Much-loved wildlife expert Michaela Strachan presents the enchanting series that explores family life in the animal kingdom. From elephants to meerkats, the programme investigates how baby animals cope with the world around them. Michaela is joined on her travels by her son, Oliver.
Just like the human world, the animal kingdom is full of families. In this preschool wildlife series, Michaela Strachan sets out across the planet to meet the youngest members of animal families and explore how similar they are to people.
Michaela and her young helpers investigate everything from hairy bears to sea-going penguins. Each programme is themed around a familiar aspect of daily life, such as playing with friends, going to school or having a bath.
Every episode of the series comprises three strands: a story based on the programme's theme, a tactile wildlife tale that introduces children to animals and a soap-opera-style update on an animal family.
Runtime: 15 minutes
Animal Families - Animal Farm - Netflix
Animal Farm is an allegorical novella by George Orwell, first published in England on 17 August 1945. According to Orwell, the book reflects events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and then on into the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union. Orwell, a democratic socialist, was a critic of Joseph Stalin and hostile to Moscow-directed Stalinism, an attitude that was critically shaped by his experiences during the Spanish Civil War. The Soviet Union, he believed, had become a brutal dictatorship, built upon a cult of personality and enforced by a reign of terror. In a letter to Yvonne Davet, Orwell described Animal Farm as a satirical tale against Stalin (“un conte satirique contre Staline”), and in his essay “Why I Write” (1946), wrote that Animal Farm was the first book in which he tried, with full consciousness of what he was doing, “to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole”. The original title was Animal Farm: A Fairy Story; U.S. publishers dropped the subtitle when it was published in 1946, and only one of the translations during Orwell's lifetime kept it. Other titular variations include subtitles like “A Satire” and “A Contemporary Satire”. Orwell suggested the title Union des républiques socialistes animales for the French translation, which abbreviates to URSA, the Latin word for “bear”, a symbol of Russia. It also played on the French name of the Soviet Union, Union des républiques socialistes soviétiques. Orwell wrote the book between November 1943 and February 1944, when the UK was in its wartime alliance with the Soviet Union and the British people and intelligentsia held Stalin in high esteem, a phenomenon Orwell hated. The manuscript was initially rejected by a number of British and American publishers, including one of Orwell's own, Victor Gollancz, which delayed its publication. It became a great commercial success when it did appear partly because international relations were transformed as the wartime alliance gave way to the Cold War. Time magazine chose the book as one of the 100 best English-language novels (1923 to 2005); it also featured at number 31 on the Modern Library List of Best 20th-Century Novels. It won a Retrospective Hugo Award in 1996, and is included in the Great Books of the Western World selection.
Animal Families - Animalism - Netflix
The original commandments are: Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend. No animal shall wear clothes. No animal shall sleep in a bed. No animal shall drink alcohol. No animal shall kill any other animal. All animals are equal. These commandments are also distilled into the maxim “Four legs good, two legs bad!” which is primarily used by the sheep on the farm, often to disrupt discussions and disagreements between animals on the nature of Animalism. Later, Napoleon and his pigs secretly revise some commandments to clear themselves of accusations of law-breaking. The changed commandments are as follows, with the changes bolded: No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets. No animal shall drink alcohol to excess. No animal shall kill any other animal without cause. Eventually, these are replaced with the maxims, “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others”, and “Four legs good, two legs better!” as the pigs become more human. This is an ironic twist to the original purpose of the Seven Commandments, which were supposed to keep order within Animal Farm by uniting the animals together against the humans and preventing animals from following the humans' evil habits. Through the revision of the commandments, Orwell demonstrates how simply political dogma can be turned into malleable propaganda.
The pigs Snowball, Napoleon, and Squealer adapt Old Major's ideas into “a complete system of thought”, which they formally name Animalism, an allegoric reference to Communism. Soon after, Napoleon and Squealer partake in activities associated with the humans (drinking alcohol, sleeping in beds, trading), which were explicitly prohibited by the Seven Commandments. Squealer is employed to alter the Seven Commandments to account for this humanisation, an allusion to the Soviet government's revising of history in order to exercise control of the people's beliefs about themselves and their society.
Animal Families - References - Netflix