Walking with Dinosaurs – The 3D Movie
Film Title: Walking with Dinosaurs
Director: Neil Nightingale, Barry Cook
Starring: Karl Urban, John Leguizamo, Justin Long
Running Time: 89 min
Hey kids. Do you want to have fun and learn at the same time? Do you? Do you?
Of course you don’t.
Well, that’s not quite right. If such a thing were genuinely possible, you might be interested. But bitter experience has taught you that these promises invariably deliver some dreary farrago that conveys no knowledge and sets no hearts a flutter.
Walking with Dinosaurs 3D is a case in point. This is, indeed, an anthropomorphic big-screen take on the BBC series that proved such a hit at the turn of the century (the Late Cretaceous period, as far as digital animation is concerned). The producers of the film have decided that nobody is going to be interested in these beasts unless they have the voices and values of middle-class bourgeois America.
Accordingly, though the impressive animation remains speculatively photo-realistic, squeaky teen dialogue has been imposed over the soundtrack to tell a story in which male dinosaurs flex muscles, lady dinosaurs act as willing trophies, and every creature dreams of a nice little cave in suburbs. Frankly, their extinction can’t come quickly enough.
What we have here is a prehistoric version of those old Disney nature films that saw dubious footage of bears and mountain lions – electric cattle prods well out of sight – being combined with the voices of Burl Ives and Tom Bosley to tell stories about which no sensible child could care. “We turned on Wonderful World of Disney to see a cartoon. What’s this garbage?” the little gits of my generation responded.
Still, there are some unintentional laughs to be had. The plot revolves around a cute Pachyrhinosaurus who, when still a child, has a hole bitten in a flappy part of his head. Unfortunate unintentional puns abound, the best of which comes as he flirts successfully with a lady Pachyrhinosaurus. “She likes me and she likes my hole!” he exclaims.
Quiet down, Sean! That’s not funny. You stop sniggering too, Aoife. It’s not big or clever.