Barack Obama hosts series for Netflix that explores national parks

Barack Obama hosts series for Netflix that explores national parks

David Attenborough, who? Barack turns TV host for Netflix’s new nature documentary series exploring national parks and wildlife around the world – the latest project from the Obamas’ lucrative multi-year production deal

  • Our Great National Parks, is a five-part series that ‘invites viewers to celebrate and discover the power of our planet’s greatest national parks and wild spaces’
  • Premiering April 13, the show will include Kenya’s Tsavo National Park, Indonesia’s Gunung Leuser National Park, and Patagonia in Chile
  • Former President Obama protected more natural habitat than any president in American history, putting 548 million acres of habitat under protection
  • The series is the latest project from Higher Ground Productions, which Barack and wife Michelle launched in partnership with Netflix in 2018
  • It has never been revealed how much the couple were paid for the deal
  • However major producers like Ryan Murphy and Shonda Rhimes received upwards of $100 million for their own partnerships with Netflix
  • Past projects have included the award-winning documentary Crip Camp and the puppet show Waffles + Mochi, hosted by former First Lady Michelle

Former President Barack Obama has turned his attention from global politics to the great outdoors as he steps into a new role as a nature documentary host for a Netflix series exploring the world’s national parks — and all of the wildlife that live within them.  

Our Great National Parks is described as an ‘epic’ five-part series, which will be narrated by Obama, 60, and will ‘invite viewers to celebrate and discover the power of our planet’s greatest national parks and wild spaces.’

Premiering April 13, the show — which will include Kenya’s Tsavo National Park, the rainforests of Indonesia’s Gunung Leuser National Park, and the landscape of Chilean Patagonia — comes from Higher Ground Productions, which the Obamas launched as part of a lucrative multi-year deal with Netflix in 2018.

It has never been disclosed how much the Obamas were paid as part of the Netflix deal, however, major producers like Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy have received upwards of $100 million in their own respective partnerships with the streaming site. 

Former President Barack Obama’s next series for Netflix will explore the world’s national parks

Our Great National Parks, an ‘epic’ five-part series narrated by Obama, ‘ invites viewers to celebrate and discover the power of our planet’s greatest national parks and wild spaces’

‘Spanning five continents, the series brims with wonder, humor and optimism as each episode tells the story of a national park through the lives of its wildest residents — both big and exceptionally small — and explores our changing relationship with wilderness,’ reads the series synopsis. 

The first trailer, which was released today, contains two minutes of stunning footage taken across the planet.

‘A fish that can walk. Surfing hippos that want to catch the waves. Species found nowhere else on earth,’ Obama begins.

‘Join me in this celebration of our planet’s greatest national parks and wilderness,’ he continues as the trailer shows him walking on a beach.

‘Around the world, the more isolated the national park, the more unusual its creatures and the more extraordinary their behaviors.

‘When humanity started to protect these wild places, we did not realize how important they would become. They’re a haven for endangered species, and a hotbed for scientific research.’

The trailer cuts to different creatures, from whales and jellyfish to elephants and butterflies.

‘This sloth has an entire microkingdom living in his fur,’ Obama says as the trailer focuses on a sloth. 

‘Researching him will help fight cancer, malaria, and antibiotic-resistant superbugs. This sleepy sloth might just save us all.

‘This is a journey through the natural wonders of our shared birthright,’ he concludes.

The series — which was produced in conjunction with Wild Space Productions and wildlife filmmaker James Honeyborne of the award-winning series BluePlanet II — will also include parks in the US, like Monterey Bay in California.   

It’s no surprise that President Obama would be involved with a national parks project, as he made a mark on the US national park system during his two terms in the White House.

‘Around the world, the more isolated the national park, the more unusual its creatures and the more extraordinary their behaviors,’ Obama says

‘When humanity started to protect these wild places, we did not realize how important they would become. They’re a haven for endangered species, and a hotbed for scientific research’

The trailer cuts to different creatures, from whales and jellyfish to elephants and butterflies

‘This is a journey through the natural wonders of our shared birthright,’ he concludes

The series was produced in conjunction with Wild Space Productions and wildlife filmmaker James Honeyborne of the award-winning series BluePlanet II

According to the BBC, he protected more natural habitat than any president in American history.

He put 548 million acres of habitat under protection, compared to the 290 million acres by President Theodore Roosevelt, who founded the US National Parks.

His legacy includes the two largest marine reserves in the world and the world’s second largest desert reserve.

His love of national parks was fostered as a child, and he previously recalled visiting Yellowstone at age 11.

