Created by Ken Burns
The National Parks is a 2009 PBS documentary series created from the master of documentaries, Ken Burns. This tells the story of the history of the United States National Parks. However, this documentary focuses much more on the events that threatened the parks and its most historical figures that had to do with the parks. This documentary heavily concentrates on John Muir, Stephen Mather, and Horace Albright. The story also talks about the figures that put the parks in danger with mining, woodcutting, and so forth.
Ken Burns really captures the serene beauty of the parks, not just by the actually look of the parks, but their history. The parks’ history is a sad, but happy story at the same time.
The National Parks starts off with John Muir, the prophet of the parks, you could say. He loved nature, and he would sit in what is now Yosemite, day in and day out. But, he knew that the lumber companies were cutting down trees in the most beautiful landscapes. So he started a campaign to protect these pieces of land, and came up with National Parks.
Ken Burns shows the struggle and the pain of making The National Parks, and he does it with great narration, and great pictures. Which makes this documentary a masterpiece.
Peter Coyote is the superb narrator of this show. He is the perfect choice for this, his voice sounds like the nature of the parks, if you know what I mean. His narration really makes you feel immersed with the story, he was born to narrate this.
The show is a bit on the long side, but you truly need to have a good sized story to describe the parks’ history. Even a few episodes are fully dedicated to John Muir and Stephen Mather, if that is the case, there is a lot to tell about these figures.