I have been somewhat illusive about the content of our upcoming LHOP project…but now I can talk about it. Beginning on October 23 we are shooting a new Laura Ingalls Wilder documentary…the first of its kind ever undertaken because it will include not only footage from the places where Laura lived, but also recreations of scenes and written words from her classic Little House books. ┬áIn addition we will be including the expert comments of historians and Laura Ingalls Wilder scholars, who will add their insights about Laura’s life on the prairie. This is a project I have been trying to do for more than ten years and its finally going to happen.

I will be adding many more details in the weeks ahead.



  1. Carrie F Says:

    Hi Dean – this is sensational news. Coming from an extended family of Australian documentary filmmakers – I understand the enormous amount of work and legal negotiation involved in getting a project like this off the ground. LIW fans have been waiting a long time for something of this nature.

    I am especially thrilled to hear that some scenes from Laura’s books will be recreated and we’ll hear comments from LIW scholars and historians. Being hemispherically challenged (i.e. a girl from Down Under!), I am unable to attend the events at which LIW historians sometimes speak – so hearing such commentary will be delightful.

    Thank you for sharing this news. Any ideas on a release date, yet?


  2. Martha Says:

    I already started a new thread on and the german fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder are anxiously looking forward to get to know more about the new documentary.

    Good luck with this very special project, Dean!

    My best, Martha

  3. Lynne Says:

    A documentary on Laura is well overdue. I was a big fan of A&E’s Biography series in its hey day, and while they spotlighted Laura in their Biography magazine some years back, A&E never did a television biography of her, which deeply disappointed me.

    I’m sure your target audience will be the fans of Laura, but are you also planning to try to market this to the education sector as well? I would think a documentary such as this would be a perfect compliment for students being introduced to her books and studying aspects of American history.

    Good luck and I am looking forward to adding this to my video library.


  4. nansie Says:

    Can’t wait! Your Almanzo documentary is absolutely fantastic!!!

    But I hope you won’t be saying that LIW taught at age 15, Dean….


  5. Ann Harrison Says:


    In 1965, when I was a 5th Grader, my teacher read us the “Little House” books. I have been obsessed ever since! When the Pilot aired I remember getting everything done, my son to bed, so that I could watch it undisturbed. My husband wasn’t allowed to make a sound! In 1977 I was lucky enough to meet another Laura devotee and when my semester at the University ended, off we headed for Mansfield!!!! Someday I hope to follow the Route that the Ingall’s took from start to finish.

    My request and fervent plea to you is that you make this Documentary as true to life as possible. Give Pa his beard!!!! That drove me nuts in the Series! Make sure that Jack is the correct breed of dog, and have the actors as true to the size, coloring, temperament and overall looks as the real people! Laura’s life was interesting enough without any fictionalization. Pay attention to details, they are what made her books come alive.

    I am glad that you are undertaking this work and I look forward to seeing it.

    My Best Wishes,

    Ann Harrison

  6. Lorrie Rumpf Says:

    Sounds exciting… do you mind my asking who the “historians” are that will be involved in this project? If you’ve had ten years to think this through, it’s going to be a good one.

  7. Beth Ingalls Leisses Says:

    I’m so glad to hear this project is finally underway. I’m sure you will do a good job with it because you have devoted so much of your life to Laura and her family. I can’t wait to see the dvd.

  8. Cheryl Malandrinos Says:

    I am thrilled to finally hear this announcement Dean. Perhaps you’ll grant me a brief email interview once it’s released.

    Lynne, I can’t believe A&E never had a televised doc on such a classic icon of children’s literature.

    Off to read the next thread. Life has been crazy and I haven’t been able to check in here lately.

    All my best,


  9. Lynne Says:

    The A&E Biography Magazine was the August 2001 issue. I kept it because of the feature they did on Laura. It was a lengthy article with a lot of nice pictures. They did also did an article on the Mansfield house in the same issue as well as a recipe section with a prairie theme to it. All that magazine space devoted to Laura, but nothing for TV. Very disappointing.

    However, with the experience that you, Dean, have gained from meeting so many fans of Laura’s over the years, I am hoping that you will bring to life a more realistic depiction of her life. Your going to the places that she actually lived (instead of using stock footage, which other TV productions would do) shows that you are dedicated to bringing Laura’s real story to life.


  10. John A. Bass, LIW/RWL Scholar Says:


    Did you get my message (e-mail) regarding the new DVD?


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