By Teresa Acosta
Former president Barack Obama narrates the new documentary series from Netflix, “Our Great National Parks,” which celebrates National Parks all over the world.
It shows and explains the various ways even the most remote places in the world have an effect on humans and their survival on this planet. The series collectively sends the message that now is the time for everyone to do more to help stop the disastrous effects of pollution and global warming.
It stresses how closely connected humans are to all of the natural habitats on the planet, using some of the most advanced camera equipment available.
The episodes run about 50 minutes long. Each episode features one or more different locations such as Tsavo, Kenya, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, United States of America and Gunung Leuser, Indonesia.
The behaviors of the creatures in each space and the way they use the land around them to facilitate life for other species within the same space is a well told, beautifully pictured story.
Very little human activity is shown and when it is shown, it is only when they cohabitate an area or when their man-made structures interfere with the natural landscapes.
The scenes are on-screen for about 10 seconds before shifting to a different angle or perspective. This technique holds the viewers attention and pulls them in for a more immersive experience.
The music in the scenes is minimal and the sounds of nature are mostly the soundtrack for each episode.
The usual creature activities are shown from predators to prey, their feeding patterns, mating rituals, migration patterns and all of the ways this affects everything around them.
There is plenty of never-before-seen footage of animals that was previously hard to capture because the animals move in darkness or because they are so small cameras are only now able to focus on the tiniest of details.
Low-light recording and macro lenses show nocturnal rhinoceros at a watering hole and tiny droplets on the wings of monarch butterflies.
Underwater cameras attached to whales show a feeding frenzy of sardines. There is a mesmerizing time lapse of the stars in an area that has the world’s least amount of light pollution.
Obama asks those watching to do whatever they can to help preserve all that is shown for the sake of this generation and generations to come. “Vote like the planet depends on it,” Obama said.
He said that ecotourism can benefit all in the fight against climate change and help retain the value of National Parks.