Hidden Kingdoms

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Secret Forests

Series 1 - Episode 2 Secret Forests



In this episode, giant acorns fall with a whistling noise like Second World War bombs. When chipmunks tuck the nuts in their cheeks, we hear a stretching, squeaking noise, as if they’re about to burst. Oddly, the “how we made it” segment at the end never shows the producers deciding which cartoon sound effect to layer over the action, but that’s the nature of the show: it’s a creative concoction, full of Disneyish mini-dramas about the trials of life for small creatures – this time, chipmunks in Canada and tree shrews in Borneo.

There are excellent slo-mo sequences of chipmunk fights and lovely incidental shots along the way: look out for the frost on a dragonfly’s wings and fabulous fluorescent fungi.


Stephen Fry narrates another documentary revealing the survival techniques of the animal kingdom's smallest creatures. This film follows a young tree shrew as it darts through the rainforest of Borneo on the lookout for food. The creature's super-fast metabolism means it is always hungry, but as it searches for fruit, it must avoid fire ants, giant snakes and even a carnivorous plant. Cameras also follow a male chipmunk collecting acorns in preparation for winter - but while he's out, a bigger, more aggressive neighbour ransacks his store. Can he get the nuts back?

Cast & Crew

Narrator Stephen Fry
Series Producer Mark Brownlow