Triumph and mishap, comedy and tragedy - everything a good story needs, but this one is different, it stars a group of wild meerkats in South Africa. This ground-breaking thirteen part series records the daily lives of a g... more »roup of meerkats known as "The Whiskers". Using state of the art camera technology above and below ground, and by tracking the group's movements 24 hours a day, the series paints a dramatic picture of a year in their highly complex and social lives. From viscous fights with rival gangs to infighting within the group, snake attacks, births of two dozen pups, and tragic deaths, "Meerkat Manor" includes animal behavior never recorded before. With characters that would be more at home in a real life soap opera, their entangled lives make for addictive viewing. MEERKAT MANOR is All My Children meets Wild Kingdom. The show is narrated by Sean Astin of "Lord of the Rings" and"24."« less
Kimberly B. (TheBookHunter) from SALEM, OH Reviewed on 10/6/2008...
really cute show, kind of sad at times though but well worth watching.
The New Beat | 12/29/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The 4 disc version that Amazon offers is a DVD-R set, and it comes in one case. For those not familiar, DVD-R's are the recordable DVD's that are sold in stores, with odd colors on the bottom side. Though it is guaranteed to play, realize that this also effects the potential resale value. Other major website retailers do not deal with this version, and second hand stores may not take it on trade. The 3 DVD set that comes in a 3-case box is the official version that one would expect, and is commonly sold throughout the market."
Nature Meets High Drama
calvinnme | 12/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Meerkat Manor is a Discovery Channel Animal Planet series shown successfully worldwide. It is a series in the style of a soap opera about a clan of meerkats named "The Whiskers" that is the subject of a ten-year study by Cambridge University. The show is narrated by Bill Nighy in the UK, Mike Goldman in Australia, and Sean Astin in the USA. There are a total of 13 episodes in this first season.
The following Meerkats are the major players in season one: Flower is the leader and dominant female of the Whiskers group, and reserves the right to mate for herself. Because she is the leader, she wears a radio collar that enables scientists and film crews to track the group. Zaphod is her partner, the dominant male, and group defender. Youssarian was dominant male of the Whiskers until Zaphod, his older brother, overtook his position. Mozart is one of Flower's daughters that was evicted from the Whiskers by her mother for bearing offspring. Tosca is another of Flower's daughters that was exiled from the Whiskers for bearing offspring, and permanently exiled after taking charge of the Splinters, the larger of two groups created by the temporary breakup of the Whiskers. Shakespeare is one of Zaphod's sons and is quite courageous. He survived two bites of a puff adder and successfully saved Flower's pups from an attack by Big Cy of the Lazuli group of Meerkats. His fate has been a topic of controversy.
The drama can be intense, as life and death are starkly portrayed in each episode. Meerkats within the clan are incredibly dedicated to each other's safety, to the point of risking their lives for the others' survival. Family dedication even extends to the other females lactating so that Flower's pups will be fed by multiple sources. The show reveals that Meerkats don't do well on their own because their very survival depends on lookouts being constantly vigilant while the others dig deep into the ground for their meals of worms, lizards, and the occasional fat millipede. Desert storms wreak havoc, and birds of prey are a constant threat to the pups and occasionally to the adult meerkats themselves. However, in case some violent confrontation does occur, the film crew avoids showing close-ups of the gruesome details. This makes it probably OK for family viewing, although in the case of young children you should probably make that call on a child-by-child basis. "Meerkat Manor" does have a lot of value in teaching you much about the daily life and habits of these interesting creatures to the point that you'll probably find yourself caring a little too much about what happens to each of them individually as well as a group. I highly recommend it."
Meerkat Manor Rocks.
