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This dinosaur adventure is aimed at younger viewers (but not too young
as the inter-dinosaur fight scenes could be a bit scary for them). The
storyline approach appears to be borrowed from Disney, like the kind of
films I remember seeing in my own youth where a cat, a (insert animal
of choice) and a goat would team up to trek across America in order to
find a previous owner who has moved house and reluctantly sold them to
a cruel new owner.... or something like that. This time the narration
focuses on Scar the vegetarian dinosaur who treks across what is now
America but in those days wasn't. Meanwhile Patch the carnivorous
dinosaur - a less appealing Velociraptor lookalike - stays where he is
and learns how to survive in the Arctic winters.
The standard of the animation is very good, and is realistic enough for you to sometimes forget you are not watching a real documentary. Shame they couldn't have got David Attenborough to do the commentary, that would have helped. Stephen Fry is an adequate replacement though. Imbibing the dinosaurs with thoughts and feelings seems a bit forced at times, even though I suppose this was the only way they could make a good story out of it.
If you don't mind the predictable storyline and saccharine characterisations, this is a good family film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This documentary follows the breathtaking journey of a young elegant
dinosaur named Scar (as you will find the reason of the name in the
program). He takes on the migration with the herd of his edmontosaurus'
as they escape the 4 months of the deadly winter in the Arctic heading
south for the warmth and food travelling over 1000 miles. Narrated by
the national star Stephen Fry, the documentary shows the amazing story
of the curious, young edmontosaurus Scar discovering new dangers that
will limit his chance of survival. The documentary also follows the
story of Patch, a young male feathered, raptor-like Troodon. The story
shows how Patch is living out at the Arctic forest where the
edmontosauruses left at the start of their migration.
This documentary makes your bottom stick to your seat not wanting to miss a second of the story. As you watch Scar take his journey it feels as you are at a marathon with you just wanting to cheer him on facing unpredictable events but not just him, every other dinosaur taking this journey. To you, Scar is like a child at the start of the story just being as cute and curious around his world as he is living a normal loving life but in many other great stories an event happens that will mentally test his courage and strength that shows that this child is indeed a very special creature. With Patch though, he is someone that if he makes a mistake you would think in your head "FAIL", but yet if he does achieve something or if he does something unpredictable amazing then you would want to give him a hi-5 (even though it would probably hurt with his claws) and tell him "that was awesome". Patch is basically a teenager learning his ways with the girls but trying to keep himself alive. The documentary also has a number of other species of dinosaurs including large predatory dinosaurs that make the story a more exciting adventure. The CGI animation is very well detailed nearly as good of that from the 'Walking with dinosaurs' series. Comparison to the 'Walking with dinosaurs' series, it is just as good but will never be as big and famous than the BBC 'Walking with...' programs created over the years.
I would recommend this to anyone who would enjoy an exciting adventure in learning the knowledge of these magnificent extinct creatures with the prospect of action, battles, survival and a prehistoric journey of a lifetime.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I found this movie pretty fascinating as well as educational.
I watched it with my kids. It was pretty intense at times for them. They really got into it, sympathizing with the main character/dinosaur of the movie and seeing the predatory dinosaurs as the "bad guy".
If you didn't know this is the same outfit that made the phenomenal "Walking with Dinosaurs" back in 1999 (wow over ten years ago now!). If you haven't seen that yet, it's a must! It's a jaw dropping world class production.
Since it's the same company a comparison is inevitable. First it explains some things according to IMDb the first was a £6m production while this was was less then half at £2.5m respectively. WwD (Walking with Dinosaurs) is a much better production in my view. The first is combined a lot of live action, or at least real scenery mixed with CG. While MotD (March of the Dinosaurs) appears to be most if not entirely CG. WwD had a much more realistic look and feel. Also WwD was broken into several segments with several running sub-themes, while MotD is mostly one long them in a particular limited span. It dragged on a bit making it almost too much to watch in one sitting. Furthermore the same my kids were fascinated at first and then got bored after while to the point where they left the viewing area to go do something else.
(Minor spoilers): The movie was both educational and had a story to it. I thought the story was interesting and border-lining on something fictional although quite possible in the scenario.
I was a little bit disappointed by the story as it was kind of negative in my view in the overall scope of things. Perhaps this is my bias from watching everything else dinosaur that seems to show some of the worst parts of the time-line. WwD was better at putting things in scope. Even though dinosaurs came extinct around 65 million years ago (with exception perhaps the birds or what ever that evolved from them), the whole dinosaur period is estimated to be at least 165 million years! Now compare that of humans to an estimated 200,000 years (them Neanderthals) and only off that about 6,000 years ago considered "civilized". So dinosaurs had actually an almost incomprehensible life span in comparison. And makes you wonder some times if the human race will even exist another hundred with some 10% nutters of the world trying to blow our self's up.
But, I digress. The point is the story is sort of towards the end of the dinosaur period where supposed climate changes are making it harder and harder for them to survive. Although with out this great source of conflict for survival a story probably couldn't have been as interesting. I suppose a more difficult story to show a slice of "happy times" for dinosaurs. WwD was again better because it showed contrasts in different time periods for better and for worse for various dinosaur species. A funny thought...-perhaps thousands (hopefully many millions at least) of years some other race, and, or evolution will look at OUR period and just show the more interesting "end" of it all.
Maybe not as good as "Walking with Dinosaurs" but still great. And if you like Dinosaur history/theory as much as I do, you won't want to miss it.
We watched this last night & I found it to be a real mixed bag. First
the good; the animation is terrific. The creatures, the settings,
everything is done to a very high standard. Very impressive.
The bad? Pretty much the rest of it. Stephen Fry has a wonderful voice but I found his performance to be totally OTT; like a local am dram performance. Secondly, the pace of the show is s-l-o-w. They somehow even manage to make the chases and hunting scenes appear as if they're in slow motion. Thirdly, it's very anthropomorphic. Possibly, with the target audience in mind (14 and younger I'm guessing), that's the only way to do it, but giving a 3 ton dinosaur a brain tumour & making him forgetful?! Finally, there was no real tension at all. Having given names to 2 of the characters, it was clear from the second we heard their names that no harm would come to them, and it didn't.
So, for younger (or generally non-critical) viewers, this is a beautiful looking docudrama. For the older / more critical viewer, it's a lovely looking but slow, tension-free piece.
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