Teddy Roosevelt: An American Lion

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

He is known as one of the most celebrated Presidents in history, thanks to his immense work ethic, strong will, and unfaltering devotion to what he believed in. I am speaking of Theodore Roosevelt, who rose from being a cowboy to a world leader, one known for always being able to get things done. He was a powerhouse in all the aspects of his life, from his time as a soldier to his days as the leader of the free world. Roosevelt spoke his mind and didn’t stop there, as he put his plans into motion and almost without fail, his plans will bloom into fruition. The “square deal” would perhaps be his most lasting memory to most folks, but Roosevelt’s countless famous quotes and larger than life persona have also endured. A man that the people could stand behind and believe, Roosevelt was the kind of President every generation wishes was in office. But before he took his place in the White House, he served as a cowboy, police officer, and military man, never leaving his duties to the public for even a moment. In Teddy Roosevelt: An American Lion, we’re taken back to the roots of Roosevelt’s rise to power and shown the various sides of the man himself, through vintage photographs and even video footage. We’ve all heard stories about Roosevelt’s life, but in this program, we’re told the entire tale.

This piece was a pleasure to watch, but then again, I tend to enjoy these historical programs more and more of late. I do think it runs a tad long, at about three and a half hours, but minimal time is wasted, so no concerns there. I was quite taken with all the vintage photographs, which have been well preserved, as well as the actual film footage, which helps bring Roosevelt to life. When you hear about someone, it helps paint a visual, but nothing is as effective as seeing the person move and interact with others. So the film clips really enhance this presentation, if just to let us get a brief glimpse at Roosevelt in action. A panel of scholars, historians, and family members share stories and thoughts also, which brings some balance to the program. These interviews offer a more active presence, so it keeps things brisk after countless photographs and such. In terms of overall production, this is a typical History Channel effort, which means a solid all around presentation. As spread across two discs, this release is a boon for those interested in Roosevelt, as the program is insightful and the supplements are excellent. The Biography episode adds a lot to the release, as do the assorted text extras and such. As such, I more than recommend this release to history buffs or those interested in Roosevelt.

Video: How does it look?

Teddy Roosevelt: An American Lion is presented in full frame, as intended. The image here looks as good as it would on television, maybe even a shade better. The new interviews are crisp and sharp, with good color and contrast presence, just as you’d expect from recently created materials. The vintage photos and film clips aren’t as refined of course, but then again, we shouldn’t expect them to look pristine. The older material looks acceptable however, which is about all we could ask in this case. In the end, this presentation covers all the bases and looks terrific, even the vintage material shines here.

Audio: How does it sound?

The audio is 2.0 stereo and sounds much like you’d expect from a documentary produced for television. The dialogue, both from voice actor Richard Dreyfuss and the interviewed speakers is the main element, while most other audio is more background. Not to much else to discuss here, but again this is documentary footage so we don’t need a powerful experience. This is a solid audio mix and though it doesn’t pack much of a punch, it more than handles the needs of the material and that is what matters here.

Supplements: What are the extras?

The main supplement here is Teddy Roosevelt: Roughrider to Rushmore, an installment of A&E excellent Biography series. As usual for the series, this fifty minute piece is well crafted and insightful, so it makes a superb addition to this release. This release also includes bios on Roosevelt and voice actor Richard Dreyfuss, Roosevelt family tree information, and background information & interesting facts about Roosevelt.

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