Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Marty Stouffer's Wild America Collector's Edition |
Actor: Marty Stouffer
Director: Marty Stouffer
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Documentary
Marty Stouffer's Wild America was the first wildlife and nature series to focus exclusively on the wild animals and wild lands of North America. Now for the first time ever you can own the last six seasons of Marty Stouffe... more »
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Laura F. (papaschild) from KANSAS CITY, MO
Reviewed on 2/17/2009...
Fascinating nature footage divided into episodes that focus on one specific animal or habitat per episode. Very easy to find specific information that way; great for homeschooling.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
North American Wildlife Presentation to Inspire Future Conse
Juscz | Puerto Rico | 02/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a professional biologist, it is my view that one cannot say enough good things about the complete 12 seasons of "Marty Stouffer's Wild America" series that are currently available in two separate 12-DVD sets (seasons 1 - 6 and seasons 7 - 12). Both volumes, collectively containing some 120 half-hour episodes, cover a great breadth of North American wildlife (and, given their high level of educational entertainment, they are notably very affordable). While the focus is largely on birds and mammals, there are several episodes devoted to reptiles, invertebrates (e.g., butterflies and mollusks), National Parks, human-wild animal interactions, animal adaptations, and plants/trees.
Having been produced primarily through the 1980s and aired on PBS, the greatest strengths of the "Wild America" series can be summarized as follows:
*educational family entertainment par excellence
*riveting wildlife-in-action scenes throughout; this often consists of a predator in pursuit of prey (almost always shown in both real time as well as slow motion), foraging activities, mating behaviors/rituals, and newborns exploring their environments
*superb environment or habitat scenes that function to give us a better sense of how the organism under consideration survives
*interesting, clear, concise narration delivered in Marty Stouffer's uniquely relaxed manner; Stouffer's judicious and intelligent use of commentary allows the scenes to largely speak for themselves, yet one always feels informed on some important basic biological aspects of the organism
*minimal intrusion of the film crew upon the wildlife; we generally sense that every effort was made to capture the organisms in their natural state, independent of human influence (there's no jumping on or wrestling with alligators)
*Stouffer's simple summary at the conclusion of each episode, always made with a view towards appreciating and conserving the featured organism(s) and its/their environment
*pleasant accompanying music (the theme "tune" for the series is catchy)
*the capacity to continue to inspire new and future generations to better know and appreciate the native North American wildlife while also taking up conservation as a cause
*a documentation of much late 20th century North American (mostly macrofauna) wildlife
Because the episodes are almost all of excellent quality, it is rather impossible to decide just which ones to discuss in a bit of detail. Thus, I'll focus on a few that I recently watched.
"Cliffhangers" (season 7, episode 1) introduces the viewer to the mountain goats of Montana's Glacier National Park. The animals are seen up close and gingerly moving about on some extremely sheer cliffs. A newborn "kid" is doted on by its mother as it tests its new legs for the first time. She intervenes when the baby's unsure initial footsteps take it too close to the cliff's edge. The golden eagle is shown soaring among the valley walls as we are informed that this bird, capable of knocking the baby animal off the mountainside, represents the greatest predatory threat to the newborns. The baby goats grow throughout the spring and summer and, following the adults, descend to salt-lick areas to obtain vital minerals essential to their coats. This makes all members susceptible to predation by bears. But it is the winter avalanches that claim more mountain goat lives than anything else. Such is the price that must be paid to occupy this niche that is generally unavailable to other mammals. We see also that as many as 80% of the born-this-year mountain goats do not survive the cold of winter, their body mass often being too small to retain sufficient heat for this season's duration. In the spring, we again see newborn mountain goats, and the cycle begins anew. The viewer comes to realize that life for the mountain goat is constantly beset with danger and that nature has not lessened her hardships for this magnificent animal, despite considerable human encroachment on and destruction of its habitat. This is nature and, characteristically, Stouffer does not shy away from its stark reality. One thus realizes that the mountain goat, like all wildlife, is a treasure that, as citizens of world, we all need to preserve.
"Birds of Prey" (season 8, episode 4) has an incredible scene in which a hare is simultaneously chased down a mountainside by both a fox and a red tailed hawk. The viewer actually sees all three animals (again, in slow motion) in one of the shots. Who do you suppose emerges victorious in this scramble?
"Olympic Odyssey" (season 8, episode 7) introduces us to the environment of Olympic National Park in Washington State. While focusing on the dramatic and diverse animals residing there, certain close-up scenes of water-laden plant life poignantly draw us into the details of this unique rainforest realm.
"Feathered Jewels" (season 3, episode 2) showcases the various species of hummingbirds that live in North America. While of course showing excellent footage of these tiny birds, this episode is also remarkable for the clear explanation it provides of their distribution.
In "King of Snakes" (season 5, episode 3) we are shown the five striking color patterns of the king snake. What might you guess happens when the non-venomous king snake encounters the highly toxic Pacific rattle snake? The result might surprise you!
Episodes 4, 5, and 6 of season 4 are devoted to the cutthroat trout of Yellowstone Lake and the upper Yellowstone River. Given that within the past 10 years or so these fishes have been greatly reduced as a result of the illegal (accidental?) introduction of the lake trout to Yellowstone Lake, it is commendable that this document of the Yellowstone cutthroat trout in its "hey day" exists for the general public.
"Marty Stouffer's Wild America" series deserves a place in every naturalist's/conservationist's/biologist's video library. I anticipate that it will continue to inspire conservation ideals among generations for countless years to come. Indeed, with its profuse employment of up-close scenes and replays in slow motion that allow the viewer to both savor and study the many natural dramas presented, it easily earns a five star rating.
S. Lacock | 08/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My neices and nephews loved the DVDs. Thank God for people like Marty and Jack Hanna and Steve Irwin ,who bring wildlife to the forefront and help us to understand how important our relationship with nature is and the need to conserve the wild animals and their habitats."
Loved the series, DVD set could have been better
Amateur Stargazer | 01/16/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Like the first set, this collection of "Wild America" contains twelve DVD's with about thirty hours of programs. The slim cases each hold two DVD's, but the discs will sometimes come loose inside the cases. The outside box, made of thin cardboard, can easily be damaged and offers little protection to the cases inside. There are no bonus features in this set, although it includes many episodes. Some interviews with Marty Stouffer and the team which produced the programs would have been interesting. But we have only a large collection of episodes in this set without any extras, which is somewhat of a disappointment since "Wild America" was one of the best wildlife documentaries ever made.
If you love the "Wild America" series I would recommend this set, but you might be a little disappointed in the quality of its packaging. The DVD's are okay for sound and picture quality and the programs are complete. It is not an expensive set if you purchase it from one of Amazon's sellers. But it seems we could have been offered something better and more durable since it is supposedly a collector's set, which people will want to own for many years."