what the earth was like in the past, and it's a really fun premise. Nigel's enthusiasm engages you -- he loves these creatures, and you can't help but being fascinated, too.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old October 16, 2013
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Good Show

Great education value and very humorous as well! Good show!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great role models
Teen, 15 years old Written bykellycoberly March 22, 2013
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

:)

I enjoyed the shows very much! The graphics were good and the stories had good plots, it is very educational and entertaining for all ages I think.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

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