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National Parks Adventure

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    84
    from 3 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • A must-have visually stunning 4K Ultra HD celebration of U.S. National Parks with immersive Atmos sound and valuable extras.

    National Parks Adventure 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    90
  • Incredible visual fidelity across Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and 3-D formats, boasting lifelike textures, stunning landscapes, and vibrant colors, though HDR's intense contrast occasionally overpowers scenes.

  • Audio
    89
  • The Dolby Atmos mix offers a pleasantly immersive experience, perfectly complementing the material with detailed audio placement and rich environmental sounds, enhancing both serene and dramatic moments without overshadowing onscreen events.

  • Extra
    75
  • National Parks Adventure 4K/UHD features detailed behind-the-scenes on making and filming, with a mix of 1080p/SDR and 4K content, digital copy, and insights from Robert Redford and Greg MacGillivray.

  • Movie
    83
  • National Parks Adventure is a visually stunning film by Greg MacGillivray, capturing the grandeur of US parks with IMAX excellence, narrated by Robert Redford.

    Video: 90

    The 4K UHD presentation of "National Parks Adventure" delivers a visually stunning experience that is a testament to the power of high-resolution footage and the mastery of Ultra HD technology. From the outset, viewers are treated to lifelike reproductions of textures and details that are so vivid it feels as if one could reach out and touch them. The clarity and depth of the imagery, from the intricate physical makeup of natural objects and live creatures to the majestic landscapes of the parks, are enhanced significantly by HDR; the dynamic range increases the visual impact of earth-toned colors, making scenes more lively and engaging. Whites appear brighter and more detailed, especially noticeable in the sculptured ice formations and geysers at Yellowstone, while contrast is significantly bolstered, lending an authenticity that elevates the visual narrative of the documentary to a compelling level.

    Despite a few shortcomings noted in heavily processed scenes where HDR seems to have been overemphasized, leading to an artificial appearance in some shots, the overall video quality of the UHD version, especially with HDR enabled, is remarkable. The color palette brought about by HDR adds incredible depth to rock faces, skies, and vegetation, drawing viewers deeper into the sheer beauty of nature. However, some may find the balance between HDR's vibrancy and SDR's subdued tone challenging, with SDR lacking punch in direct comparison. Yet, for those unable to experience the 3D version—which is arguably the most immersive—alternating between HDR and SDR can still offer a fulfilling viewing experience.

    The documentary’s prowess in video quality extends beyond its HDR showcase. The 1080p Blu-ray presentation impresses with fine grain visible against crisp blue skies, allowing complex details such as rock formations and wildlife to be displayed with astounding clarity. The image maintains crispness through every frame, enabling a detailed appreciation of natural colors, stable earth tones, and realistic skin tones. Furthermore, the 4K/SDR combination strikes a delicate balance for those seeking a middle ground in color intensity. Despite occasional issues with color processing in some scenes under HDR, the 4K presentation—with its HEVC encoding, 2160p resolution, and BD-66 layering—ensures an exceptionally clean and noise-free viewing experience that highlights the intrinsic beauty of America’s national parks with an unprecedented level of detail and color reproduction.

    Audio: 89

    The audio presentation of the "National Parks Adventure" 4K UHD Blu-Ray, primarily through its Dolby Atmos soundtrack, elevates the viewing experience with its dynamic range and immersive quality. The mix strikingly balances atmospheric elements and detailed sound effects—such as the delicate sounds of wildlife and the impactful echoes of natural phenomena—creating a captivating auditory canvas that complements the visual spectacle without overwhelming it. Music tracks are spread across the soundstage with grandiosity, adding to the majestic feel of the landscapes showcased. The use of overhead audio objects, though not overly discrete, plays a significant role in enveloping the viewer, offering moments where the sounds of nature, like snow falling or winds blowing, enhance the realism and depth of the scenes.

    The technical delivery of audio is notable, with a precise focus on the clarity and placement of vocals—Robert Redford's narration is particularly well-positioned, ensuring that dialogue remains central and intelligible amidst the rich environmental soundscape. Though the disc defaults to a 5.1 mix, the Atmos setting reveals an extraordinary level of detail in sound object placement, from the subtlety of footsteps on snow to the expansive echo of roaring fires and streaming water. The low frequency extension provides a solid foundation, bringing subtle touches to life that pulse through the subwoofer, effectively enriching every scene without becoming intrusive.

    Interactions between the Atmos track and other audio elements are seamless, with music, ambient sounds, and dialogue integrated in a manner that feels both natural and purposefully designed to draw the listener deeper into the adventure. The surround sound presentation is commendable for its ability to transport the audience directly into the heart of America's wilderness, fully realizing the environment whether expansively outdoors or within more confined spaces. This carefully engineered audio experience underscores and amplifies the awe-inspiring beauty of the national parks depicted, making for an exceptionally rewarding auditory journey.

