"Wild? I'll say! Like crashing way back in the twenty-first century! But luckily I met Ethan, Emily, and Luis, and Squibbon!"
This Animated Adaptation focuses on C.G., a teenage girl from the year 12,000 AD where the advent of a massive ice age is threatening the human race. Tasked by her father to save humanity, C.G. is given a time-travelling ship known as the Time Flyer to travel into the future and find a new time period for humans to live in. However, C.G.'s first mission isn't exactly successful, as her trip to the world 200 million years into the future ends up with a monkey-like squid descendant called a squibbon sneaking on to the Time Flyer as a stowaway and accidentally causing C.G. to end up at the start of the twenty-first century, specifically the year 2000.
C.G.'s arrival in the past ends up attracting the attention of a group of twenty-first century teens named Luis Calabasas, Emily Lornatae, and Ethan Bolato, who discover C.G. and the Time Flyer. Having few other choices, C.G. brings them on board the Time Flyer as crewmates and also lets the squibbon (nicknamed "Squibby") stay as a pet (although she keeps its presence secret from her father, who provides instructions during her time voyages).
And so, C.G. and her new friends travel through the various time periods of the worlds that exist after man, exploring all manner of unique and fantastic environments inhabited the bizarre and spectacular descendants of familiar animals from the twenty-first century. As they travel these strange worlds and encounter the even stranger wildlife that populates them, the team carries out various missions and gets themselves into a variety of both adventures and misadventures, often utilizing technology from C.G.'s time to fulfill her ultimate mission of finding the perfect new home for the human race.
Essentially a way to introduce kids to the concept of Speculative Biology and to the worlds and creatures of the original documentary series through a Lighter and Softer, more entertainment-focused lens, The Future is Wild features all three of the time periods seen in the show and most of the environments and animals as wellnote . Due to the different tone and visuals, as well as the somewhat lower budget, it also uses more simplistic and cartoonish-looking models for the animals compared to the source material, with the creatures engaging in Animal Talk. While these changes have earned it the gripe and ire of some (particularly more hardcore or serious-minded fans of the documentary show), The Future is Wild has nonetheless gained its share of fans and praise (include several award nominations).
The series ran for 26 episodes on Discovery Kids from 2007-2008 and later arrived in its home country of Canada on Teletoon in 2010. Reruns continued to pop up on the channels for several years however, and the show is now available on the streaming service Tubi for free.
The series' Character Sheet is shared with that of the documentary series.
The show provides examples of:
- Adapted Out: While they presumably still exist, the North American Desert, Mediterenean Salt Flats, and Rainshadow Desert are not featured or even mentioned by name, so all of the creatures featured in each ecosystem do not make an appearance in the setting. The Global Ocean is a Downplayed example, as while neither the ocean nor its inhabitants appear in the series, the biome is namedropped during Episode 11.
- Ambiguously Brown: C.G. and her father.
- Animal Talk: All animals (even literally brainless invertebrates like jellyfish and sea spiders) are capable of sentience and speak a language of their own (which can apparently be understood by all species).
- Carnivore Confusion:
- Since every single animal is sapient, carnivores are portrayed as villains, ranging from genuine Affably Evil examples into at least one full fledged evil monster without a mind of its own. This is despite the more naturalistic take on the trope in the documentary-style miniseries, where many carnivores are simply hungry animals.
- Averted in the show itself on one occasion: a carakiller is portrayed as sympathetic in "Monkey Brains" and Gill and Butch, the lurkfish, are just hilarious.
- Comically Missing the Point: In "Sign Of The Time Flyer":Ethan: We could run around in the grass and play Marco Polo.
C.G.: Oh! You want us to pretend to be the 13th century explorer who journeyed to China? That sounds educational and fun!
- Cool Ship: The Time Flyer is not only a time machine but it can also float on water and has a submarine mode.
- Ditzy Genius: C.G. is this often - she once assumed that the game "Marco Polo" involved imitating the historical Marco Polo's travels. Granted, some of this is implied to be because she has a Friendless Background and that the onset of the Ice Age resulted in Lost Common Knowledge.
- Friend to All Living Things: Emily - she tries to help out every animal she can, even if they are predators that want to eat her!
- Glacial Apocalypse: Ten thousand years in the future, an ice-age is threatening humanity's survival. C.G. tasked with Time Traveling into the future and finding a more suitable habitat for human civilization to resettle.
- Missing Mom: C.G.'s mother. The time flyer's captain's father is both shown and mentioned many times throughout the series, but her mother is never once mentioned, nor did she appear.
- Named After Somebody Famous: C.G.'s birth name Cassiopeia, meaning "she whose words excel", is the name of an infamously vain Queen from Greek mythology. Apparently, one or both of C.G.'s parents really like Greek mythology and give her that name thinking it would be great for her and its aforementioned meaning does suit her very well.
- Cassiopeia is also the name of a constellation, which fits in with the future/space theme of the show.
- No Ending: The series has no definitive conclusion, ending on Snowstalker in a Strange Land with Luis running back into the Time Flyer after being spooked by a Gannetwhale stealing the fish he just caught.
- Orphaned Etymology: The talking animals constantly refer to themselves by their common names, many of which reference animals and concepts of the human world millions of years before their own. However, this may just be Translation Convention.
- Ship Tease: Emily with Ethan, and C.G. with Louis.
- Team Pet: Squibby the Squibbon.
- Totally Radical: In the children's series, the Antarctic Forest is described as "trippy". Uh, that's not really what trippy means...
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: C.G. wants to impress her father and make him proud. The problem is that he is cold, stern, aloof and serious, especially towards his daughter. Not helping with this is that he at first doesn't approve of C.G. brnging "Primitives" aboard the Time Flyer. He does get better though as C.G. and her crew proved their worth for the mission throughout the series.