TV Rating: TV-G
Episode Length: approx. 30 minutes
Network: The Animal Planet
Premiere Date: Friday, June 9, 2006 at 8 PM (ET/PT)
Meerkat Manor - Overview
Meerkat Manor follows the Whiskers, a family of meerkats living in the South African Kalahari Desert. The show was filmed over the course of a 10-year Cambridge University study, and cameras around the burrows, as well as fiber optic cameras in the burrows, capture every aspect of meerkat life. While the show is as factual and real as a documentary, the show creators have capitalized on the intricacies of fascinating meerkat family mobs to present a show that captures audiences similarly to a primetime drama or a soap opera.
Narrated by Sean Astin of Lord of the Rings and 24, Meerkat Manor exposes the complex interactions of meerkat clans and allows viewers to experience meerkat life in the dangerous world of predators, rival gangs, and sometimes deadly family drama. Learning about meerkats and the African wild becomes fascinating and fun for viewers of all ages in this educational series featured on The Animal Planet.
Meerkat Manor - Guide Review for Parents and Teachers
The producers of Meerkat Manor did an amazing job putting the footage together and creating a show that is interesting and even gripping at times. Sean Astin narrates the activities of the meerkat family, but their life and actions are all completely real, lending an awesome opportunity for kids to learn. The show really does feel like a primetime drama, even ending in cliffhangers and beginning with a recap of the last episode.
I knew I loved the show when, while watching the show my 3-year-old daughter asked, Mommy, what does territory mean? Before I could finish the explanation, her favorite meerkat "character" came on the screen, and she put her hand on my knee saying, shhh just a minute! The Animal Planet really did a great job with this one.
For young children, the show may be a little unsettling and possibly even traumatic at times. Because the show is about real life, meerkats are often seen in positions of peril. Some meerkats are wounded, and some die. While these events are handled carefully, they are very real. The show is a valuable learning experience, but parents will have to decide if their children are able to understand and deal with the tragic parts of meerkat life.