Helen Mirren will narrate the series, which will now be titled When Nature Calls With Helen Mirren.Peter White, Deadline, 2nd June 2021
ABC is looking at the lighter side of the natural history world. The network has ordered When Nature Calls, a non-scripted comedy series that looks at the funny things that animals get up to in the wild. The show is based on a BBC Studios format - Walk On The Wild Side - which aired on BBC One in the UK for two seasons.Peter White, Deadline, 6th April 2021
Above is a little look at how Walk on the Wild Side is made. Fancy having a go yourself? Could you put words in the mouth of a seagull, or a donkey? Now's your chance to find out! The Walk on the Wild Side team have made four clips available for you to download so that you can add your own voiceovers.David Thair, BBC Comedy, 30th September 2010
The equation here is that wildlife footage plus comedy voiceover equals laughs. Not multi-layered, clever laughs, obviously. More the kind where you can't quite believe you're sniggering at something so daft. But you do. A monkey sitting on a branch miaowing like a cat, for instance. Or two birds talking at the same time about their holidays, until their friend backs away nervously. Or a beetle with its foot stuck in a dung ball desperately trying to attract its friend's attention. It's YouTube-clip comedy - a farting eagle, a chimp stuffing fruit in its mouth, goats blowing raspberries. And if you don't love it, then your kids surely will.David Butcher, Radio Times, 25th September 2010
It shouldn't work but it does: you take natural history films, put silly voices over the animals and edit it into sketches. With input from the likes of Jason Manford, the result is the kind of thoroughly, joyously daft comedy that is custom-made for adults and children to enjoy together, TV Burpstyle, on a Saturday evening. And the hit rate seems to have improved from the last series. There are plenty of splutteringly funny sequences, many involving seals. Highlights include elephants with appalling hangovers and a dolphin doing "head farts" (I didn't say it was sophisticated).David Butcher, Radio Times, 18th September 2010
Do you remember Johnny Morris and Animal Magic? Well, somebody at the BBC does and they've decided to resurrect his old gag of lending funny voices to our furry, and scaly, friends.
Morris, mindful of his obligation to educate as well as amuse, used the device sparingly. Walk on the Wild Side, however, tries to fill an entire half-hour with wildlife verbiage and the joke is stretched very, very thin indeed.
Some moments are genuinely inspired. Who amongst us has not laughed at, discussed with friends or summoned up on YouTube the doctored footage of the marmot calling after his mate Alan? And who can blame the BBC for trailing it endlessly to promote the show?
Unfortunately, nothing else in Walk on the Wild Side is anywhere near as funny, clever or perfectly synched. The gorilla squeezing out farts is fitfully amusing, as was Stephen Fry expressing the languid musings of a giant panda. But Walk on the Wild Side is a novelty filler, not an entire programme. Talking animals merit ten minutes' screen time, maximum.Harry Venning, The Stage, 24th August 2009
A gorilla with flatulence, meerkats re-enacting The Apprentice, eagles who think they're starring in a Harry Potter film: it's all very silly, very funny and absolutely perfect Saturday teatime viewing. If you missed it last week, Walk on the Wild Side is a revamped version of Animal Magic, the show where Johnny Morris did comedy voiceovers to accompany footage of zoo animals. If you did see it last week, you'll be pleased to know that the marmot who repeatedly calls out to his friend Alan makes a return appearance. Hysterical.Jane Rackham, Radio Times, 22nd August 2009
We can't be completely certain where Auntie Beeb got the idea for this rib-tickling wildlife show, but we did see her down Our Price buying a DVD of Animal Magic... In fact, this mash-up of astounding animals with a comic voiceover owes a huge debt to the much-missed Johnny Morris, though it's a darn sight cheekier thanks to the vocal talents of Jason Manford. Smashing family fun.As Seen On TV, 15th August 2009
Readers of a certain age will have fond memories of Animal Magic, the highlight of which was always Johnny Morris doing comedy voiceovers of zoo animals. I dimly remember his camel voice being hilarious to my six-year-old self. This new teatime series follows the same principle, but with the likes of Stephen Fry and Jason Manford putting funny voices on footage of animals in the wild. Fry plays a languorous panda reflecting on fame as he chews bamboo. There are dancing badgers and puffins singing Chas & Dave songs. There are ants trying to mug a beetle, a seal waking from a bad dream, and a crime-fighting hawk chasing down bad-guy lizards ("No-one's above the claw"). Some of it's silly, some of it's a bit lame, but parts are oddly brilliant. It's not necessarily the ideas that look good on paper that work best: a rodent repeatedly shouting "Alan!" is very funny, as is a bug hopelessly trying to climb a sand dune. It's simple, innocent fun that grown-ups and kids can laugh at together.David Butcher, Radio Times, 15th August 2009
This new series sets comic voice-overs to wildlife footage. Critics may claim it's another example of lowest-common-denominator humour, in the manner of ITV1's Animals Do the Funniest Things, yet it's hard not to smile at the sight of a weight-obsessed panda and a hip hop-loving badger. The filming is provided by the BBC's Natural History Unit; the voices are those of comedians including Jason Manford (8 Out of 10 Cats) and Steve Edge (Phoenix Nights). Throughout the series various well-known people, including Stephen Fry, Richard E. Grant, Barbara Windsor and Sir Tom Jones, also lend their larynxes to the creatures featured.The Telegraph, 15th August 2009