Recently through the TOS Crew we were given the opportunity to review one of two dvd's from Legacy Documentaries. The one that we chose was The Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder. The other choice was Almanzo Wilder: Life Before Laura. The DVD is available for $24.95.
Legacy Documentaries is operated by Dean Butler. Butler held the role of Almanzo Wilder in the Little House on the Prairie television series. It seems that he never forgot those years as he has done over 8 hours of work to complement the series as well as these two original films, and a tribute to Michael Landon entitled Pa's Fiddle.
The Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder tells the untold story of her real life. In it you see pictures of her as well as her family. You learn the truth of where she lived, what she was like, and more about the real Laura. In this documentary you learn more than just what she was willing to tell us in her fictionalized account of her life through her books. You learn more than most who have only seen the televised version of her books which is even further from her "real life".
We chose to review the Legacy dvd due in part to the fact that I had always been a fan of the Little House books and watched the television series. But also because as a child my parents made sure that we also visited all of the homes of Laura. We went to all her childhood homes, and we also went to her adult homes. This is something that I still remember and hope to do with my children. We have started reading the Little House series for school(have read the first two books last year) and I thought this would really help them to learn more about the author of those books. Help them to see that she was a real person and she did live close to us and have a life like them.
I hope to take my children to all of the homes of Laura at some point like I was able to do, but that is not feasible for us right now. This gives them at least a small glimpse of the various places that she lived as well as a look at the "life behind the books" so to speak.
The Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder documentary is one hour long and in my opinion suitable for all ages. There is nothing in it to make it rated to where little children cannot watch it. My whole family enjoyed it from age 2 to age well we won't say how old the adults are! Now in truth the two and three year old probably didn't understand and won't remember a lot from the movie, but I personally don't see a reason they can't enjoy it as a family movie.
My plans for this movie are to include it in a unit study for the book series. We will be doing a study on each book individually and then a complete review type study. We will use parts of this for each book and the entire movie with the review study.
You can read more reviews of this dvd as well as the Life Before Laura dvd at the main Crew blog page. So, make sure to go over there and check out what everyone else has to say!