Walking with Dinosaurs review by Alyse Garner - Cinema Paradiso
Founded on the same technology that lay behind the pioneering BBC documentary series Earth this visual marvel is an absolutely unrivalled experience, yet Walking with Dinosaurs – the 3D Movie strives to blend the truth of prehistoric science with modern, fictional narratives and unsurprisingly succumbs to the fate of most visual extravaganzas; lacking any depth or meaning beyond its surface appearance.
The tepid story behind Walking with Dinosaurs involves the second son of a migrant tribe who struggles to find his place and identity in the shadow of his more powerful older brother; a simple enough story that has been told many times to great success but unfortunately for the minds behind Walking with Dinosaurs - directors Barry Cook (Mulan) and prolific nature documentary producer Neil Nightingale and script writer John Collee (who I can’t believe wrote one of my favourite children’s pictures of the last ten years – Happy Feet) – this time it is simply too gimmicky, overdramatic and lacking in personality.
Since watching the film I’ve learnt that it was originally conceived as a silent film, a purely visual experience in which viewers bare witness to a plethora of beautiful images, the unbelievably impressive animation as well as the utterly gorgeous live action shots of New Zealand and Alaska would have made for an excellent artistic piece – whatever bigwig felt that Walking with Dinosaurs required a script, which I understand was to make it a more popular and family friendly production, ought to keep his opinions to himself from now on.
Ultimately, what could have been a fantastic combination of art and science is spoilt by the addition of narrative leaving Walking with Dinosaurs 3D to be a significant let down.