The hard part is going to be getting people into the theaters, but after seeing too many special effects extravaganzas, "Wild America" should be a welcome change and one that the entire family can enjoy. Of course any household with teenage girls will be first in line, since Jonathan Taylor Thomas stars and is backed up by Devon Sawa, the human incarnation of "Caspar" that made little hearts beat faster. And the older brother is Scott Bairstow, who won acclaim with his portrayal of Newt Call in "Lonesome Dove: The Outlaw Years". But it may take a little persuasion to get the teenage boys to go. I dragged thirteen- year-old Jed Mitchell who said, "I didn't want to go, but I'm glad I did. It was good." Well, you can't get higher praise than that, at least not from a teenage boy.
The film is inspired by the true story of the Stouffer film clan.
Producer Mark Stouffer worked on many John Denver specials, National
Geographic specials, and as contributing director for his brother's
PBS series "Marty Stouffer's Wild America". Jonathan Taylor Thomas
told me that it was "kinda intimidating to be playing someone who was
still alive and on the set. I wanted to ask if that was the way he
wanted a scene played." All three are active in making films and
videos that bring a greater awareness of the creatures we share space
with. And they have made this a coming-of-age movie with an
environmental message without overdoing it. Rated PG from Warner
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