Tiny Creatures is a documentary series that tries to whip up an exciting narrative in each episode rather than allowing these creatures to go about their normal business. Instead of naturally showing these creatures in their environment, the show is given a dose of forced excitement through human interference and fantastical stories. The result is something that feels really misleading and pales by comparison to other documentaries.
Across each of the 8 episodes – set specifically in a different American state – Tiny Creatures depicts a solitary tiny creature and throws them into a gauntlet of predators they have to outsmart. In the first episode we’ve got a Kangaroo Rat but as the episodes progress this evolves to show owls, skunks and more.
The true fascination with animals comes from seeing them in their natural environment and understanding how they live. Here though, Tiny Creatures feels like a David Attenborough documentary on steroids. There’s no time to sit back and relax as numerous predators arrive to try and kill our tiny creature back to back, miraculously surviving every time. And therein lies the biggest issue with this documentary.
The decision to throw more fiction rather than fact into this completely betrays the notion of it being a documentary. Going back to the Kangaroo rats, they spend most of their day sleeping underground yet here they’re up and about during the day. While the narrated facts for the various animals are interesting, it’s ultimately pointless in the wake of such a contrived and forced narrative.
There’s numerous instances of human intervention too and whether it be golfers on a golf course, people in New York City or even a cowboy shooting a tin can, there’s a lot of uncomfortable moments showing humanity at their worst.
That’s to say nothing for the perceived intelligence of these creatures either, with narratives ranging from a pet hamster using vent smoke to evade a hawk or even that infamous kangaroo rat luring a rattlesnake and an eagle together to fight. It gives the illusion that these creatures are far smarter than they actually are and for the younger audience, this could prove problematic for developing minds.
As a fictionalized, dramatic animal adventure, Tiny Creatures has some redeeming features. As an informative and educational tool however, I can’t recommend this. It’s a documentary that fails to document facts, instead pedaling fiction to entertain but failing to understand what really makes these nature docs so endearing to begin with.