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Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Welcome to the ultimate wild life sanctuary. Welcome to Prehistoric Park.", 6 Jun 2009
This review is from: Prehistoric Park [2006] [DVD] (DVD)
"It's one thing to find a T-Rex," the narrator David Jason tells us. "It's another thing to take one home." Prehistoric Park takes the fascinating idea of a natural history series on dinosaurs and combining it into a fictional documentary with a real wildlife adventurer named Nigel Marven. Nigel uses a time portal to travel back with a small team to capture or trick dinosaurs in order to return with them through the portal to today's Prehistoric Park. This is an idea that is presented with good science, but is engrossingly odd because it's played so straight. It's hard not to keep smiling at what has led us to this since Marlin Perkins and Wild Kingdom.

The series has terrific production values, exciting situations, deadpan delivery and this outstanding, enthusiastic real-life naturalist, Nigel Marven. He's a producer and star of popular British TV natural history programs and was associated with David Attenborough for several years. From the back wearing a bush hat he resembles Andrew Zimern rushing to eat something we don't want to know about. From the front, however, he resembles somewhat a weathered and energetic Rod Taylor, down to his workingman's accent. Nigel Marven is a completely unself-conscious amateur actor in the middle of all the special effects. This integration of live action and impeccable Computer Generated Imagery is what CGI was born to do, not waste its time on comic book movies. The fight between two T-Rexes, one with two babies looking on and Nigel trying to stay out of the way, is far more exciting than the fights between Spidey and Willem Defoe. The CGI visuals with the explanation of the giant meteor strike that most likely led to the disappearance of the dinosaurs is impressive. Nigel and the two hungry T-Rex babies, now orphans that he coaxed through his portable time portal with a sandwich, had only seconds to spare before the meteor hit.

During the six episodes of approximately 50 minutes each we'll get to know and like Nigel, as well as Prehistoric Park's head keeper, Bob (Rod Arthur) and the Park's veterinarian, Suzanne (Suzanne McNabb). Of course we'll also see Triceratops horridus, Omithomimus, Tyrannosaurus rex, Mammuthus primigenius, Elasmotherium, Smilodons, Phorusrhacos, and...uh...a lot more. The titles of the six episodes let us know what Nigel and his time portal are up against: T-Rex Returns, Mammoth, Dino-Birds, Saving the Sabre-Tooth, The Bug House, and Giant Croc. During the episodes we often switch back to Prehistoric Park to see how Bob, Suzanne and the staff deal with everything from giving a mammoth a haircut to cool her down during a heat wave to doing an ultrascan to check for a dinosaur pregnancy. Take the time to watch this series, especially if you have kids to sit next to you on the sofa. I think you'll get a kick out of Prehistoric Park while you all learn some good, interesting stuff.

The DVD visual and audio transfers are first-rate. There are three episodes on each of the two discs. The documentary series was shown first in Britain in 2006, then later that year on Animal Planet in the U.S.
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Review Details

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4.6 out of 5 stars (58 customer reviews)
5 star:
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Reviewer

C. O. DeRiemer
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 320