The National Parks - America's Best Idea

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Overview

The critically acclaimed, award winning producer-director Ken Burns introduces a breathtaking, compelling view of the American landscape with his latest release, The National Parks America’s Best Idea. Shot in HD, this six disc, six-part documentary series features 12 hours of stunning cinematography, biographies of compelling characters, and a narrative featuring the voice of Peter Coyote that traces the birth of the national park idea in the mid-1800s and follows its evolution for nearly 150 years. National ...
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Overview

The critically acclaimed, award winning producer-director Ken Burns introduces a breathtaking, compelling view of the American landscape with his latest release, The National Parks America’s Best Idea. Shot in HD, this six disc, six-part documentary series features 12 hours of stunning cinematography, biographies of compelling characters, and a narrative featuring the voice of Peter Coyote that traces the birth of the national park idea in the mid-1800s and follows its evolution for nearly 150 years. National Parks features first-person voices read by some of America’s greatest actors, including: Tom Hanks, Andy Garcia, John Lithgow, Kevin Conway, George Takei, Adam Arkin, Josh Lucas, Eli Wallach and more.
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Special Features

Disc 1: Episode One - “The Scripture of Nature” (1851-1890), plus "The Making of The National Parks" (in Blu-ray High Definition)
Disc 2: Episode Two - “The Last Refuge” (1890-1915), plus "Capturing the Parks - A Behind-the-Scenes Look" (in Blu-ray High Definition)
Disc 3: Episode Three - “The Empire of Grandeur” (1915-1919), plus "Musical Journeys Through the National Parks" (in Blu-ray High Definition)
Disc 4: Episode Four - “Going Home” (1920-1933), plus "An Interview with Nevada Barr & The Boss - Outtakes" (in Blu-ray High Definition)
Disc 5: Episode Five - “Great Nature” (1933-1945), plus "The National Parks - This is America" (in Blu-ray High Definition)
Disc 6: Episode Six - “The Morning of Creation” (1946-1980), plus "Contemporary Stories from America’s National Parks" (in Blu-ray High Definition)
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/6/2009
  • UPC: 097360724042
  • Original Release: 2009
  • Rating:

  • Source: Pbs Paramount
  • Region Code: A
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Language: Español
  • Time: 12:30:00
  • Format: Blu-ray

Cast & Crew

Technical Credits
Ken Burns Producer
Dayton Duncan Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 86 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(35)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(14)

2 Star

(13)

1 Star

(8)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 86 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    FANTABULOUS!!!!!!!!!!

    I watched the National Parks series on PBS this past week. The photography of the scenery in the parks is superb. The show explains how we got the parks: the personalities, the issues, the effects of Congress and a few Presidents. The presentation is "fantabulous". Whether or not you saw the series on PBS, this DVD would be a great treat for yourself and even your friends and family. All week I have been humming the background music. I hope the CD does not have words, but just the background music for the show. I saw the book at the store. It contains the script from the show and is a great companion to the DVD. The only thing I did not like about the book was the small number of pictures of the scenery. I hope at some future date Ken Burns will publish a book with the fabulous photographs of the national parks with labels. The photography on the PBS show is some of the best I have seen of the parks. The photography on the DVD should be fantastic.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    B&N Exclusive Editions do not seem to be in Widescreen

    I have purchased the B&N Exclusive Editions of this for Christmas gifts, so while I cannot open them to confirm, after reading the DVD boxes, I have concluded that these are NOT in widescreen format. I also purchased the DVD WITHOUT the cd and booklet, and found that IS widescreen. It also seems the B&N Exclusive Edition for Blu-ray for this DVD is NOT widescreen. The other Blu-ray DVD,(without the cd and booklet), IS widescreen.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Amazing stories about unique characters in American history

    The history of our national parks is almost as incredible as the parks themselves. Each park has its own story. Each park owes its existence to a special group of people who dedicated their energy, their wealth, and their health (in some cases) to the cause of preserving some of the most beautiful places on Earth for future generations. We also learn much about the forces that got in the way: forces beholden to special interests such as the US Congress (surprise), which refused public funding for the parks until the FDR era; forces such as James Henry Cameron and his prospector cronies; and even the National Forest Service, an unlikely nemesis to John Muir and the preservationists. I can go on and on and on. In any case, this is one series that must be seen by every American patriot, lover of history, and lover of the natural beauty - flora & fauna and land forms - of the United States.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Sensational!

