NATURE: Snow Monkeys

Narrated by actor Liam Neeson, Snow Monkeys tells the story of a troop of snow monkeys in the snow-covered mountains of central Japan, in a valley known as “Hell Valley,” so named for the area’s steep cliffs and the steam that arises from the valley’s many hot springs. The area is covered by deep snow almost one-third of the year. Located in the Joshinetsu-Kogen National Park, these Japanese macaques are a popular attraction for tourists, researchers and photographers.

The filmmakers followed the 160-member troop of Japanese macaques for nearly two years. In their world, social rank is determined by matriarchal bloodlines and each member knows his or her place—at least most of the time. Unaware of his lowly status, a naïve and curious little monkey, Hiro (pron. Hero), attempts to win the approval and affection of the group’s solitary leader, an alpha male named Kuro-san. Surprisingly, the two form a bond that alters their lives.

The most watched documentary film series on public television, NATURE has brought the natural world into American homes and classrooms for over 30 years. The series has received over six-hundred honors from the television and wildlife film industry, environmental organizations and parent groups. The series has won ten Emmy Awards, three Peabody Awards and has been honored by the Sierra Club. The broadcast program is supported on the Web with NATURE Online, where viewers can view full episodes and watch behind-the-scenes videos with the series’ filmmakers and producers, and participate in interactive and other online activities related to the series.

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