Walking with Dinosaurs (PG)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner18/12/2013

Two out of Five stars
Running time 87 mins

Walking With Dinosaurs: The Movie boasts some impressive special effects but is ultimately let down by a terrible script, a dull story and a poorly conceived American voice dub that is extremely grating.

What's it all about?
Co-directed by Barry Cook and Neil Nightingale, Walking With Dinosaurs: The Movie is an animated dinosaur adventure inspired by the 1999 BBC TV show. The film begins with a live action segment in which adventurous type Uncle Zack (Karl Urban) takes his disinterested nephew Ricky (Charlie Rowe) and dino-obsessed younger niece Jade (Angourie Rice) to see some dinosaur remains. When Ricky is handed a tooth by his uncle, it magically becomes colourful talking Alexornis bird Alex (John Leguizamo), who proceeds to narrate the rest of the (now animated) film.

Alex tells the story of plucky Pachyrhinosaurus Patchi (Justin Long), who falls in love with lady Pachyrhinosaurus Juniper (Tiya Sircar) and clashes with his older brother Scowler (Skyler Stone), who has grown up to lead their herd. As the herd begin their difficult migration south, Patchi, Juniper and Scowler encounter several predators, not the least of which is Gorgo, the fearsome Gorgosaurus who killed Patchi's father.

The Good
The visual effects are extremely impressive throughout, seamlessly blending animated dinosaurs and various other creatures with actual New Zealand and Alaska landscapes. In addition, the 3D effects are fairly decent, with one stand-out moment in particular right at the end.

The Bad
The film's biggest problem is the script, which takes the misguided decision to have the characters speak in modern-day Americanisms (something that presumably came late in the production process, given that none of the characters' mouths move when they talk), so Patchi and his friends say things like “You just got SERVED!” and describe each other as behaving like ninjas (how exactly a dinosaur knows what a ninja is is never fully explained). The dreadful dialogue is grating enough on its own, but it's coupled with a tedious and repetitive story that fails to make an emotional impact.

On top of that, the film's only real educational value involves the occasional freeze-frame with a caption flashing up the name of whichever dinosaur is on screen at the time, which is a shame, given the project's initial inspiration.

Worth seeing?
Despite some impressive special effects, Walking With Dinosaurs: The Movie is ultimately something of a disappointment thanks to its atrocious script, a tedious story and an appalling American dub that will make you want to turn the sound down.

Film Trailer

Walking with Dinosaurs (PG)
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Content updated: 22/07/2018 13:53

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