DVD Review Of Frisky, Furry And Fearsome

Copyright © by Jessica Schneider, 12/30/10


  Part of the fun in visiting any National Park is the hopeful chance of catching a glimpse of wildlife in its natural surrounds. Produced by Ambassador Video, Frisky, Furry and Fearsome focuses on five of our National Parks and the various animals that inhabit them.

  From screeching pikas, to rock-climbing mountain goats, to big horn sheep, marmots, ground squirrels, both black bears and grizzly bears, this instructional DVD offers a good overview of not only what species to expect from a number of National Parks, but the film begins with a brief introduction on the regulations with regard to wildlife, and how one should behave around it. This video is a clip of this exact scene.

  Some of the parks mentioned include Mount Rainier, Rocky Mountain, Glacier National Park, Yellowstone and Smoky Mountain. Yet after having recently watched and reviewed The Crown of the Continent (a film on Glacier National Park), some of the footage is in fact reused in Frisky, Furry and Fearsome, specifically the scenes involving the big horn sheep and mountain goats.

  Some of the most fascinating footage includes the clips with the pikas and watching them interact, which includes their screeching sounds—a signal they emit to those in their colony if danger is suspected. Other footage, involving both the grizzly and black bears, is interesting to watch. Black bears, for example, are much better climbers than the grizzly, and their fur isn’t always “black” per se, but can take on an array of shades. Such also applies to the grizzly, for sometimes the fur can be black as well, and the video offers some tips on how to behave if approached by a bear in the wild.

  Since the film’s focus is on the animals themselves, there is no specific park that is discussed at length, but rather, the various parks that are mentioned (they mostly include those in the western parts of the United States) are spoken of only as they relate to the animals that live within them.

  Viewers will also learn of varying species that were once endangered, such as the grizzly bear and also the wolf. Reasons for this include past fears that these animals would scare off visitors, but over the years they have been encouraged to thrive.

  The ground squirrel, for example, is difficult to distinguish from a common chipmunk save for the markings on the face. There is even a shot of two marmots mating and black bears tree climbing. Of the two DVDs, my preference leans towards The Crown of the Continent, since the focus is upon a singe park and not just the animals themselves, but the various trails and topography. Though an advantage to Frisky is that the film runs a bit longer (one hour) and if one is thinking of where to spend a vacation, this film is the must see, since it will provide a brief introduction to five National Parks.

  Frisky, Furry and Fearsome is an enjoyable experience, and not a bad gift for any outdoor enthusiast or nature documentary lover. For me personally, seeing the screeching pikas made the film worthwhile.

  For those interested, visit this site for information on how to order.



[An expurgated version of this article originally appeared on the Examiner.com website.]


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