Visually stunning but otherwise a mixed picture, Thomas Rees reviews the first episode of the BBC’s flagship natural history programme
Billed as ‘Pixar meets Life‘, Hidden Kingdoms is natural history with a difference. It’s a documentary of sorts, but one in which smaller creatures, from rhinoceros beetles to marmosets, play the starring roles. The emphasis is on filming at close quarters and seeing the world through the eyes of the programme’s diminutive subjects. Sweeping panoramas are few and far between. Prowling lions and elephants have little more than cameo appearances.