    Ken Burns is at his BEST! My husband and I love everything Burns does, and this "National Parks - America's Best Idea" is no exception. The visuals are breathtaking, the soundtrack gorgeous, and the wealth of information deeply satisfying. And to put a long-held question to rest, though the outer packaging mentions nothing, the BARNES & NOBLE EXCLUSIVE EDITION IS PRESENTED IN WIDESCREEN FORMAT! Enjoy; this is historic storytelling at its finest.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    You'll Want to see them all . . . !

    This collection about America's National Parks is fabulous! The history, the stories shared and spectacular photos will make you want to see each and every National Park during every season. Ken Burns has outdone himself again. It makes us proud of our America and thankful to all those that have and will persevere to ensure that these natural resources are preserved for us and the generations to come.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    National Parks - America's Best Idea

    excellent in every way!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    OMGosh GOOOOOD!

    My husband gave me this set for my birthday, blue ray with the book.
    I watched the first disk three times before I could start disk two. This is the single most amazing documentary I have ever had the pleasure of viewing, it is a MUST MUST MUST for anyone even remotely interested in the history of, or our parks - period.
    I think anyone homeschooling kids should invest in this series and tie it in with their history and geography lessons.

    POWERFUL POWERFUL piece!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    B&N Exclusive Edition is in WIDE SCREEN

    Just purchased B&N Exclusive Edition and it is filmed in WIDE SCREEN!!!!

    From the back of the box: "This film is presented in "widescreen" format. The black bars on the top and bottom of the screen are normal. Enhanced for 16 x 9 televisions,"

    I watched the last disc and didn't see any bars.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 23, 2011

    Best buy!

    This series must rank as one of PBS's most ambitious projects. To take the National Parks and cover, in depth, their history and grandeur is no light matter but Ken Burns was up to the challenge. Each episode is filled with shots of incredible beauty and historic significance. People like John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt, to name two of many, had history making influence on not only the parks but on the nation as well. At firstI thought the set was too pricey but, after I finally bit the bullet, I was glad I bought it. Keep in mind the set has 6 disks with one episode per disk pluss extensive specials that total up to over 2 hr per disk. Each eipsode is movie length. Anyone who says "TV is a vast wasteland" should watch this series. LastRanger

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2010

    Great gift

    I got this as gift, now I am going give this to my family for Christmas!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2010

    Highly recommended

    Great. You just have to check this out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    What a wonderful way to see the beauty in our world

    I found this very interesting and amazing to hear about the history of our wonderful parks. The stamina of many of those who not only found these places of beauty but made it possible to save it for many years to come..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    National Parks - America's Best Idea

    This should be seen on the big screen, Imax, etc. No matter how big your TVs might be, the beauty of it all is hard to comprehend. Hope to visit some of these parks and will add to by "bucket list."

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    New prospective on the National Parks

    Give a historic view of the National Parks with fantastic views of the parks as well. It is almost like being there. Gives you a great opportunity to decide which park you want to visit and what to see when you are there.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Ken Burns has done it again!

    National Parks - America's Best Idea is another fine production from Ken Burns, et al. Not only are there numerous beautiful photos taken in our national parks but also the narrative easily leads the viewer through the turmoil among the various social factions associated with the development of the park system. Additionally, the film does a good job in portraying many individuals that played key roles in developing and opposing national parks. If you are not much into reading about history, then sit back and enjoy.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Good overview of the deveopment of the wilderness concept.

    A good book to read if you are interested in the development of the National Park attitudes and management policies for their wilderness areas. Interesting discussion of the thoughts on just what a 'wilderness area' is and what the differences are between a wilderness area and a non-wilderness area. Are all un-developed natural areas wilderness? How much development turns a wilderness area into something else? This book works well as a companion to the US Forest Service history titled 'The Greatest Good'.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Awesome

    Another outstanding production by Ken Burns--that alone should tell you how wonderful this is, but the visuals are beyond belief. He can find the most amazing hidden gems in public places like our National Park system that will make everyone want to visit every single park for their individual and unique beauty.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Amazing

    This set of DVDs is amazing. It has so many beautiful images and the history of the parks was really neat to hear. They are very captivating. We are already planning our trip to our next National Park this summer! This documentary inspired us to go to as many as possible.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    An engaging and informative DVD of how our national parks system came to exist.

    The inspiring story of our National Parks should remind each of us that we can make a difference individually and as a group. We each have a voice to participate in the future direction of our world and we should use it. National Parks truly was one of America's best ideas.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I had watched the whole series on TV and it is excellent. I gave the DVD as a gift.

    I bought the DVD as a gift. They have not yet watched it, but I know they will love it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 86 Customer Reviews