DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

Great Smoky Mountains, Crown Jewel of the Appalachians, Blu-ray (2012)
Yellowstone, The World’s First National Park, Blu-ray (2012)

Two of the six virtual tours of our National Parks on Blu-ray.

Published on October 28, 2012

Great Smoky Mountains, Crown Jewel of the Appalachians, Blu-ray (2012)
Yellowstone, The World’s First National Park, Blu-ray (2012)

National Parks Exploration Series Virtual Tours
Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment [9/4/12]
Video: 16:9 1080p HD color
Audio: English DD 2.0
Music: David Arkenstone
Length: Smoky – 1 hr. 16 min.; Yellowstone – 1 hr. 8 min.
Rating: ****

These are just two of a series of six video tours of our leading national parks. The cinematography is good, though occasionally there is a contrast between the shots that are done from a tripod and those with a hand-held camera. The tours are divided up into section on the history, animal life, geology, and other subjects connected with the parks. Among the presenters are various park rangers who explain some of the wonders of each park to the viewer.

The Great Smoky Park covers over 500,000 acres and has the highest mountains of the entire Appalachians—which surprisingly extend all the way up thru Maine and into Quebec. The name of course comes from the mountains appearing to be blue from a distance. It is described as one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on earth. In addition to the breath-taking beauty of the nature scenes, there are also historic old buildings, and portions with the local Cherokee native Americans.

Yellowstone first became a national pari in 1872 under President Ulysses S. Grant. It covers 2.2 million acres of wilderness, and is the only temperate ecosystem large enough to contain a collection of large predator animals and their prey. Of course the many geysers and hot springs of this very active geothermal area are shown and discussed, including Old Faithful. Some aerial shots make both virtual tours more interesting.

—John Sunier




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