Sarah Avery (dr_pretentious) wrote,
Sarah Avery
dr_pretentious

Avery-Davis Vs. Attenborough: The Nature Show Narrator Smackdown

We've officially ended Gareth's television embargo, and not just for urgent situations like the ten hour road trip to Rochester or my bout of pneumonia last year. Netflix sent us some episodes of Planet Earth, and when Dan and I tried to watch it after the boy went to bed, we kept saying to each other every few minutes, "Gareth would love this!" And he did love it the next evening, though of course we have done a little strategic fast-forwarding past some of the eat-or-be-eaten scenes.

David Attenborough's commentary is dramatic and informative and scientifically correct and stuff, but Gareth's commentary is much more exciting. The little guy stares in rapt silence at the animals until something happens that is so cool he can't contain himself anymore, at which point he tries to make up in exclamation points what he lacks in vocabulary and syntax. A version of Planet Earth narrated by Gareth would be mostly uninformative and full of scientific errors, but it would be pretty entertaining. (As entertaining as the "Untamed World" episode of Ren and Stimpy, with its herd of feral nature show hosts? Maybe just to Dan and me.)

So, for your amusement and delectation, some loose paraphrases of Attenborough, with matching verbatim quotations from my fifteen-month-old:


ATTENBOROUGH:
Here in the canopy, the engine room of the Amazon rain forest, these mature hardwood trees may live another two hundred years.

AVERY-DAVIS:
T(r)ee! Up up up! High! G(r)een!
*

ATTENBOROUGH:
These red-billed quelea form the largest bird flocks on earth, some flocks so large that it can take five hours for them to pass overhead.

AVERY-DAVIS:
Bird! Two! Two bird!
*

ATTENBOROUGH:
The fig tree feeds a multitude of primate species. These capuchin monkeys are the bully boys of the forest. These golden tamarinds have to rely on speed and numbers to snatch enough figs to sustain their troupe.

AVERY-DAVIS:
Mondey! Mongey? Money! Mummy! Eat! Up up up high!
*

ATTENBOROUGH:
If the ants find one of their number infested with this parasitic fungus, a worker will carry the afflicted member as far as possible from the colony and dump it. This may seem brutal, but once the fungus releases its spores, any ant that comes in contact with them is in grave danger. Like some horror out of science fiction, the fruiting body of the fungus emerges from the ant's head.

AVERY-DAVIS:
Owie!

ATTENBOROUGH:
You got that right, kid. Owie, indeed.
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