Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Wild Animal Baby Explorers

Wild Animal Baby Explorers

Spring 2011 Television
Ages: 2 - 5 yrs.
Rating: TV Y

Wild Animal Baby Explorers is a 3D animated series for children, the first series ever launched by the National Wildlife Federation. This program was inspired by the NWF magazine Wild Animal Baby, and after an initial DVD release, Washington DC-based WETA public television helped launch it as a regular TV series in October 2010.

Aimed at children aged two and older,

Wild Animal Baby Explorers blends uncluttered computer animation with live-action footage of a variety of adorable animals in their natural habitats. Episodes, approximately 15 minutes each, follow the antics of a cast of animated animals - led by chatty and cheerful Benita Beaver. The gang (Izzy Owl, Sammy Skunk and Skip Rabbit) confronts simple problems and looks to other animals in nature for fun facts and a solution to their dilemma. In one episode, Benita can't quite reach the itchy spot on her back, and the friends explores how monkeys, flamingos, deer, and bears all deal with grooming issues and itchy skin. In another episode, a game of hopscotch leads Benita and pals to wonder about all the unique lengths and shapes of animal legs in the animal kingdom. Episodes also include a short live-action sequence; for instance, in one vignette, a woman leads three young children on a nature walk to explore the habits of beavers, and then guides the kids to make their own dams to see how it affects the water's flow. As the troupe of friends say, " The world is full of surprises. 1,2,3, 4, let's explore!"

The storylines are earnest and informative, moving between animation and video is not at all jarring, and the animal facts are presented in age appropriate format and pacing. Preschoolers will take great pleasure in joining Benita and pals in their gentle and enjoyable nature exploration.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2011 Parents' Choice
Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster's Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.

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National Wildlife Federation

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