Reviews written by registered user
|2 reviews in total|
An uneven but beautiful attempt to do an early widescreen "music video" with Grofe's Grand Canyon Suite. The musical sequences are competently performed, though edited for time, and they do not appear strictly in order. What matters about this film are the visual elements. The Painted Desert sequence is as beautiful yet austere as the music, however it drags a bit. In the "Sunrise" sequence a trip down the Colorado climaxes in shooting the rapids. Innovative, but the constant downward angle with no sky ahead becomes claustrophobic. Just when you think it's going to be a so-so movie, it picks up beautifully as "On the Trail" displays the wildlife in a sensitive, natural and compelling way. The sunset and cloudburst sequences--well--see it for yourself. I won't spoil it for you. The movie involved a lot more thought than it appears. Finally, they released it in widescreen on the Deluxe Edition DVD of Sleeping Beauty. A long overdue reissuance, and very appropriate since they debuted together in the cinema.
It is best to treat this dated but pleasant documentary as entertainment.
Paul Smith's music is incredibly evocative, especially at the birth of a
bison and during the fury of a flash flood.
The tone of the narration is often downbeat, referring to qualities of this unique environment soon to be lost forever. To keep from being sucked down into this negativity, keep in mind that recent interest in preserving the prairie environment is being matched with federal assistance, and hopefully the "Vanishing Prairie" won't vanish after all.
The photography is by all accounts excellent. Disney enlisted the help of world-class nature photographers who endured hardships, disappointments, and seemingly-eternal stakeouts behind a camera lens to get just the right shot. When you see it on the screen it all looks too easy. Folks, it's not easy at all! And remember that these films were pioneering firsts that pre-dated Animal Planet, the Crocodile Hunter, and even Wild Kingdom. It started here, and it started with style.