In 1999, the BBC produced a stunning documentary series that used computer-generated imagery and animatronics to recreate what it was like when dinosaurs roamed the earth. It makes sense that a movie using the same jaw-dropping graphics were made, and for it to be aimed at children, but sadly the end result isn’t half as enjoyable as the TV series.
We now have a twee story to watch that even the smallest viewers will find a bit tedious. Smart-mouthed prehistoric bird Alex (Leguizamo) tells us the story of little dino Patchi (Long) and his bigger brother Scowler (Stone), who survive tragedy and sibling rivalry – and butt scaly heads over love interest Juniper (Tiya Sircar) while they trudge the landscape to avoid the harsh winter.
Unfortunately, the voice-overs that are supposed to make these giant, toothy lizards cute, cuddly and amusing are actually downright irritating, while the awful pop music soundtrack and sudden appearance of ‘fact cards’ on the screen (telling us the names and traits of certain dinosaur species) sit awkwardly with the flimsy story. There are also very brief present day scenes at the beginning and end with Karl Urban as a man trying to get his nephew interested in digging for dinosaur bones that are completely unnecessary to the film as a whole. A shame, as the visuals are fascinating to watch and will impress dinosaur fans of all ages.
Is Walking With Dinosaurs suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Please note that although this is a U certificate, very young viewers may find some scenes quite scary.
Early on, Patchi is snatched by a dinosaur and injured, which may scare very young viewers.
Throughout the movie, the dinosaurs have to face danger such as fire and attacks from other dinosaurs.
A scene where Patchi seems to give up and dinosaurs circle to begin feeding on him may be very distressing for the under-7s.