You know those evenings where you’re particularly gassed after a long day of work and your kids are equally exhausted after a full day of school/play? Sometimes those nights call for a quality show – engaging for you and for them alike. But that’s a tall order. It’s tough to find that good blend of programming that works across a wide demographic spectrum. Pixar occupies this space well in the movie category, and we’ve found that the chaps over at the BBC have put together a few winners themselves: Blue Planet, Planet Earth, and Planet Earth II. (Currently all three are available through Netflix.)
All three series are nature-focused, and nature series have rarely been more astounding, engaging and entertaining. Episodes are full of new profiles of familiar animals (like a killer whale) or introducing the strange actions of unfamiliar animals (like the butcherbird) or even just revealing amazing landscapes in our world (like Madagascar).
Eight episodes in length, Blue Planet focuses on ocean life. This is the oldest series of the three and released originally in 2001. Video quality suffers a bit given the technological advances that have been made since it was filmed, and yet, it still captures and holds our attention. Coasts, coral seas and the eerie deep comprise some of our favorite episodes.
Slightly longer at eleven episodes, Planet Earth looks primarily land-based but does include a couple aquatic episodes (without feeling at all like a repeat of Blue Planet). Video quality increases significantly from Blue Planet – whether it’s in capturing the mind-boggling size of a migrating flock of birds or an aerial great white shark attack.
Planet Earth II
The most recent release in this nature series (though Blue Planet II releases shortly in the US), this six-episode series astounds with the quality of the videography and the proximity to animals that was possible as a result. The six episodes were consumed way too quickly…we’d watch these for as long as they keep making them.
Watching these episodes was a chance to be astounded and amazed at the incredible world that surrounds us and to see all that humanity is still discovering and learning. I also appreciate giving my kids an understanding of the size and scope of the world. Giving them glimpses into the vastness, grandeur, and beauty of Earth. And I loved marveling right along with them, keeping me humble and grateful for our creative Creator.
P.S. If you’re looking for an amazing teaser into these shows, check out Iguana vs. Snakes. The scene was one our kids talked about for weeks and if you don’t have a fear of snakes, this will likely provide you with one.
Additional dadcraft media suggestions and guides can be found here.
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