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Documentaries & Non-Fiction Series

Preview: Welcome to the Tiny World of NatGeo’s “A Real Bug’s Life” 

Preview: Welcome to the Tiny World of NatGeo’s “A Real Bug’s Life”

I was one of those kids who loved watching nature documentaries, I think because my family made a night out of it. We’d all sit down in front of the TV (I know, who does that anymore??) and be transported to another world. Maybe it was sub-Saharan Africa with a pride of lions, or the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia with a shoal of fish, or the Amazon rainforest of South America with a troop of monkeys.

But whatever world we got a peek into, there was always a compelling story about animals and really exciting narration. I learned how animals function as a family unit and a society. I learned if and how they cooperate with others to hunt. I learned how they lived. It was so cool and interesting and educational. But a world I’ve never been exposed to until now is the tiny world. And it’s safe to say, I have a new obsession.

While I sometimes think tiny critters — like ants, spiders and beetles — can be a nuisance, they contribute so much to our world. In A Real Bug’s Life, we get to see the lifecycle of a bumblebee and what she brings to her little farm. We follow a jumping spider try to survive a day in the life of hectic New York City, when it has to flee its previous home. We watch as newly hatched bugs take their first step or their first flight into the world. With fun and insightful narration by Awkwafina, we get to watch this tiny world filled with complex creatures come to life.


TV Goodness spoke exclusively to series producer Bill Markham and director of photography Nathan Small about deciding which bugs to feature and how to tell their stories, how the narration, music and sound effects elevate the visuals, their mission to educate and make people love bugs and so much more.

Edited for content and clarity.

A Real Bug’s Life premiered on National Geographic and is streaming on Disney+.

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