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Nature: Raccoon Nation

4.7 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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(Mar 13, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

The question being asked in this film is Are people, in an effort to outwit raccoons, actually making them smarter and unwittingly contributing to their evolutionary success? Are the ever more complex obstacles that our fast-paced, urban world throws at them actually pushing the development of raccoon brains?

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Narrated by Nora Young
  • Directors: Susan K. Fleming
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS (DIRECT)
  • DVD Release Date: March 13, 2012
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006JN878O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,531 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I'm a Chicagoan and this documentary said raccoons are flocking to big North American cities. However, here they are roadkill down every other street. I'm afraid of them in that I heard they can be rabid. However, while it doesn't surprise me that mice, pigeons, and maggots thrive in human environments. It shocks me that those slow-moving raccoons do. This work points to the ways that we may as well start discussing raccoons in the same breath that we bring up dolphins, octupusses, and other "smart animals."

The work said that raccoons are helped in many ways. They have opposable, hardworking front hands like we do. They are cared for and trained by their mothers like we are. They have more food sources because they are omnivorous. They are nocturnal and thus avoid human detection. But in the same way that viruses seem to get stronger each time modern scientists come up with vaccines. Raccoons in urban areas are adapting and improving mentally. Believe me: I know firsthand that the animals can knock over garbage cans and make a total mess. Moveover, this work shows them being able to open refrigerator doors, unzip tents, and climb through all kinds of stuff.

This work had an international flavor. I guess raccoons are indigenous to North America, but their importation to other places is wreaking havoc. When German scientists got folk to put blockers on the storm drains that the critters climb, they learned how to climb over those too. In Japan, raccoons are chewing up ancient shrines. Worse, their doodoo and peepee is eroding antique wooden architecture. There was a cartoon that started a raccoon craze in Japan decades ago. Foreign folk gotta be careful about appropriating each and every thing that they hear we have in the US.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating account of raccoons moving into the suburbs of Toronto, Canada. It happens that large areas of Toronto are older-type construction with detached garages and fenced-in yards. These make it easy for raccoons to forage for food and find places to live. Raccoons are extremely resourceful, intelligent, have considerable physical ability and survive well in an environment like this. Food, as it happens, was plentiful. The photography was excellent. If you like "critters," you will love the filming.

On the other hand, the movie postulates the development of an urban "uber raccoon," as though this is going to be some kind of monster taking over cities and towns. They suggest that their problem-solving ability with locks and latches is almost human-like and paint a picture of a non-existent threat of super-intelligent beasts. They are admittedly very adaptive animals who are simply using their skills to exist, feed themselves and make more raccoons. This is pretty much all raccoons have ever done over millions of years. No sinister conspiracy here.

To listen to these guys you'd expect to hear of raccoons hijacking automobiles and taking over people's homes. Some of their selective filming suggests that this is on the verge of happening. In a sense this adds a bit of humor to the film, but only if you're critical enough to see through the hype. In other respects, it's just another bunch of careerist young scientists hatching up another emergency that needs a government solution, generously supplied by themselves. I found myself rooting for the raccoons.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is probably as interesting as a documentary about raccoons can get.

It had some very interesting facts about raccoons that were new to me. Some unique footage as well, particularly a mother raccoon trying to help her babies get through an awkward, upside down crack in a farm shed.

The pace of the documentary slows down a bit after the middle.

Overall a pretty cool documentary about raccoons. 3.5/5
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Format: DVD
This was a fun video to watch. I've seen it several times now and never get tired of it. Not only is it interesting, but those raccoons are just so cute you can't hardly stand it. I suppose that might be part of their "survival" techniques if, as the show implies, these citified racoons are just getting smarter and smarter. Okay, I'm just kidding...or am I?

The show follows raccoons have have learned not only how to live in the 'burbs, but how to thrive. They wander around backyards and across roads on their own secret trails, hiding out in a varity of places that they've staked out, and engaging in a War of the Garbage Cans with the innocent humans in the vacinity. It's like a Raccoon Arms Race, as people strive to protect their garbage and the raccoons strive to learn how to break open one more can, undo one more latch, get past one more lock.

My favorite bit was the mother raccoon taking her children out for their first rounds of the neighborhood (after the frightening bit where the babies had to make their way down a terribly tall tree) and hiding out in a garage. One baby couldn't quite manage wrangling his way inside, struggled for hours, and finally, as daylight was approaching, his mother hauled him inside to safety.

Despite having grown up around raccoons, I never know that their faeces are dangerous and can even be life-threatening and that one should never sweep up behind them without protective gear.

Anyone who loves these bandits will love this show. A great one for kids to watch. Informative and fun.
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