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 this intense series features videos of violent encounters between animals and people. Its primary focus is sensationalizing both the animals' aggressive behavior and their victims' efforts to survive the attack by replaying (sometimes in slow motion) the actual moments when people were grabbed, bitten, stomped, etc. Viewers will hear screams from victims and frightened bystanders, and bloody wounds are sometimes visible. It's all probably a bit too much for younger and/or more sensitive viewers.
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What's the story?
In UNTAMED AND UNCUT, viewers watch as seemingly peaceful contact between people and animals suddenly goes terribly wrong -- from a person being angrily stomped on by a zoo elephant to someone getting violently kicked by a carriage horse. Each real-life encounter is described in great detail via interviews with animal experts, survivors, and the people who unexpectedly found themselves filming these scary events. Computer-animated graphics help recreate the encounters and demonstrate how the victim somehow managed to survive. When possible, explanations are offered about the animals' reactions toward the people they attacked.
Is it any good?
Untamed and Uncut reminds viewers that no matter how tame or domesticated animals seem, they can still instinctively react negatively toward humans. Many of the encounters highlighted here aren't random at all, but are rather the result of people not recognizing or paying attention to the animals' signals. And, of course, there are moments when animals go completely berserk thanks to some really dumb human behavior -- like climbing walls and/or purposely disturbing animals in order to take a great picture.
While the show does offer a few interesting details about animal behavior, overall the series is more exploitative than informative. Scenes of the actual moments in which people are violently attacked are replayed several times and are even shown in slow motion to demonstrate how violent the attack really was. The sounds of screaming victims and frightened bystanders add to the drama. Some viewers may find these scenes exciting to watch, but it's just a little too sensational for younger or more sensitive audiences.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether it's OK for the media to use violent and/or scary events to entertain audiences. Is it appropriate to show people getting attacked or hurt by animals (or humans), even if the victims survived the encounter? What kind of messages about animals do shows like this one send? Families can also discuss animal behavior. Why is it important to understand animals' behavior? How do animals defend themselves and their territories? Why do domesticated animals like dogs and horses sometimes behave violently? Should people have wild animals as pets?
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