Steve's Herpetological Blog

An insight into the life of Steve, his research and the many books he reads


#SteveReviews: Tiny Creatures

When I opened up Netflix the other evening to see what was available now that I’ve been spending a lot of time streaming from Amazon Prime Video, I was amazed to see a new documentary series titled Tiny Creatures. The series is narrated by Laurence Fishburne and there are eight episodes featuring the wildlife of different States around the US, each which are 25 minutes long – perfect for binge-watching! The series had such good promise but from the first episode I was upset at what I found.

Each episode is scripted so much so that it can only be classed as a pesudo-documentary with the animals it features being forced into situations they wouldn’t normally experience. This animal abuse includes facing off a kangaroo rat with a Harris hawk, which I’m sure didn’t cause any undue stress to the kangaroo rat. It hard to say whether or not these adventures were shot in a studio but still, they shouldn’t have been done so to begin with. I’m not sure what was going through the producer’s heads when they clearly thought this was a good idea. As you all know (if you’re a regular reader of this blog) that I am a sucker for a nature documentary but this has produced more outrage and disgust than I originally anticipated.

After some reading to get the facts straight, it seems the majority of the series was filmed in 27 days here in the UK which is a feat to itself given the scale of the sets and green screen used. Also I’m not sure how the animals themselves were acquired but if I was someone supplying the animals, I would have thought twice beforehand. Whilst the cinematography is executed perfectly, it’s the ethical considerations that let this series down. I really thought we’d moved past this stage in wildlife film-making but clearly I was wrong.

The series is only partially educational and with the high levels of anthropomorphism, makes it awkward to watch at times. You’re also being forced to watch one person’s ideal of nature, which is incorrect and unlike that we see. Despite it’s flaws, I can see the series being something enjoyed more by younger audiences however I think it is best avoided altogether. It’s hard to tell from the trailer (below) the true intentions of the series and what was to come.

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