A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Intelligence and culture are themes that are woven through this documentary series. National Geographic visual storyteller, Brian Skerry, captures evidence of whales working together in complex and highly intelligent ways. Documentary evidence of the creative, compassionate, cooperative, and family-oriented behavior of whales the world over.
Animals are capable of amazing things, such as language, cooperation, and culture. Life is precious. Family is important. Love is central to life on this planet. Challenges require teamwork. Mothers and grandmothers teach their young techniques for survival. Creativity is important to survival. Elders have wisdom to share. Everything humans do to appreciate and protect wildlife is important.
Positive Role Models
Grandmother Orcas are crucial to the survival of their species. Matriarch whales teach young ones how to plan, cooperate, and survive. Teenage whales "babysit" younger siblings. Families of whales survive by working with each other and communicating with each other.
Violence & Scariness
Perilous moments when whales are trapped in nets or in danger. Orca whales kill baby seals and manta rays for food, bloody, torn bodies can be seen briefly.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Secrets of the Whales is an educational, visually rich documentary series that explores the habits and behaviors of whales the world over. Produced by James Cameron (Avatar, Titanic) and expertly narrated by Sigourney Weaver (Ghostbusters, Holes), this show travels the waters of the world to tell the story of the largest mammals on Earth. Some sad (a mother orca mourns her dead calf) and perilous moments (whales being trapped in nets, talk of whales drowning, orcas hunting baby seals and catching them on shore) might put younger viewers momentarily on edge. But the storyline is soothing and keeps things in context.
Is It Any Good?
This inspiring, hopeful docu-series expertly illustrates the intelligence and creativity of whales across the globe. Whale's songs, their family life, and their traditions are brought to life, masterfully and memorably in The Secrets of Whales. Kids and adults will be intrigued by the narratives that are built around the challenges that whales face in order to survive. And though some perilous moments are highlighted, the larger context is kept in frame. An optimistic tone keeps an upbeat mood (it's Disney after all), encouraging kids to develop a connection with the largest mammals on the planet. The result is an immersive experience which gives a big nod to how miraculous life on our planet really is.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.