National Geographic teaches its viewers about the life of a red kangaroo, from birth to adolescence to adulthood and eventually to become the king of red kangaroos, in the 2015 nature documentary “Kangaroo King.” This documentary follows the life of Rusty. We see how he’s born, how his mother nurses him, what leads to him being cut off from his mother’s nursing and how he avoids predators while still being an adolescent. In adulthood, we see him survive a drought, avoid more natural predators and patiently wait his turn until he is finally ready to be the king of the red kangaroos and breed with the females in the Australian outbreak.
I love learning about all things Australia, so this hit me right where I live. I loved seeing how the effects of the drought changed the way the kangaroos reproduced. Don’t get me wrong, I hated seeing them have to change, but, as a viewer, I loved seeing them adapt to their scenario. I’m hopeful they don’t have to do that too often and the Outback doesn’t see droughts as serious as the one Rusty went through ever again, but it’s amazing to see how kangaroos adjust. I also loved seeing what happens when an adult Rusty has to flee a pack of dingoes. He’s able to travel faster by jumping further and that allows him to expel far less energy than the dingoes allowing him to escape. It’s wild to see what has to happen and how nature is able to take its course.
If you’ve read my other articles on documentaries, you’ll know I prefer the National Geographic style of storytelling to DisneyNature’s style of storytelling and this documentary perfect illustrates why. I learned a lot about kangaroos, dingoes, snakes and other creatures native the Australian Outback without feeling like the narrator was trying to hold my hand of spoon feed me. National Geographic is better for the adult viewer while DisneyNature is better for the younger viewer. Both are wonderful and informative, but National Geographic is more for me.
This may be my new favorite documentary available on Disney+. I’m not sure if it’s because kangaroos are one of my favorite animals or my love of learning about Australia, but I was here for this entire documentary. It’s very informative while still being a lot of fun.
Ranking: 4 stars
What did you think of “The Kangaroo King?”