“How do you even begin to talk about Garth Brooks? He’s such a huge megastar on a level that’s hard to even compute. It was just such a privilege to work with him. Or to meet him, let alone work with him.”
Ask Anwar Mamon about Garth Brooks, and this is the answer you’ll get. As the Executive Producer for National Geographic‘s upcoming America’s National Parks series, Mamon conjured every ounce of experience from his 20 years of natural history documentarian work to craft the ultimate showcase of the parks we cherish.
Even if you don’t know his name, nature enthusiasts know Mamon’s work. A drone pilot, camera op, and field documentarian, the EP has produced some of the most fantastic nature programs of our time, including PBS‘s Story of Cats, BBC‘s Grizzly Bear Cubs & Me, and National Geographic‘s Primal Survivor.
So when NatGeo decided to showcase the U.S. national parks, Mamon was their guy. And who better to narrate the legacy of the National Park Service than American icon of American icons, Garth Brooks?
‘As soon as he said the first line for the voiceover, I think we all just stopped and said ‘wow’ out loud. ‘This is good. He’s got it”
“As soon as he said the first line for the voiceover, I think we all just stopped and said ‘wow’ out loud. ‘This is good. He’s got it,'” Mamon praises of their narrator. “And I’d like to also say that he is just the ultimate gentleman. It’s not one of those celeb stories where you feel like you shouldn’t have met your heroes or become disappointed. He is sincerely the nicest, most collaborative person to work with.”
Together, Mamon, Brooks, and their team have crafted America’s National Parks, NatGeo‘s latest love letter to, well, America’s national parks. The first set of episodes delve deep into the landscapes, animals, and conservation thereof for icons like Yosemite National Park, all the way out to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This sort of tremendous diversity is on full display, and Garth Brooks is at the heart of it all as his baritone guides viewers through spectacular vantagepoints.
“His voice. His tone. It just really fits. And it got us so excited. When you make a show, you see it evolve,” Mamon lauds of their narrator. “As soon as you get Garth Brooks’ voice on it, it takes to a whole new level.”
The EP isn’t blowing smoke, either. Brooks’ elevates the entire project with a pitch-perfect delivery and a tone that captures you from his first words. Taking on an almost ethereal quality, Garth becomes the soothing yet powerful narrator we’ve all been hearing in our heads for the national parks. We just didn’t know it yet.
Garth Brooks is Also an Executive Producer on ‘America’s National Parks’
“He’s really into it, as well,” Mamon emphasizes of the country megastar. “He’s one of the Executive Producers, and he’s really into the landscapes; the animals. So it was always great getting his first reactions on episodes, because there’s a lot of things that even he wasn’t aware of having been to a lot of national parks himself.”
As for how the series settled on Garth Brooks to narrate America’s National Parks, the decision seems like a no-brainer. Yet how has no one thought of this before? There are few, if any, American icons more central to the U.S. pantheon than Brooks.
Mamon says the eureka moment came courtesy of National Geographic‘s Senior Vice President, Janet Vissering, who he praises as a “creative genius.”
“It just came to her one day. We were thinking about, ‘Who’s the person we want to partner with? Who’s the person that can connect us and our audience to America’s national parks, and what they really mean? She thought of Garth, and she was 100% correct.”
It’s a sentiment I can confirm. The first five episodes of America’s National Parks offer spectacular rides through aspects of NPS parks visitors rarely get. From bird’s eye views of the Grand Canyon to the intimate lives of Yosemite wildlife, the majesty of U.S. national parks is on full display. And bringing in Brooks elevated the entire experience.
“I think what was interesting, from a creative point of view, was our composers really put the work in on the music because they knew Garth Brooks voice was going to be over it all,” Mamon grins. “I think the music is incredible, as well. As soon as our incredible composers knew Garth was narrating, I think they worked even a little bit harder.”
America’s National Parks premieres Monday, August 29 at 9 PM ET on National Geographic. New episodes will air through Friday, Sept. 2, with all five episodes available for streaming on Disney+ starting Aug. 31. For now, catch a sneak peak of Brooks’ narration in the trailer below:
“America’s National Parks” premieres August 29 at 9/8c on National Geographic over five consecutive nights. All episodes stream Aug. 31 only on Disney+NatGeo