Elle-P | Chicago IL | 10/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Meerkat Manor chronicles the lives and deaths of a family of meerkats living in the Kalahari desert in Africa. MM is a nature show but by focusing on the individual personalities and conflicts it gives the show a definite Soap Opera quality. A soap opera where the stakes are life and death. The "cast" consists of: FLOWER: The leader who rules with an iron fist and a big heart. As matriarch only she is allowed to mate, any female that gets pregnant runs the risk of being exiled. Evicted meerkats have only two choices, hope to be eventually forgiven and be accepted back in the group or death by predators or disease. Zaphod is Flowers partner and mate. Yousarrian is Zaphods brother, but he is also Flowers ex and he is mentally unstable and unpredictable and his antics lead to more than one crisis that will end in death. Flowers daughters Mozart, Tosca and Daisy all get pregnant during this season which leads to tons of problems, evictions and tough choices.The episode DAISYS CHOICE is heartbreaking. Meanwhile Flowers son Shakespere tangles with a snake which leaves him fighting for his life. It is very touching how his sisters Mozart and Tosca stayed by his side to protect him as best as they could. Also it wouldnt ba a soap without villians. The Lazuli are the main enemy this season, led by Big Cy they are a dangerous threat to the Whiskers. The only other lazuli who gets screen time is Carlos who is more interested in making love not war and handily seduces all three of daughters. My only complaint is Sean Astins boring narration, so much drama deserves a little spice in the narration. Overall 13 drama filled episodes at 20 bucks is a steal. And Season two is even better. EP"
Itty Bitty Critters vs. The World
azindn | Arizona, USA | 02/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Animal documentary cameras follow the daily activities of a mob of 12" high Meerkats living in the African Kalihari desert. Alpha female Flower, her mate, Zaphod, socially inept Uncle Yousarian, slutty daughter Mozart, and the teenagers and pups make up a family unit known as the Whiskers. Their 3 square miles of forage territory must be defended from other mobs such as the Lazuli and Commandos. Leadership is dependent on strong and often ruthless decisions that mean only the alpha female may bear pups, and the fate of the group's breeding age adults becomes a series of illicit one night stands with rival non-related meerkats, and hard learned lessons in meerkat morality that leaves younger wanton daughters ousted for pregnancy. Each meerkat has become a star in the series but some more than other such as loyal Shakespeare who may have died battling the Lazuli raiders while babysitting the infant pups.
Keeping up with the numerous yearly litters of four or five pups means the size of the Whiskers group fluctuates as its members stray, die, or disappear after encounters and fierce battles often to the death. It is a dire existence in which family loyalty is reinforced by mutual grooming, scent marking, and hunting juicy huge scorpions and centipedes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Yummy! And, the meerkats are hunted as well by prey birds and other beasties of the desert environment.
Filmed by Cambridge University for over ten years, and narrated by actor Sean Austin, the family life of small weasel-like creatures takes on all the drama and humor of reality TV shows without having to design dresses or cook gourmet dinners. This is real survivor TV at its best and the often harsh reality of the charming and adorable wild creatures brings to the screen a complex and enormously endearing story of animal behavior, love, life, and death. With not much imagination, its easy to see the family dynamic of every Thanksgiving dinner ever forced to attend. Enchanting and educational for all ages."
Survivor Drama on the Kalahari
K. Reynolds | Norfolk, VA USA | 10/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
Forget "Survivor" and "The Amazing Race." "Meerkat Manor" is the best reality/survivor show ever made. If you missed the beginning, here come the first 13 episodes of the Whiskers family in a two-disc set. These fierce little critters have been called the Sopranos of the Kalahari. But they're not. They're better. What's more, these episodes can be watched by the entire family.
Matriarch Flower is the boss, protecting her family from invading meerkat tribes, such as the Lazuli, making sure the home (burrow) is fit and that all are well fed. Flower, whose recent demise left fans grieving, will be the subject of a 2008 theatrical release, "Queen of the Meerkats." It can't come too soon.
The Animal Planet hit is the result of a 10 year study by Cambridge University. Students mix into the footage from time to time, taking notes. During these moments, you realize just how small meerkats are. Adults are about a foot long, pups only a few inches, but when confronting an enemy, these little guys are bigger than life.
Sean Astin's flawless narration moves each episode along from cliffhanger to cliffhanger. The clear Season One favorite is Flower's son, Shakespeare. Whether he's taking a double snake bite for the clan, mentoring a little brother, or squaring off against Big Cy of the Lazuli to protect meerkat pups, he is his mother's son.
Still, there are plenty of personalities to enjoy, including Shakespeare's loving sister, Mozart, and their independent sibling, Tosca, Flower's main squeeze, Zaphod, his nutcase brother, Yousarian, and Carlos, the Don Juan of the Kalahari. Those who have followed the Whiskers through Season Three, can flash back to baby Mitch, who started out as a spoiled mama's-boy bully. And for those who thought Flower was ruthless, we now have Punk, the new queen of the Zappas and her alpha guy, Houdini. Never dull and never contrived, they all have stories to tell.