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Prehistoric America
Prehistoric America
Genres: Documentary
NR     2003     5hr 0min

Prehistoric America takes us on a journey through the prehistory of North America - beginning 14,000 years ago when people were first entering this vast and beautiful continent. Witness ancient beasts, mammoths, mastodons,...  more »


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Movie Details

Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Documentary
Studio: BBC
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 07/15/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/2003
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2003
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 5hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Repetitive and tedious.
S. Behunin | 09/19/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)

"I loved the Walking With Dinosaurs/Allosarus/Prehistoric Beasts series so I ordered this based on the Amazon Editorial Review.It does not compare favorably. It appears there wasn't enough animal diversity in America to do a six part series so this series chose to come up with variations on a formula script set in different locals featuring basically the same animals over and over again. Making it even worse is that CGI budget must have been very limited. Shots are reused so often that by the mid point of episode two you are expiriencing deja vue. After that it's like watching stock footage.And speaking of stock footage, there's way too much footage of modern day counterparts to the prehistoric animals. I found my self fast fowarding through the last three episodes looking for something interesting.There wasn't much! The two additional Full length programs weren't much better."
A Great Dissapointment.
S. Behunin | Bountiful, Utah United States | 11/15/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Obviously Computer Generated. Fades from modern to ancient times to increase length without having to computer generate animals, which I found exceptionally anoying. Limited on the number of animals shown over and over again. They even used animals that died out here but not in other places of the world. That was fine with me. At least those looked real. Don't waste your time or money on this one. I expected something more like "Walking with Dinosaurs". Boy was I wrong.

Discovery channel made this longer version. They sell a shorter version for almost twice the price with half the footage. I unfortunately purchased both. I won't buy anything from the Discovery Channel any more. No way. I was extremely dissapointed. Especially with the more expensive but shorter version they sell. They are the same program. I expected much more from them. This was a waste of time and money. You would never guess they are the same program. This version comes in a case and contains 2 DVDs with two, 50 minute programs each. The other has 3 DVDs with about 1 hour each and has a case for each DVD. Who would have guessed they were the same program. Even the covers and titles of the programs are different. Never again. Even if they are able to make real looking animals in the future."
DANGER: Hunams Kill Animals
John A Lee III | San Antonio, TX | 03/31/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"There is an undisguised environmentalist streak running through this series but it is still quite good. The major focus, except for the last episode, is the fauna of North America during the last ice age.

The general pattern is as follows: an area is chosen and its climate is explained. Fossil evidence is examined as are the analogs provided by species which are still alive. From that, "a typical day" is constructed from the evidence.

Episode Synopses follow:

Land of the Mammoth - This episode concentrates on the animals of Beringia, the land mass exposed between Alaska and Siberia about 14,000 years ago. It is a harsh, northern climate, cold and dry. The star of the show is the wooly mammoth but there are other beasts examined as well. Some are still alive today and some are extinct. All are part of the eat or be eaten web of life. Only the very briefest mention is made of the top predator, man.

Canyonlands - This episode still takes place during the Pleistocene ice age but the environment is much different. It focuses on the region around the Grand Canyon. It was still magnificent back then and a harsh environment but it was moister too. Many of the animals in this one are familiar but there is a survey of extinct varieties as well. These include saber toothed cats, giant sloths and another variety of mammoth. The predation of man plays a bigger role in this episode.

Ice Age Oasis - This episode looks at the area of Florida which had quite a different climate at the time of the ice age. Mastodon, a relative of the mammoth, roamed the land as did giant armadillos and saber tooth cats. A sloth the height of a giraffe is another spectacular example. Along with these now extinct species were some that are still extant. The most dangerous of these was man.

Edge of the Ice - I think this is probably the best episode on the first disk. It does not spend as much time dealing with novel animals but the ones it does examine are covered in a bit more depth. It takes place in the Pacific Northwest. Instead of being covered by glaciers, it is depicted here as being on the edge of the ice and having grasslands and forests. The fauna, primarily mammoths, mastodons and scimitar toothed cats have been encountered in previous episodes but more time is devoted to their natural history. More time is spent with man as well. Instead of positing the first people arriving by the Beringia land bridge, it posits island hoping nomads in boats. It is well done.

American Serengeti - In this look at the Great Plains during the ice age, we are introduced to more mastodons, the short faced bear and a variety of animals that have close relatives in Africa. These include lions, cheetahs, camels, zebras a few who are still around in America like prairie dogs and bison.

Mammoths to Manhattan - The title of this episode is misleading. While it does, indeed, deal a bit with "Manhattan", the main subject is the extinction of the Ice Age creatures, the adaptation of others and the introduction from Europe of still more. The general thrust is that no species has survived the introduction of man to the environment without some changes. This is most true with Europeans.
Prehistoric America: A review
Charles Nieves | New York, USA | 08/26/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I have to be honest, the 1st time I watched this, I was a bit disappointed. I felt there was a bit too much focus on current species. However, upon reading more about this era, I realized that animals that are still there today do in fact play a big part of the fauna of this era as well, as do the extinct mega-fauna that are no longer with us. The program is very informative, and while some of the CG shots do tend to re-occur, I found the overall presentation of the product to be excellent. If you go into it knowing that you'll see a lot of information on current animals as well as those no longer with us, you should be very satisfied with this DVD. The only real lingering drawback for me is that no mention whatsoever is made of the Dire Wolf, and given that the same La Brea tar pits that yielded so many Smilodon skeletons also had even greater deposits of Dire Wolf remains, it does strike me as a glaring omission. Still, I'd have no problem recommending this program."