Distributed by National Film Board of Canada, 1123 Broadway, Suite 307, New York, NY 10010;800-267-7710
Produced by George Johnson
Directed by John Forrest
VHS, color, 5 min.
Reviewed by Karen A. Plummer, University of Akron, Akron, OH
This short animated film introduces the idea that we are not alone - literally. The human body (a.k.a. Planet Me) is home to billions of microorganisms such as parasites, viruses, and bacteria. Using colorful images and a catchy song, a young girl examines some of her skin under a microscope and discovers that there are many organisms on that small piece of skin. The experience raises a number of questions for the young scientist. Overall, the film serves as a conversation starter or supplement to a more extensive lesson. The film does a good job of introducing the idea that there are billions of microorganisms living in and on the human body, but does not really provide more concrete information. Some children may find the film frightening as they see their body swarming with these microorganisms and some of the body bugs speak in a belligerent manner.
Accompanied by “Activities for the Classroom”, the producers provide pre-screening information, background on “body bugs” and a short background on ecosystems. Students in grades K-1 may have some difficulty with the activities as they require writing and some research. Designed for ages 5 to 9 (grades K-4), Little Armadillos could be added as a supplement to an elementary school collection. Not recommended.