ByDan King, writer at
Hello and welcome to the Addicted to Animation blog... why is this limited to 140 characters now? I used to have this whole intro thing.
Dan King

Ok, so a couple of year back I reviewed this on Youtube cene by scene, but apparently that bored some folks, so I'm gonna make this one short and sweet.

It sucked. Really badly. REALLY REALLY BADLY.

Now for the longer stuff:

I loved the original Walking With Dinosaurs series, and its sequels and spin-offs. They were truly landmark pseudo-documentaries, and got generations of kids, including myself in part, absolutely fascinated with palaeontology and dinosaurs. So, logically, the BBC decided that they would make a movie out of it to cash in on the success... EIGHT YEARS AFTER THE LAST SHOW FINISHED.

The BBC's first mistake was ditching Imposible Pictures (the company who created the series to begin with), and going to Fox to help make it. Fox decided to ditch practical effects altogether and set the series in the Rocky Mountains, which didn't exist during the time that the film was set, and they then proceeded to make all the scenery wrong for the time.

But the WORST mistake was Fox's decision to turn a documentary series into a drama, as told by a time-travelling, shape-shifting talking rook voiced by John Leguizamo. (And no, the movie NEVER EXPLAINS why a rook is in Alaska when they're from Europe, nor why it has a Mexican accent, nor how it can turn into an Alexornis and time travel).

Voice actors were added for all our characters, none of whom were all that good for their roles, and none of the voices matched with the mouth movements at all.

The screenplay was dreadful too, with strange references to the future and "ninjas" that made no sense in or out of context, and Scowler's sudden shift to being evil just sort of comes out of nowhere. But the worst sin of the screenplay was having Alex talk over everything, apparently just to suck the emotion out of otherwise very powerful scenes like Patchi's dad being killed, and thus making the movie REALLY hard to watch.

Then there's the soundtrack. All I'm going to say is that the music they chose really didn't work.

It also really surprised me when they announced that the movie would be set in Alaska, as until that point it was very heavily implied that it would be set in the UK's greatest dinosaur fossil hotspot the Isle of Wight. The film premiered on the island, got commemorating buses, there are plaques on the island onto which you can scan a code with your smartphone and get CGI dinosaurs pop up on the ground next to you, they went to such extremes to associate this movie with the island that I was downright shocked that it wasn't set there because it made me wonder: "Why bother associating a movie with a place if you're not going to set it there?"

But while that last paragraph didn't really affect the quality of the film, I think the film itself set the bar low enough for those kind of nitpick to start mattering just a bit.

While I do commend the quality of the movie's CGI and anatomical accuracy on the dinosaurs (though I would have liked some feathers on old Gorgo), the CGI was kind of obviously not there, and I would have loved it if they had blended it with practical effects to keep "tricking your eye" and give a more real sensation to the experience like the original series did.

I just don't get what was wrong in using the old "tried and tested" Impossible Pictures team back in on it and making the epic peudo-documentary that the fans actually wanted and deserved.


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