"`America's National Parks' is not only a video tour of these locations, it is also something of a history and trivia lesson in that a good amount of information is offered about each area. As far as visuals are concerned, the cinematography really is something special to look at. The narration throughout the program is distinct and nicely paced in my opinion also. I've been fortunate enough to travel all over the world and one word that sticks in my mind about America is `diversity' because there is so much to see and experience and we are very blessed to have what we do. And we appreciate what we have.
To be quite honest, before seeing this program, I had no idea there were 55 different national parks in America. Now that I do know and having seen them all on this wonderful documentary, I want to rush out and see every one of them (even the few I've already visited). I'm sure that others seeing this material will probably feel the same way. It is simply inspiring just to watch and appreciate these beautiful and unspoiled landscapes.
Two special features are included in this DVD set. The first is entitled `Symphony to America's National Parks' and is music from classical composers set to a video montage of outstanding scenery lasting about 30 minutes (there is a different one for each disc). The second is called `Our Fragile Heritage' and at about 5 minutes long, it is basically a public service announcement with an important message. It talks about the importance of preservation and visitor's responsibilities inside the parks and I feel it is a useful compliment to the main program.
I highly recommend this documentary to everyone. This is worth watching over and over and it would be a worthwhile addition, in my opinion, to any DVD collection. Enjoy. "
Traveler | 07/24/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This video at times almost seemed like a history lesson and did not fully capture the excitement of the National Parks. Our National Parks are amazing; unfortunately this video was at times uninspired. Look for a more exciting guide to the Parks "
If it's not the best, it's darn close!
BakerStacy | 12/31/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've watched plenty of the documentaries available on the National Parks. Most of them were shot in the 70's during the 'hiking craze', are badly ported to DVD and the narration brings you back to the days spent watching the second hands of the classroom clock tick slowly by. They cover a half dozen to a dozen of the now *58 plus national parks, at best. I'd rate most two to three stars, and only because I'm comparing them to each other; one tedious hour after another.
This two disk set covers virtually *all of the parks and provides a variety of footage, from the very first moving pictures to the modern wide angle cinematography we've grown accustomed to. It's not high def, but it's clear and pleasing to the eye, while still providing some of the same 1970's views you'll recognize from it's predecessors (which explains some of the bad footage commented on by other reviewers). The narrator is interesting, vibrant and brings to life a detailed history of so many of our national treasures.
Due to the lack of capital available for such limited audience projects like documentaries, some of the narration and footage are recycled. They couldn't even shoot a whole blockbuster picture like the latest Batman movie in IMAX - it was simply too cost prohibitive, so it simply has to be forgiven. It does take away from some of the grandeur, but you can never experience a national park on screen, no matter how amazing the footage. You simply HAVE to see it yourself.
The three or so hours you'll spend watching this documentary will have you hunting for your pack, waterproofing your boots and google-mapping how to get there before you even finish watching!
A genuine treat for the 'National Park Nerd', 'History Buff', or anyone who has even a passing curiosity of what is out there.
*The disk is missing the following three parks as of 12/31/2008: Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio; Congaree National Park, South Carolina; Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado, each created after it was feasible/possible for them to be included in this DVD: 10/11/2000, 11/10/2003, 9/24/2004 respectively. "
America's National Parks
Yvonne Cashion | VISALIA, CA United States | 02/06/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Both DVDs were great. The photography exceptional and the background music appropriate. The narrator's voice was easy to listen to and easily understandable. I'd recommend it to anyone."
White Noise for the Eyes
MLRhoadhouse | mid atlantic region USA | 01/17/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Need a respite from everyday life? Not feeling up to the pace of an action thriller? Don't have time for an entire movie? The twin DVD set, America's National Parks - A Video Tour of All 55 National Parks, is a perfect armchair getaway. Packed with jaw-dropping scenery shots, its peppered with historical footage, and seeded with details about the evolution of our National Park system --- and the individual parks in particular. Did you know we had 55 National Parks? I didn't. And this presentation easily lends itself to being viewed in segments. This item would make a great gift for anyone interested in our natural world and/or the history of the park system, not to mention the elderly, infirm, and the just plain frazzled."