A brand new wildlife documentary is coming to Netflix later this month, and some famous faces have been enlisted to narrate the fascinating dive into the complexities of the natural world.


The series, titled Animal, looks as epic as it sounds, judging by the trailer below. And it seems David Attenborough has some tough competition in the voiceover department, too.

The first season will consist of four episodes, each focusing on a different species, while a second season will follow suit in 2022 utilising the same format.

Lending their voices to the first series will be Bryan Cranston for Dogs, Rashida Jones for Big Cats, Rebel Wilson for Marsupials and Pedro Pascal for Octopus. Season two will see Andy Serkis take on Apes, Anthony Mackie talk Birds and David Harbour and Uzo Aduba discuss Bears and Dolphins.

And, if you thought these high-profile names were chosen at random for the job, think again. In an exclusive chat with RadioTimes.com, Animal producer Bill Markham revealed each actor shared a "unique connection" with the animals in their episode.

"We felt that having one narrator to write all of the episodes wouldn't be a fair ambassador of all the different species," Markham explained. "So what we thought was finding narrators who would fit the personalities and the characters of the animal groups."

He went on to explain how Pitch Perfect actress Wilson, for example, was perfect for the Marsupials episode. "Obviously she's Australian and she loves marsupials and spends quite a lot of time, I think, helping out koalas and so on," he said. "But also, they're quite a quirky bunch, the marsupials. So her character really fit with this slightly tongue-in-cheek group of animals."

The programme also touches on "21st century context", with Wilson's episode covering the impact of the bushfires in Australia. "[Rebel] brought real genuine sensitivity to those kind of stories," Markham added. "She knows what they're like, she's been in the smog in Sydney and all the rest of it."

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While Wilson's connection to Australia makes sense, the other narrators' bonds to the animals they were chosen for are slightly more unusual.

Octopus may not be the first thing that comes to fans' minds when they think of Pedro Pascal, but it turns out the actor loves the creatures.

Pedro Pascal narrates the Octopus episode in Animal season one
Pedro Pascal narrates the Octopus episode in Animal season one

"In the programme, we sort of treat [octopus] as an alien, you know, that they're like the crickets from other planets. Of course, Pedro is in The Mandalorian which people know him for," Markham said, before revealing that Pascal was delighted to be chosen for the job.

"He said, 'I'm so glad you chose me for this because I absolutely love octopus. When I was a kid, I caught one on a beach and put it into a bucket and then whenever I was turning to look at it, it would duck down. But if I turned my back on it, it would try to escape'," Markham told RadioTimes.com.

Pascal told the producer he hadn't eaten octopus or squid since, because he "just loves these creatures".

Breaking Bad's Cranston is on dog duty, which comes after he starred in Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs.

"[Bryan is] very doggy (laughs)," Markham said. "His character really kind of comes across. He's pretty laid back but amazing. He’s the dog's bollocks."

It's no surprise that Mackie was chosen for the Birds episode, since he played The Falcon in the MCU before recently taking on the Captain America mantle, while Serkis has lent his body and his voice to not one but two famous cinematic apes – King Kong and Cesar in Planet of the Apes – so his casting for the Apes episode is a no-brainer.

"He does all of this motion capture where he tries to mimic those animals, so he's spent quite a bit of time trying to get into the mind of apes," Markham said, "and that's what we're trying to do in these programmes, which is a bit different maybe to other wildlife, trying to get into the mind of these animals.

"We know and love them, but do we really know them?"

Take a look at the trailer below before you get to know them a little better later this month.

Additional reporting by Grace Henry.


Animal will land on Netflix on Wednesday 10th November 2021. Check out our lists of the best series on Netflix and the best movies on Netflix, or see what else is on with our TV Guide.