this out, crikey it’s a spotted Cus Cus. The most beautiful marsupial in the
world”. This is a catch phrase that many people would recognise as the
instantly distinguishable Steve Irwin. The crocodile hunting, snake grabbing,
turtle catching extraordinaire. This man has more enthusiasm than Jim Carrey
on ecstasy. Steve, as always in the series, has awe-inspiring interest
unmatched by any narrator or entertainer in the documentary field.
to inform you if you have not been familiarised with the previous reviews on
Crocodile Hunter. Steve Irwin and his wife Terri run the Australia Zoo in
Queensland. Steve has an incredible passion for wildlife and in the first
episode (Jungle in the clouds) we see Steve travel to Papua New Guinea, where
he sets off to find the most intriguing animals in nature. Here he finds
goannas, geckos, tree kangaroos, snakes, crocodiles and all manner of
creatures. Each creature he sees he picks up, dangerous or placid and then
discusses all the facets in detail to the audience.
meeting the Komoro tribe, Steve travels around PNG in a wooden dugout canoe,
north of the Arafura sea, through mangroves and mosquito infested jungles to
some of the highest peaks in the world. Along his way, Steve finds an
assortment of animals that he picks up and discusses at length using his
abundant knowledge of zoology. Because Steve has his study roots set firmly
at the zoo, there is never a shortage of information to be shared.
one is definitely for the whole family too, as everything is discussed in
simple language and is easy to understand. There is also a lot of good humour
as well, like at the beginning of Episode one when he says while floating in a
canoe with two tribesman “That traditional head-gear the tribesman are wearing
is cassowary feathers, my traditional head-gear I am wearing is …a cap” There
are many examples of this and makes for an entertaining watch, even for
The most curious part of Jungle in the clouds, would have to be when Steve
goes into the jungle with a tribe member and searches for Tree Kangaroos, or
Cus Cus as they are referred to in the tribes. He cordially asks the bush man
to remove his traditional head dress and place on a head torch. They both
start looking for the nocturnal creature and find several of them high up in
the trees. Steve feeds them some banana and they don’t take kindly to him
being close to their food. The Cus Cus comically attacks Steve’s head with
its little claws until Steve decides to leave the poor little fella alone.
What never ceased to amaze was Steve’s sheer bravery when confronting
poisonous creatures, such as snakes and goannas. What would be complete
stupidity, if attempted by a Layman is done with style and finesse by Steve
who uses his intuition to gauge the animal’s temperament. Although at times
Steve approaches animals like he is a young boy, running to the tree on
Christmas day. He is careful to not get bitten by these beasties. In one
scene Steve picks up a tree snake swimming in the mangroves, which proceeds to
bite him and he just casually shows the bite to the camera.
In the next episode faces in the forest, Steve and Terri go to the forests of
Sumatra to visit a halfway house for Orangutans. They go into a kind of
rehabilitation centre for Orangutans that have been kidnapped from the wild.
Here they teach them how to climb, make nests and what to eat. Then they are
gradually, one step at a time, released into the wild. Once again we see Steve
climbing the jungles like Tarzan and ignoring the dangers faced as we see many
great panoramas of these amazing animals in the wild.
In one interesting scene we see a mother and a baby “Orang” coming very close
to Steve. In most circumstances, Orangs are very protective with their
children and will become typically aggressive with strangers. Luckily for
Steve in this scene, all the mother wanted to do was receive a bit of
affection. This makes for probably the most poignant part of the second
In one touching part Steve meets a very pregnant Orangutan he feeds her talks
to her and just when the audience is in nervous anticipation for the
inevitable birth. The narration comes in with Steve saying that the poor mama
and her baby died not long after Steve and Terri left. This is a
heart-wrenching reminder of how fragile this species is on this planet. Even
in the wild. As Orangutans only come into cycle once every seven years so the
window for reproduction is very small. So every chance to increase numbers is
made with consummate care.
Other parts in this chapter include meeting Mister Mischief who as the name
implies is a mischievous little fella as well as many other Orangutans, land
turtles and bee nests. All of this makes for interesting viewing especially
for young children. Crocodile Hunter has some educational aspects for young
children as well. They learn about conservation, what animals eat and how
they behave and just to realise how large and precious this world is.
The sound is of a high standard and Steve and Terri speak clearly and there is
never a time when the kids will be asking “what did he say?” every five
minutes. The music is used to great effect and is used frequently to enhance
mood in various parts of the film.
There is a lot here to recommend to the whole family, especially the kids.
The language aforementioned is concise and informative and Steve is never
lacking in the odd gag. Steve’s manner in the way he conducts himself is
entertaining and draws the viewer to listen to everything he has to say. I
would recommend this generally to younger viewers with a keen interest in
Hunter Vol. 5 Features
- Orangutan Profile
Trailers - Vol 1 to 6