4UHD & Blu-Ray Reviews: National Parks Adventure & Dream Big

When you get to be a parent, there’s fun in getting to spend the day roaming around a museum with your kid or kids. If you’re lucky, you’re kid is open to wanting to see exhibits and understand how something works instead of just zipping around playing Pokemon Go! with your phone. Although at some point on the journey, you’re going to want a chill out and rest your feet and let someone else do the explaining. The museums around here are connected to IMAX theaters which is perfect since the big screen will occupy little eyes especially if they’re wearing 3-D glasses. While the films are effective, often it’s good for a kid to rewatch an educational film a few times to get them to grasp everything that went on during the film. Luckily two of the IMAX films are coming to home video. National Parks Adventures and Dream Big: Enginnering Our World are bring their IMAX resolution to 4K UHD, 3-D Blu-ray, Blu-ray and digital streaming for those days you can’t make it to the museum.

National Parks Adventure is about the wilderness that’s been preserved so that people can enjoy the views and activities. The narrative follows world-class mountaineer Conrad Anker, adventure photographer Max Lowe and artist Rachel Pohl as they journey through several of the parks to climb mountains and ice waterfalls. It shows off the active tourist component to the majestic spaces. The film digs into the history of the system including the historic trip where President Teddy Roosevelt visited Yosemite with conservationist John Muir. Roosevelt saw how the loggers were destroying the balance of nature. The President realized that this land was special and should belong to all Americans. While the film doesn’t seem to want to be political, it has become very political simply because we are dealing with a lot of people in power who are eager to crank up the price of visiting the park, cut back the budgets and eventually sell off the land to private companies for drilling and mining. While it’s easy to think the parks are a waste when you’re hearing a pundit in a suit babble on a news channel. But even getting a glimpse of these distant lands in IMAX gains a deeper appreciation of the nature that is out there. Robert Redford comforting voice adds to the importance of these great lands.

Dream Big: Engineering Our World might seem like it doesn’t need the huge screen of IMAX. It’s about people who work as engineers. But very quickly the frame needs all the space it can get as it opens on a view of Earth from the International Space Station. Because the orbiting research vessel was made by scientists. While we’re blown away with pictures of engineering marvels, we are taken down to a human level that can help a kid relate. The first scientist we meet is Menzer Phelivan. She was inspired to become an engineer after surviving a massive earthquake in Turkey. She wanted to help develop buildings that could withstand earthquakes better. She even demos an earthquake reaction with Jell-O to school kids. We also get to see a huge shake table that can move around four story building. This isn’t just about sitting in front of a computer either. Menzer goes to a region hit by an earthquake to explore reactions and comfort the survivors. She has been there too. There’s also an investigation into the building of the Great Wall of China. They discover the mortar to keep the bricks together included a common takeout food. We get a sense how engineers have come up with a solution to make taller buildings that can deal with wind. There’s a bit on high schoolers building a solar car and a robotic submarine for competitions. It’s good to see teenagers who are doing something smart on camera. By the end of this film, hopefully your kid will think beyond entering the science fair with the baking soda volcano.

The video is 1.85:1 anamorphic in all four formats for both movies. The transfers bring out the IMAX source. So much detail is on the screen. The audio is 7.1 True HD and 5.1 Dolby surround. Things are balanced right so the narrators don’t stomp over the natural sound. There’s a Spanish dub. The movies are subtitled.

Making of Featurettes include 7 shorts about the various aspects of the film. This includes the recreation of Teddy Roosevelt’s trip to Yosemite that led to the National Parks. A short shows how the movie was shot on 65mm film to get the rich resolution IMAX has to offer.

Robert Redford on the Parks (1:53) gives his personal connection to the beauty of the parks as a boy just recovering from polio.

GoUSA TV Trailer (0:32) promises a new channel about travel.

National Parks Trailer (2:00) promises the best view of the Parks if you can’t make it out to there this weekend.

Shout! Factory presents National Parks Adventure. Directed by Greg MacGillivray. Narrated by: Robert Redford. Rated: Not Rated. Running Time: 44 minutes. Released: July 24, 2018.

Hot Topics In the World of Engineering (21:18) explores driverless cars, virtual modeling, alternate energy, high-tech and engineering for those in need. This short clips would be great to get the conversation focused in break out sessions.

Behind-The-Scenes (13:49) gives more time to the women engineers, the Great Wall of China and the Hyperloop.

Short Fun Packed Videos (4:21) includes pieces on designing bridges and roller coasters.

Trailer (2:00) has Jeff Bridges discuss how man made marvels reflect the work of engineers.

Shout! Factory presents Dream Big: Engineering Our World. Directed by Greg MacGillivray. Narrated by: Jeff Bridges. Rated: Not Rated. Running Time: 42 minutes. Released: July 24, 2018.

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