What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this reality series -- which follows film crews as they venture into the natural habitats of endangered and often dangerous wildlife -- includes graphic footage of animals being torn apart and eaten, as well as images of scary-looking and/or horribly abused animals. There are also brief stories of people, including young children, being killed and eaten by some of these wild creatures. Camera crews are often shown being chased by animals; panicking folks sometimes yell occasional swear words (like "s--t"), which are bleeped out. All of this is likely to scare and/or upset little kids, and it may even be too intense for younger or sensitive tweens.
What's the story?
RAW NATURE captures what happens when film crews get up close and personal with some of the world's most unique and dangerous creatures. Young documentarians from all over the world go into forests, swamps, and deserts accompanied by wildlife experts to photograph everything from man-eating Komodo Dragons to giant Anacondas in their natural habitats. They also follow animal rescue crews while they work to protect some of the most endangered species on the planet.
Is it any good?
The show is informative in that it offers some interesting details about the evolution, physiology, and survival habits of various animals. But the show's real drama comes from watching the animals' reactions to the intruding camera crews -- especially when the crews find themselves being hunted by the animals they're supposed to be filming. Although some of these moments are mildly funny (especially when some of the crew members stumble over themselves), they also demonstrate the real danger that these animals pose when confronted. There are some heartwarming scenes, too, especially when severely abused animals -- like the dancing black bears of India -- are shown being rescued.
Raw Nature offers positive messages about respecting and protecting animals and their natural habitats. But that doesn't mean it's meant for young children. There are plenty of gory scenes, ranging from animals tearing apart their prey during feeding frenzies to crews pulling blood-oozing leeches off of their feet and legs. Even more horrifying are tales of villagers, including children, being killed and eaten by some of the animals in question. Bottom line? Raw Nature is probably a little too raw for young kids and may even be too intense for younger or more sensitive tweens. But for older, sturdier viewers who enjoy an unflinching view of what happens when animals and humans come face to face, this show won't disappoint.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about filming animals in their natural habitat. Do you think that crews filming for shows like this one are really in danger? Do you think the animals behave differently when humans are around? Does the film crew's presence have any ethical implications? Families can also discuss wildlife conservation efforts. How much of an impact do you think shows like this one have on global conservation efforts?