Grizzly Adams: The Renewal originally debuted on television on March 22nd, 1978. Nearly thirty-five years after it made its original television debut, Shout! Factory and Timeless Media partnered to re-issue the holiday special on DVD. The special, which was a spinoff of sorts from the original series The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams, was released March 4, 2014. Audiences that remember both the original series that spawned this special and the special itself will appreciate that it has seen the light of day once again. Audiences will note in watching the re-issue that it looks and sounds exactly as it did in its original broadcast nearly thirty-five years ago. That’s just one noteworthy factor in this re-issue. Just as noteworthy is its cinematography. And last but not least, audiences will appreciate the themes incorporated into the story. Whether they were intentionally included, the themes incorporated into the movie will impress viewers, too. These three factors together make the re-issue of Grizzly Adams: The Renewal a re-issue that any fan of the original Grizzly Adams series will appreciate.
The very first thing that viewers will notice about Grizzly Adams: The Renewal is that Timeless Media and Shout! Factory have presented the special exactly as it was presented in its original broadcast over three decades ago. The sound and audio have been left virtually the same as they were in the original broadcast of the special. That’s obvious from the scratchy audio and grainy footage. Some might call this a bad thing. But those looking for a little nostalgia will appreciate that it is being presented in such form. It’s like listening to a record on vinyl versus downloading it via MP3. Those that grew up with the original will always want that vintage presentation. And vintage is exactly what those same viewers get on this new re-issue. It’s even in the same 4:3 visual format in which it was presented rather than having been re-mastered in letterbox. That only serves to heighten that sense of nostalgia among viewers that recall the special from their own personal younger days. And those that perhaps are seeing it for the first time will see just how far production values and technology have come in the near thirty-five years since this special first aired on television.
That Timeless Media and Shout! Factory have presented Grizzly Adams: The Renewal exactly as it was presented in its original broadcast nearly thirty-five years ago is but one reason that audiences will appreciate its recent re-issue. The cinematography that went into bringing the special to life, many will agree, is quite impressive. In comparison to today’s over-the-top special effects laden movies, it’s nice to see that the special was actually filmed on site rather than against a green screen. The soaring wide-angle shots of the mountains are like video postcards to viewers. And even the specific scenes that were shot throughout the special are important to the movie. There were no special effects or backdrops. The scenes in question were shot on site. It more than makes up for the sometimes “hammy” acting on the part of the special’s lead cast. In making up for that acting, it also serves to make suspension of disbelief all the easier for viewers. In turn this serves to keep viewers engaged throughout the nearly eighty-minute presentation.
Anyone that grew up with the original series that was The Life & Times of Grizzly Adams will appreciate this special for its overall presentation and its cinematography. The special is presented exactly as it aired in its re-issues. And the cinematography acts as a virtual postcard as well as a backdrop for the special. There is one more factor linked into the special that makes it especially impressive for its key audience base. That factor is the special’s collective themes of religious tolerance and acceptance, and cultural diversity. Both themes tie together through the special’s central story, which sees Adams having to help his Native American friends in their own Spring festival while he and his own friends celebrate Easter. Adams doesn’t criticize his Native American friends for their religious beliefs. And nor do they in turn criticize those of Adams and his friends. Adams (Dan Haggerty) is even given the opportunity to explain the religious meaning behind Easter. This is something that can’t be done on network television today thanks to the ironically close-mindedness of those thinking they’re promoting religious diversity by preventing it from being shown. So the very fact that this had been allowed on television then versus now makes the presentation all the more important if only as a piece of cultural and media history. By direct connection, the acceptance of one another’s religious beliefs ties into the theme of cultural diversity. It is difficult to see many television programs or even specials that promote cultural diversity in today’s media climate. That makes this special all the more important. Probably the only place that a special such as this would be seen on television today is the likes of the INSP network. Those family friendly themes come together with the special’s cinematography and the overall original presentation of the special to make it a good addition to the home library of anyone looking for good, family friendly holiday fare today.
Grizzly Adams: The Renewal is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Life-Times-Grizzly-Adams-Renewal-Haggerty/dp/B00GSTHCSU/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1400359558&sr=1-1&keywords=the+life+and+times+of+grizzly+adams+the+renewal. More information on this and other releases from Timeless Media Group is available online at http://www.timelessvideo.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.