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Image Entertainment presents
Yellowstone National Park (1993)



Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: February 06, 2002

Stars: Geysers, waterfalls, nature
Manufacturer: Ritek
MPAA Rating: G
Run Time: 00h:59m:04s
Release Date: January 22, 2002
UPC: 014381114324
Genre: documentary


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ B+B+B+ D+

DVD Review

Situated in the Grand Tetons mountain range of northern Wyoming, Yellowstone became the world's first national park on March 1, 1872, when it was signed into existence by President Ulysses S. Grant. At an average elevation of 8,000 feet above sea level, the park covers over 2.2 million acres—about the same area as the state of Connecticut. Wilderness Video presents another in a series of features highlighting America's natural heritage through its national parks.Yellowstone National Park boasts some of the most unusual natural attractions of any American park, including the some 10,000 thermal features including over 500 gysers, hotsprings, fumaroles (steam vents), and mud pots. Much of the park resides in the 600,000 year old volcanic caldera (the crater of an exploded volcano), seasoned by centuries of subsequent lava flows. Amongst its several basins, Yellowstone boasts the largest concentration of gysers on the planet. Old Faithful, the park's most famous landmark, was named by the surveyor-general of the Montana territory, Henry D. Washburn, who led the first official expedition into the region in 1870. It erupts every 35 to 120 minutes, and is one of six grand gysers in the park, with a maximum height between 90 and 184 feet. Eruptions last from one-and-a-half to five minutes, and this gyser has become one of the most studied in all the world, making it one of the most predictable in the park. Other gysers, such as the cone-type Riverside Gyser can erupt for a half-an-hour, but only do so every five to seven hours. The Riverside gyser begins with a water eruption, followed by steam, and can reach heights to 75 feet. The first chapters of the disc take us on a tour of several of the thermal features found in the park, starting with the Fountain Paint Pots and their bubbling mud, which are found in the lower gyser basin. The upper basin, divided by the Firehole River, houses the Grotto, Castle, Riverside and world renouned Old Faithful gysers, and to the northeast, the Morning Glory Pool in its magnificent aquamarine splendour. Numerous fumaroles, the otherworldly Mammoth Hotspings, and the steaming Roaring Mountain are visited. We also view wildlife, including moose, bison, deer and elk wading through the Yellowstone River, or grazing on the banks of Yellowstone Lake. Coyotes, beaver, otters, owls and geese are also seen throughout the show. We see the Yellowstone River, and a diverse display of waterfalls, including the Upper and Lower Yellowstone, Tower and Gibbon Falls, and the Firehole Cascades. As we move north into the Grand Tetons, we view Lewis Canyon and its falls, visit Jenny Lake, and also Jackson Lake. Experiencing all the wonders of Yellowstone firsthand requires a great deal of time and patience, and in the case of wildlife, a lot of luck. Here, we can see the spectacle of gyser eruptions, the majesty of cascading waterfalls, the alien landscapes of the gyser basins and the many other features of the park, condensed into an hour viewing time. This program presents the many sights and sounds of the park through the changing persona of its natural vistas, allowing the viewer to experience Yellowstone throughout the seasons, from a summer sunrise on the shores of Yellowstone lake, to the frozen, snow blanketed forests of the park in winter. There is no narration, other than the occasional hard subtite denoting a particular feature or location. The soundtrack consists of classical and new age style music, which is blended with the natural ambient sounds from the park. There is a wide range of animal life shown, including any scenes of mothers and their young. While not the same as visiting in person, this collection of footage gives a glimpse at the environment to be found at Yellowstone National Park.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Image quality here is quite impressive overall, with rich, vibrant colors, natural contrast and good detail. There is a video look about this, with the odd scene exhibiting a little too much artificial sharpness, and the occasional halo in high contrast areas. There are also a handful of rolling dropouts throughout that look to originate in the source, and some minor compression artifacting in a few places. On the whole this is a nice presentation, perhaps not as detailed as large format film would be, but very acceptable and enjoyable nonetheless.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: Stereo audio is well presented, with a full, pleasant sounding audio spectrum and decent use of the stereo field. During orchestral sections, the different instruments will occupy either right or left channel adding some directional perspective. Depending on the location recording, a few places exhibit higher than usual amounts of hiss, which is not unexpected. The natural sounds blend well into the musical soundtrack. There is some minor static sounds during chapter 8, and again in chapter 10.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 14 cues and remote access
Packaging: EastPack
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Photo gallery
Extras Review: The sole extra is a slide show photo gallery which presents a series of images from the park, running 01m:05s.

Extras Grade: D+

 

Final Comments

Set to an unimposing musical soundtrack, Yellowstone National Park showcases many of the attractions of the unique and exquisite beauty of world's first national park. The images are beautiful, and their subjects intriguing. The program covers a wide subject matter, with a variety of wildlife and locations from different seasonal perspectives. There may be other programming better suited to learning about the geology and thermal features, but for a purely immersive visual and aural experience, this disc allows the discovery of the many fascinating attributes of the park.

 


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