One hundred years ago, areas of great natural beauty were declared protected for eternity. A team of modern day explorers take an off-trail adventure, through the national parks of the USA, showing the beauty of the parks that is awe inspiring.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: Shout Factory - 2016
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 43 minutes
Genre: Documentary

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: MVC/HEVC
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, French/Spanish DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH
Starring: Robert Redford
Directed by: Greg MacGillivray
Music by: Steve Wood
Written by:Stephen Judson and Tim Cahill
Region Code: A

Release Date: July 24, 2018
"Discover the Wild Places That Belong to Us All"
My Take:

The power of America's national parks is undeniable. Millions have packed up the family to hike through impossibly lush forests, to gaze upon towering cliffs and deep-plunging canyons, to witness the breathtaking arcs of natural history, and, most of all, to share moments of wonder amid the protected treasures of this land. A MacGillivray Freeman film produced in association with Brand USA and narrated by Academy Award (R) winner Robert Redford, National Parks Adventure is acclaimed filmmaker Greg MacGillivray's most visually ambitious giant-screen film to date-a film that offers not only a sweeping overview of the national parks' history but, is equal parts adrenaline-pumping odyssey and soulful reflection on what the wilderness means to us all.

I found this short documentary film to be interesting and thoroughly entertaining as it provides intriguing details and spectacular imagery of these beautiful and rightfully protected locations in our country. Kudos to the filmmakers and the production teams for their dedication and effort.

Replay Value: 3.5 Stars

Parental Guide:

This film is appropriate for all audiences.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

UHD Presentation: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

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Dolby Atmos Rating: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

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National Parks Adventure comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Shout Factory featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/True HD 7.1 channel sound.

For its presentation in Ultra HD National Parks Adventure (filmed on authentic 15 perf. 70 MM negative, and originally exhibited in IMAX theaters) was rendered from a 4K DI.

This is a terrific Ultra HD presentation that looks superb on my large screen. As with most high resolution sourced ultra HD renderings I have seen, the thing that immediately stands out is the lifelike reproduction of the textures captured by the camera's lens. Whether it's the crisp details in physical make up of both live and inanimate objects or the majestic vistas of the park lands, the imagery is breathtaking. The benefits of high dynamic range are nearly as stark as earth toned colors have an added dimension that enlivens shots where they would normally have blended in, being seen as a less provocative background element that would generally go unnoticed. This is especially true of various levels of sepia, blue, and green seen in the sun splashed west. Whites are emboldened, detailed and bright, especially as seen in the seemingly sculptured cave ice or erupting geyser at Yellowstone. Contrast is noticeably emboldened, lending an authenticity that underscores the subject matter, bringing it to a visually compelling level.

National Parks Adventure includes 4K standard dynamic range and high dynamic range viewing options, with the latter requiring an Ultra HD TV with high dynamic range support for access. This is among the better looking Ultra HD presentations that have graced my system. Kudos to Shout Factory, on a great Ultra HD viewing experience.

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the moderately active variety, which considering the source material, was a pleasant surprise. Its use of audio objects placed above is comprised of a mix of atmospherics, acoustic sounds and nearfield effects. This is done to good effect when implemented and creates an enriching level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. The music is mixed over the platform so as to add natural depth to its orchestrated elements without drawing attention away from the thematic details of what is transpiring onscreen. While this mix doesn’t make constant use of attention grabbing audio object placement, I found myself completely involved when it mattered. I found this to be an enjoyable audio presentation that assuredly complimented the source material.

For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Blu-ray Video:

Video: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

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Audio: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

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National Parks Adventure comes to Blu-ray Disc from Shout Factory featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

This is a reference quality high definition presentation that boasts brilliant colors, superlative depth, and an abundance of high level detail. The nature defined color palette is alluring as the deep, vivid blues, and resplendent earth toned hues leap from the 1.78:1 framed video. Contrast balance is spot on as the various shades of gray are gradationally revealing and whites appear bright with crisp highlights that preserve detail. Blacks are delineated, deep, and rich, which works hand in hand with the definitive shadow detail to provide low level images with excellent perspective and depth of field. Resolution is impeccable as the vastness and scope of the recorded elements offers lucid, three-dimensional acuity that is extraordinary. The beautifully captured images of the various shooting locations are captivating as the richness of color, transparently rendered detail, and near infinite sense of depth and dimension are assuredly conveyed in high definition.

The high-resolution Dolby Atmos/True HD 7.1 (core) sound has solid dynamic range and detail. Dialog is articulately reproduced through the center channel and maintains a position of prominence within the front soundstage. This isn’t an aggressive surround mix but when applied the surround channels generate plenty of atmosphere and where appropriate, discrete sound placement. Front and rear channel imaging is spot on as details and spatial cues mate perfectly with the images onscreen. Low frequency effects provide richness to the music and live sounds. I found this to be an entertaining and complimentary audio presentation.

3D Blu-ray Video:

3D Presentation: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

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This IMAX 3D presentation boasts an abundance of high level detail, and beautifully rendered color. Contrast is spot on as the various shades of the color spectrum are gradationally revealing while whites appear bright with crisp highlights that preserve detail. Blacks are delineated, deep, and rich, which provides low level images with excellent perspective and depth of field. The gorgeous wide angle vistas make excellent use of the 3D platform and prove entertaining. The 1.78:1 presentation is whistle clean and free from distracting crosstalk/ghosting.

Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: National Parks Adventure Ultra HD Blu-ray
    Disc 2: National Parks Adventure 2D/3D Blu-ray
  • (HD) Making of Documentary
  • (HD) Bonus Videos
  • (HD) 4K IMAX Trailers
  • Digital HD Copy
Final Thoughts:

Narrated by Academy Award winner Robert Redford, National Parks Adventure is an informative and beautifully captured expose on the beauty and importance of protecting America’s National Parks. It comes to home video in this Ultra HD/3D/2D Blu-ray Combo pack from Shout Factory featuring sparking Ultra HD video quality, rewarding lossless surround sound, including a Dolby Atmos mix, and a fair supplemental offering. National Parks Adventure is an easy recommendation for genre fans and high definition video enthusiasts that appreciated a well-crafted and worthwhile film experience.
Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from  Spectracal )
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems