Your Worst Animal Nightmares
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.
Suggest an Update
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 series -- which features dramatic reenactments of violent animal encounters -- is much too intense for young kids. Victims are shown being chased and bitten by wild animals and are often seen screaming in terror or in pain. Expect lots of bloody, gaping wounds, as well as some victims shown close to death as a result of their injuries. While the animals are never blamed for defending their territory, the show leans more toward sensationalizing the attacks than explaining them scientifically.
not for young kids
Report this review
Report this review
What's the Story?
YOUR WORST ANIMAL NIGHTMARES reenacts the true stories of people who survived violent encounters with some of the world's deadliest animals. Using interviews with survivors and witnesses, archival news footage, and lots of graphic imagery, each narrative offers an account of the events that brought victims face to face with predators like crocodiles, venomous snakes, and great white sharks. Dramatized scenes demonstrate how the attack happened and show how each person was able to escape. Throughout it all, animal specialists offer scientific reasons behind the animals' behavior and point out some of the ways that people may have inadvertently turned themselves into prey.
Is It Any Good?
The show is pretty violent, with frequent scenes of people being chased, attacked, bitten, and/or eaten alive. Victims (many of whom are the actual attack survivors) are shown screaming in fear and pain, throwing up, and having other panicked reactions. Some of these moments are replayed several times in a single segment in order to make the story even more shocking.
The animals aren't blamed for their behavior, but younger and/or sensitive viewers may find the sensational way that the stories are told to be too scary and/or overwhelming to appreciate the scientific information and animal trivia that accompany the reenactments. As a result, the show misses the mark as an educational tool even as it sends a frightening warning about what can happen when humans violate an animal's space.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how shows like this impact the way that people think about and treat wild animals. Do you think showing people being chased and/or injured by animals is educational or exploitative? Families can also discuss what causes wild animals to attack humans to begin with. Are they hungry? Fearful? Curious? What kinds of things should people avoid doing in wild creatures' territory?
- Premiere date: May 27, 2009
- Cast: John Panzarella
- Network: Animal Planet
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: February 24, 2022
Our Editors Recommend
Positive messages, but scary for young kids.
Hunter and Hunted
Animal attacks are too gruesome for young viewers.
Up Close and Dangerous
Animal-encounter tales may scare the very young.
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate