Of the countless species with which we share our planet, a small group really captures our imagination. Lion, wolf, elephant, shark, to name just a few. They fill us with a sense of wonder, awe, even fear. Their images are all around us. They’re part of our expressive language and some of the first words our children speak.
This six-part series reveals the intimate lives of the world’s most charismatic and popular animals as never before. Using the latest camera technology, combining breath-taking imagery with compelling storytelling, we reveal everything you ever wanted to know about your favourite creatures, and more.
Some animals truly connect with us. This is their story.
ULTIMATE ANIMAL is a spectacular, six-part blue chip natural history series about the world’s most charismatic and best loved animals. Bringing a fresh approach to top-end wildlife documenary, each episode delivers the ultimate film on one type of animal, creating the feel of an epic special. We build intense drama around a main character, while also covering a range of extraordinary behaviours and stunning locations. The result is the definitive film, showcasing everything you ever wanted to know about your favourite animal. By focusing in on the creatures that really connect, it appeals to a vast global audience. lt is also a highly returnable format. There is a long list of animals charismatic enough to feature in an ‘ultimate’ film. For this first six-part run, those are Wolf, Lion, Elephant, Bear, Chimpanzee and Shark.
The look is jaw-dropping natural history at its finest. Using the latest 8k sensors and moving camera technology, we deliver the ultimate imagery of our favourite animals. Beyond that, phenomenal developments in drone, remote and low-light photography in recent years means we capture images and behaviours few people have ever seen. The sky is no longer the limit when it comes to imagery, putting greater emphasis on the skill of the storyteller…
The main characters form the spine of each episode, hooking the audience, delivering intense drama, emotional connection and unique, unforeseen moments. We follow them through the toughest parts of their lives – an Arctic wolf pack struggling to raise young in the brief summer; an elephant matriarch leading her herd through a brutal drought; the fate of a lion pride as the grasslands burn and their main prey move on.
The bigger picture expands beyond our main characters at key points to explore unique behaviours and the different, remote habitats our ultimate animals have conquered. These carefully chosen second and third characters mean we truly deliver the definitive film on each animal. Some, such as sharks, offer limitless opportunity for new and surprising behaviours.
Some can walk, some glow, others live for hundreds of years. And our Bears episode takes us from the frozen poles to the canopy of the tropical rainforest.
There are, of course, more than one species of all our ultimate animals. While following the Arctic wolf pack, there is space to reveal the unique lone hunting strategies of Ethiopian wolves, or grey wolves stealing food from bears in the boreal forest. Alongside our African elephant herd, we reveal the different challenges faced by pygmy elephants in the jungles of Borneo, who swim across immense rivers and visit volcanic springs to survive. As a young chimpanzee learns to use tools, we discover how different groups of chimpanzee hunt and survive in very different places. And not all realise that lions are found as far afield as the deserts of Namibia or forests of lndia.
These ‘bigger picture’ sequences allow a break from the central character’s story, bringing even more amazing moments and remote locations. They keep the films diverse, exciting and packed full of behaviour. Most importantly, they help deliver on our promise of the ultimate film.
The future of nearly all our best loved animals is increasingly uncertain. In delivering the ultimate film on each one, our ‘bigger picture’ sequences also allow us to consider the conflicts and challenges they face. Having won the hearts of viewers, there is no better time to help a global audience understand these threats and, most importantly of all, what can be done to change them. Climate change, conflict, poaching, overfishing and more all impact our favourite animals. But, in witnessing our main characters overcome adversity, we are filled with hope that these extraordinary animals have what it takes to thrive. They just need our respect and the wild space in which to do it.
ULTIMATE ANIMAL reveals the fascinating behaviours, life cycles and conservation of our planet’s best loved creatures, all set against a backdrop of stunning, varied landscapes. World class cinematography and storytelling combine to make these the definitive films on each animal. lt has immense appeal and extraordinary returnability, with the potential to become a household name and major event in itself.
A production of Terra Mater Studios and Dandy Lion Films