‘I still remember traveling up to Yellowstone National Park, coming over a hill, and suddenly seeing just hundreds of deer and bison for the very first time,’ he said. 

‘That new scenery gave me a sense of just how immense, how diverse, and how important the vast array of wildlife is to understanding and appreciating the world and our place in it.  

Obama put 548 million acres of habitat under protection, the most of any president (pictured at Yosemite National Park in 2016)

His legacy includes the two largest marine reserves in the world and the world’s second largest desert reserve (pictured watching Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park in 2009)

His love of national parks was fostered as a child, and he previously recalled visiting Yellowstone at age 11

During his years in the White House, he visited Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico in 2016 (pictured) and the Grand Canyon in Arizona in 2009

He also visited Acadia National Park in Maine in 2010 (pictured) and Everglades National Park in Florida in 2008

‘That’s something I wanted my daughters to understand when I brought them back to the very same spot at Yellowstone a few years ago. It’s something I want to preserve for our kids, grandkids, and generations to come.’

During his years in the White House, he visited the Grand Canyon in Arizona in 2009, Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska, Acadia National Park in Maine in 2010, and Everglades National Park in Florida in 2008.

The new series was announced in 2021, over two years after the Obamas announced their partnership with Netflix. 

The Obamas launched Higher Ground Productions in partnership with Netflix in 2008, announcing a lucrative multi-year deal that would include an extensive slate of programming.

They did not have a wealth of production experience before inking a deal with Netflix in May 2018, however, they enlisted several industry professionals to bring that insight to Higher Ground.  

Previously, their production company released Crip Camp, a documentary about a summer camp for teens with disabilities

American Factory tells the story of a Chinese billionaire who opened a new factory in an abandoned General Motors plant in Ohio

Producer Priya Swaminathan and director and producer Tonia Davis were named as co-heads of the production company in February 2019.

Higher Ground’s first projects included a documentary capturing Michelle’s book tour for Becoming.

Crip Camp — a documentary about a summer camp for teens with disabilities — won the 2021 International Documentary Association award for Best Feature.

American Factory documented how employees at a former General Motors plant in Moraine, just outside Dayton, Ohio, suffered the impact of globalization following the closure of the glass manufacturing site in 2008.

The documentary picked up after the plant after it was bought by a Chinese billionaire.

It won the Academy Award for best documentary in 2020, and Obama congratulated filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar on the film’s success. 

In March 2021, Netflix debuted a ten-episode first season of Waffles + Mochi, hosted by former first lady Michelle Obama 

It follows a pair of puppets who live in The Land of Frozen Food, where all food is made of ice. The puppets want to be chefs and get jobs at a supermarket owned by Mrs. Obama 

In March 2021, Netflix debuted a ten-episode first season of Waffles + Mochi, hosted by former first lady Michelle Obama.

It follows a pair of puppets who live in The Land of Frozen Food, where all food is made of ice. The puppets want to be chefs and get jobs at a supermarket owned by Mrs. Obama.

They have adventures in cooking, gardening, and discovering where their food comes from. 

Other upcoming Netflix programming from the Obamas includes Tenzing, a movie inspired by the true story of Tenzing Norgay, Tibetan mountaineer who reached the top of Mount Everest in 1953.

The script was written by Oscar nominee and BAFTA winner Luke Davies, and it will be directed by BAFTA nominee Jennifer Peedom — who has climbed Everest herself.

There’s also Satellite, a science fiction film written by Ola Shokunbi and produced by Kiri Hart and Stephen Feder for Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman’s T Street. 

The Obamas launched Higher Ground Productions in partnership with Netflix in 2008, announcing a lucrative multi-year deal that would include an extensive slate of programming 


Other upcoming projects are based by the books Exit West and Firekeeper’s Daughter

The Young Wife, written and directed by Tayarisha Poe, ‘follows Celestina, 29, on the day of her first wedding. Or not a wedding, exactly, but a party. A party where there’s movement, and Celestina is out of sync. The guests flood in; a storm approaches.’

A rather timely film on the docket is ‘Exit West,’ based on a novel of the same name by Mohsin Hamid — which President Obama named as one of the best books he read in 2017.

‘A love story set against an epic global migration enabled by a supernatural phenomenon, “Exit West” is the story of two people as they seek a better life together, all the while yearning for a home to which they may never return,’ reads the description.

Finally, ‘Firekeeper’s Daughter,’ which is based on a YA novel by Angeline Boulley, is about an 18-year-old Native American teen named Daunis Fontaine, who lives on the Ojibwe reservation, witnesses a murder, and goes undercover with the FBI to investigate a new drug.

Source: Read Full Article