Did you grow up watching Little House on the Prarie? The series ended when I was only 3, but I remember well watching reruns. My absolute favorite episode was when Almanzo started driving Laura to her first teaching job. Although Laura had pined for Almazon since she first laid eyes on him, this was the first time when he showed interest in her. Watching the television series instilled in me a desire to read the novels. Although I never completed the entire series, I thoroughly enjoyed the stories of a simpler time and the closeness of family.
One of the books I have yet to read is Farmer Boy. The documentary Almanzo Wilder: Life Before Laura from Legacy Documentaries takes the viewer through the journey of Almanzo’s life. This beautiful documentary, narrated by Dean Butler who played Almanzo on the well-known series, is $21.95 and well worth the cost. While this will very much appeal to those who read the Little House series (typically 8-13 year-olds) the entire family can enjoy this documentary.
There were many aspects which I liked about this DVD. One was being able to take a first-hand look at the Wilder Homestead where Almanzo grew up. Since this is located in New York we cannot take a day trip there, so this is the next best thing! We thoroughly enjoy exploring historical sites on our vacations and this is one I hope we get to visit one day. I didn’t even know it existed until I watched the documentary.
Something else I liked was the inclusion of passages from Farmer Boy as well as illustrations from the novel. The connections between the literature as well as the actual homestead showed the real-life setting in a lovely way. Historical actors portrayed various individuals within the Wilder family as a narrator read from poignant moments in the novel bringing new life to the beloved story.
There are two chapters on the DVD and the second was just as enjoyable as the first. It explores in more detail the Wilder Homestead which you can visit. Various rooms are showcased as well as various events available throughout the year at the Homestead. This has made me not only want to take a trip to Malone, NY, but also the other Laura Ingalls Wilder historical sites around the country.
I’m a documentary nerd. I absolutely love a good documentary showing me history as well as telling me about it. The one thing I miss about not having cable in our home is the History Channel. This was a lot of fun to review because it has been a while since I’ve seen a well-done, interesting-to-me documentary. I highly recommend this for the entire family as well as Little House on the Prairie: Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder also produced by Legacy Documentaries, especially if you are planning a unit using the series.
Check out more reviews of these two documentaries from my Crewmates!