'Our Great National Parks' producers explain why Barack Obama was a "natural fit" to narrate docuseries

Courtesy of Netflix

Need Earth Day plans? Netflix has you covered with their new docuseries Our Great National Parks. Narrated and executive-produced by former President Barack Obama, the new series brings you up close to nature’s greatest creatures in its most iconic landscapes.

"I'd like to think that this the series speaks of the importance of wilderness everywhere and because we need it now more than ever, and it needs us," series co-producer James Honeyborne tells ABC Audio. "It's a two way thing. It's about our relationship with wilderness as well."

While exploring that relationship with wilderness, filmmakers were able to capture rare footage of hippos body surfing the waves, something Honeyborne says was "so hard to get," sharing that the crew spent a lot of time in Gabon in Africa before managing "to get the material of these big hippos going into the ocean, catching waves to actually move up and down the coast." 

After watching the docuseries you can choose which National Park is your favorite, but if you ask Honeyborne, the answer is Monterey. For fellow producer Sophie Todd, "Leuser National Park in Indonesia, just because it's an incredibly beautiful rain forest where you can still see forest elephants, orangutans, tigers and rhinos in the same place." 

In addition to exploring the world's national parks, the producers got to work with Obama, something they agree just made sense. 

"As president, he protected more natural space than any president in U.S. history in terms of area. So I mean, it's just a natural fit, really, wasn't it?" Todd says.

"Yeah," Honeyborne agrees. "It felt very authentic to have him there. And it was wonderful that we were able to to have him introduce each episode because he has a connection to each location that we have filmed."

Wednesday, April 13, 2022 at 6:00AM by Danielle Long and Jason Nathanson Permalink