Wild America is based on a true story and tells the tale of three brothers and their summer-long adventure through the American wilderness in which they manage to capture on film. The boys, Marshall (Jonathan Taylor Thomas), Mark (Devon Sawa) and Marty (Scott Bairstow) are all buddying filmakers and spend most of their time shooting movies on their 8mm camera which they share.
When they set their eyes upon the latest addition to the local camera shop - a used 16mm professional camera - they convince their father Marty Snr.(Jamey Sheridan) to lend them the money to buy the camera. As time passes the eldest brother Marty decides he has reached the age to leave home and venture out into the wild america he has dreamed about, and to film his adventures in order to sell them for a living. When his two younger brothers hear about this they insist upon tagging along in which Marty Snr. decides that they have only the summer to fulfill their dreams.
Wild America is presented in the full screen 1.33:1 aspect ratio which is totally inappropriate for this type of film. The gorgeous landscapes and terraines that hold this movie together are all but carved up leaving the viewer with 100 minutes of character and animal close ups. Following in the footsteps of other recent Warner Brothers' region 4 releases, a PAL transfer is nowhere to be seen. The NTSC transfer included on this release degrades the overall quality of the film, with noticable edge enhancement and aliasing evident throughout the presentation. The colour saturation is quite rich and full however, and adds a much needed kick to the wildlife and landscape sequences in the movie.
Both Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 surround soundtracks are included on the disc and while not lacking in quality, they do not add much to the already mentioned average video presentation. The 2.0 surround mix is rather a dull mix and does not really provide much detail or fullness. The 5.1 mix is without doubt the preferred audio mix here, and while creating a nice enveloping soundscape in parts - these parts are too few and far between. The LFE track is used throughout the movie but does not add terribly much to whole viewing experience.
As for extras, we get the Theatrical Trailer and that's it. Being a film centred around the beauty and diversity of the American wilderness and wildlife it contains, one would have thought there would have been ample material such as a documenatary or two to add to the DVD.
The only interesting aspect of Wild America is 'wild America' itself - the landscape is brilliant and the wildlife looks great on film. But the very average performances given along with an even more average script result in a rather mundane 100 minutes of viewing.Wild America is an average movie that could have been better, but is let down by it's full screen NTSC transfer and lack of extras.