on 5 November 2015
I watched this at the cinema and remember the crushing dissapointment when it was clear that imbecile studio execs had interfered with the production and had insisted on voice overs that were Both ludicrous and incredibly irritating. This was NOT a movie version of the excellent BBC series, it was a travesty of a production with no clear idea of what it wanted to be. How the BBC allowed their product and good name to be so horrendously sullied by this mess is anybody's guess. Somebody somewhere should hang their head in shame for all but destroying something really good.
The Cretaceous cut is a much more enjoyable experience however and goes some way to remedying the original mess of a release. Gone are the irritating voices and what is left is a 90 minute walk with a herd of dinosaurs heading south for the winter told from the perspective of a single Pachyrhinosaurus called Patch. The 3d and animation is excellent and although there are a few pop songs and some somewhat out of place moments, this is much closer to the sort of movie I think many were expecting. For that reason it is well worth buying the 3d movie since this new cut is also in 2d for those who don't like 3D. This version would be even better if it was about half an hour longer.
on 29 April 2014
Firstly, this 3D-Bluray disc will also play on an ordinary Bluray player in 2D. I don’t have a 3D-Bluray player and so I can’t review the 3D, but the 2D-Bluray picture quality is brilliant. Secondly, I purchased the 3D only for the Bonus Feature known as ‘Cretaceous Cut’ which, from observing the back of the packaging, is only available on the 3D-Bluray release, and not on the DVD or regular Bluray (please correct me, if I am wrong about this).
The movie itself is absolutely terrible. Actually it is really good, but for one reason only it is one of the worst movies I have ever seen, and that is because of the voices of the dinosaurs in the film. If you don’t know already, apparently this film was originally meant to have no talking dinosaurs (except possibly a narrator), but at the last minute some 20th Century Fox studio executives decided the dinosaurs needed to talk, and so a rushed script and actors voices were quickly dubbed over the film. The result is painful to sit through, in my opinion. Annoying voices, terrible jokes (mostly involving juvenile humour and clichéd 21st century young teen expressions), the dinosaurs don’t even move their mouths to the dialogue (it really was a last minute add-on), and most of the time the voices just don't feel like they fit the film or are completely unnecessary for the narrative of the story.
The film is visually beautiful, and that is all it needed to be. There is a story, which is incredibly easy to follow without the dialogue, about migrating herds and young dinosaurs growing up and facing the many other creatures that live in their world. The photography is spectacular, and the visual effects are amazing. The three main characters are easily distinguishable, and also have an ever so slightly cartoony feel to them, allowing the creatures to portray relatable emotions and reactions for the viewer. If your children really don’t follow what is going on, then you can always explain it to them (even if you have little knowledge about dinosaurs, wildlife and the natural world in general, your children will learn far more from you, than they will from the spoken dialogue). The creature noises are great too, where much of the sound effects work would be completely washed out when watching the film with the annoying voices running over the top of the creature sounds. The movie score also effectively tells the story, and the song tracks (although cheesy) mostly fit well into the film.
Viewing the film in the Cretaceous Cut does have at least two obvious upsets, thanks to editing to fit the irritating script. This includes a moment during the Gorgosaurus educational specs which has too much visual emphasis of its arms (for the sake of an scripted poke at the small arms), and another moment when the video is rewound (this was for the sake of another unfunny moment in the script). Since these moments take up no more than ten seconds of the film, it’s not much of a problem.
The Cretaceous Cut also remove the Karl Urban [and kids] scenes at the beginning and ending (which I thought were watchable but unnecessary), as well as the end credits (which features some nice artwork), but these are still available on the disc if you want to watch them.
It is definitely not the best movie ever. It is not even the best dinosaur movie ever (highly recommend Jurassic Park, The Land Before Time, or the original BBC WwD series). However, the ‘Cretaceous Cut’ makes this a unique viewing experience and very enjoyable for any dinosaur fan.
on 1 May 2014
The study of dinosaurs is a fascinating subject. I applaud the idea of showing an animation about these pre historic creatures. Deliverly weighs greater importance than ideas and animation. To be frank, I found the animation incredibly dull and annoying when expectations were so high. It lacks the comical and quirkiness of animations designed for kids.It is very slow paced.There is a lack of excitement to maintain interest levels. It is a struggle to really engage with the animation. Walking with dinosaurs shows plenty of potential. Lack of planning has damaged of what potentially could have propelled to a great animation. I found the voices irritating and getting on my nerves. I found it strange there is no mouth movement at all in the characters. The CGI is first class, but it does not compensate of what could have been good. Kids would find this boring. I just could not get into it. There are better animations. This is by far the weakest I have seen.
on 16 May 2014
I PURCHASED WALKING WITH DINOSAURS 3D , FOR MY GRANDSON TO WATCH, BECAUSE HE LOVES DINOSAURS, AND TO SEE WHAT THE 3D WAS LIKE COMPARED TO OTHER 3D MOVIES, BELIEVE YOU ME , YOU WILL NOT BE DISSAPOINTED. THE MOVIE IS GREAT AND THE 3D IS AMAZING. I HAVE SEEN QUITE A FEW 3D MOVIES, AND HAVE NOT BEEN IMPRESSED. BUT THIS ONE IS REALLY GOOD. WOULD RECOMMEND TO ANYONE
Even if the title is the same this children oriented film has virtually NOTHING IN COMMON with the ground-breaking 1999 BBC series "Walking with dinosaurs", as far from being a document, this is in fact a film for kids, in which dinosaurs and birds are intelligent and can talk. Below, more of my impressions, with some SPOILERS.