    Extra: 75

    National Parks Adventure 4K UHD Blu-ray enhances the viewing experience not just with stunning visuals of America's greatest natural wonders but also with an array of enriching extras spanning both the Ultra HD and standard Blu-ray discs. All extras are presented in high definition, with select 4K trailers exclusive to the UHD disc. The compilation includes behind-the-scenes footage capturing the rigor and beauty of outdoor filmmaking—from the precision in capturing bears in Alaska to battling frigid conditions in Michigan. It features insightful discussions on the importance of national parks, highlighted by conversations with Greg MacGillivray and Robert Redford, who both underscore the cultural and historical significance of these preserved lands. The included digital copy ensures these inspiring landscapes and the efforts behind their cinematic portrayal are easily accessible."

    Extras included in this disc:

    Making of Documentary: Insight into the documentary's creation.

    Bonus Videos: Additional behind-the-scenes content.

    4K IMAX Trailers: Exclusive trailers in 4K quality.

    Digital HD Copy: A digital version of the film for portable viewing.

    Movie: 83

    National Parks Adventure," brought to vivid life on 4K UHD Blu-ray by Shout! Factory, eloquently captures the awe-inspiring beauty of America's national parks. Narrated by the distinguished Robert Redford and crafted by the acclaimed Greg MacGillivray, this film is a visually stunning journey that marries heart-pounding adventure with a deep, insightful reflection on the wilderness and its profound significance to humanity. The presentation on 4K UHD is nothing short of spectacular, delivering reference-quality video that, alongside a Dolby Atmos audio track, serves to immerse the viewer in the majesty of the natural world. This release not only showcases the technical capabilities of the format but also exemplifies how technology can enhance our appreciation of nature's splendors.

    The trio of naturalists and thrill-seekers, Conrad Anker, Max Lowe, and Rachel Pohl, provide a human element to this odyssey, guiding viewers through iconic locations such as Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, and Glacier National Park. Their experiences, framed by Redford's narration, offer a personal perspective on these vast landscapes. The film excels in its ability to capture both the grandeur and the minute intricacies of the parks' ecosystems with breathtaking clarity. The IMAX photography ensures that every frame is a testament to the natural beauty of these protected areas. Despite its relatively brief runtime and the wish for more in-depth exploration of each park, the film effectively communicates the wonder and importance of these national treasures.

    This edition's inclusion of both Blu-ray and 4K UHD formats, along with exceptional audiovisual quality, makes "National Parks Adventure" a compelling addition to any home video collection. While some may argue that the true essence of these parks can only be experienced in person, this film undeniably succeeds in bringing a significant part of their majesty into the living room. It's an invitation to embark on a breathtaking journey through America's greatest natural wonders, beautifully captured with technical brilliance and emotional depth.

    Total: 84

    National Parks Adventure" emerges as a visually splendid tribute to the grandeur of America's National Parks, offered in a Shout Factory Ultra HD/3D/2D Blu-ray Combo pack. This film strikes an impressive balance between educational content, conservationist messaging, and breathtaking cinematic explorations of natural wonders. While its duration may leave audiences craving a deeper dive into each park's unique splendor, the overall presentation delivers a compelling case for the importance of these natural reserves. The Ultra HD video quality shines with sparkling clarity and vivid colors that, despite occasionally veering towards over-saturation, greatly enhance the viewing experience. The addition of a Dolby Atmos mix elevates the aural experience to match, with lossless surround sound that complements the visual spectacle.

    The film's standout feature is undoubtedly its visual presentation across all formats, with special accolades for the 3-D image quality and the vibrant Ultra HD experience that showcases the parks in unparalleled detail and color complexity. This serves not only as an educational tool but also as a benchmark for home entertainment technology, demonstrating the substantive difference high-quality visuals and sound can make. However, the narrative's focus on a group exploring the parks, while humanizing, at times detracts from the purely naturalistic spectacle that many viewers may seek. The accompanying extras, though somewhat fragmented, provide valuable context and could benefit from integration into a more cohesive featurette.

    In conclusion, "National Parks Adventure" is an essential acquisition for enthusiasts of both America's natural landscapes and cutting-edge home theatre technology. Its minor narrative distractions do little to detract from the overwhelming visual and auditory brilliance that makes this presentation a must-have. This film not only serves as a demonstration of the leaps in 4K technology but stands as a compelling call to action for the preservation of natural beauty. Very highly recommended for those looking to experience the awe-inspiring majesty of America's National Parks from the comfort of their home.