PARENTAL WARNING! Some scenes in this film can and will TERRIFY youngest children, especially in 3D (both in theaters and at home) - the scariest scenes include very large predators (there are numerous Gorgosaurus in this film) jumping towards the public and seemingly trying to gnaw at the spectators with their mouths (filled with scary looking teeth) wide open and violently snapping. I would rather avoid showing it to children below at least age of 7. There is also a pretty scary and impressive scene of HUGE RAGING FOREST FIRE and some terrified and crying for help pachyrhinosaurus DROWNING in a freezing lake...
Now, first, let's stress it again, in this film, like in Disney's 2000 film "Dinosaur" and like in "Land before time" series some dinosaurs (and one bird) are fully intelligent and can talk. Like in Disney's film, we begin with the main hero, a young pachyrhinosaurus named Patchi, being just a hatchling - and the runt of the litter... Patchi, his big bully of brother named Scowler and his other siblings speak, A LOT - on another hand for some reason their parents don't talk. At all.
Patchi is very badly treated by his brothers and sisters, but he befriends a prehistoric bird named Alex, who plays with him and talks. A LOT! Later Patchi will meet Juniper, a little female pachyrhinosaurus of same age as him, who will become the love of his life. As you can see, the main dinosaurs here are fully "humanized" as in "Dinosaur" and "Land before time" and they will continue this way during all the film, even when they are fully grown up. On another hand other dinosaurs and other creatures (including some pesky cretaceous mammals) don't speak.
This film borrows A LOT from Disney's "Dinosaur", with Patchi being in many ways similar to Aladar, Juniper being a carbon copy of Neera and especially the character of Scowler being an almost identical twin to Kron. To continue the similarities, bird Alex simply replaces the lemurs and the pack of gorgosaurus takes the place of the pair of carnotaurus. The species are different, but the characters are not... Sorry, SPOILER here: even the final fight was copied in its general lines from the final confrontation in "Dinosaur"...
On another hand, this film is also in large part inspired by a good document called "March of dinosaurs" (see my review of this one) made in 2011 and narrated by Stephen Fry. Both this film and "The March of the dinosaurs" are centered around the yearly migration of a huge herd of dinosaurs living in Cretaceous in North America to the south in autumn and then back to the north in spring. In "The March of the dinosaurs" the main character was a young edmontosaurus called Scar because it was hurt and scarred in childhood and the pachyrhinosaurus are secondary characters - here the main hero is a pachyrhinosaurus called Patchi, who was hurt and scarred in childhood and the edmontosaurus are secondary characters... In both films we also meet some gorgosaurus, troodons and scavenging quetzalcoatlus pterosaurs. I personally found "The March of dinosaurs", which is a document trying to stick very closely to science, much much better and at least as interesting for older children and teenagers.
My 12 years old daughter - who likes dinosaurs, monsters, aliens, mutants and anything else that goes nicely with popcorn - enjoyed this film, which indeed contains some nice images and also pretty humouristic moments, provided mostly by wise-cracking bird Alex. Me on another hand, I was disappointed, for following reasons:
- the images are certainly gorgeous but ultimately not really better than in the "Walking with dinosaurs" which was after all made 14 years ago
- the 3D is useful in a couple of sequences (I was really tempted to try to pat a quetzalcoatlus pterosaur on its beak...) but not really so much needed during the rest of the film.
- the film doesn't know really where to go. Most of time it is a film purely for children, but then by moments it tries to be also a document - and as a result it is not entirely succesful in neither category.
- the number of dinosaurs species shown is really rather limited for such a long film - only four species are really shown for any duration (pachyrhinosaurus, gorgosaurus, troodon, edmontosaurus) together with the quetzalcoatlus pterosaurs, one bird and a couple of little mammals. There is also one ankylosaurus and a couple of chirostenotes, parksosaurus and hesperonychus all appearing like for 10 seconds... and that is all
Bottom line, this is a watchable dinosaur film FOR OLDER CHILDREN and YOUNG TEENAGERS, but nothing else. For adults and older teenagers I really advise to skip it and watch/re-watch other great British dinosaur productions like the original "Walking with dinosaurs" series, "The March of dinosaurs" and "Planet dinosaur" (narrated by John Hurt) or the excellent American series "Dinosaur planet" and "Dinosaur revolution".