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2011  

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Dinotasia (2012)
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A collection of vignettes presenting possible experiences in the lives of dinosaurs during various periods.

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Director: Matthew Dyas
Stars: David Attenborough, Douglas A. Lawson
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David Krentz ...
 Himself (1 episode, 2011)
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4 September 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Reign of the Dinosaurs  »

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$12,000,000 (estimated)
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Trivia

The reason why the large dicynodont Ischigualastia from the first episode looks like the tusked Placerias (a creature made famous by another paleo-documentary, Walking with Dinosaurs (1999)) is that originally, they planned the segment to take place in prehistoric Arizona rather than South America, and thus created animation models based on Placerias. When the setting was changed, there was no time left to redo the model, and so the Ischigualastia received tusks for the episode, although the actual animal lacked them. Strangely, the presence of tusks still remained a plot-point in the story. See more »

Goofs

Ischigualastia lacked tusks in real life, but has giant tusks in this show. This is because it was originally meant to be a different animal, Placerias, and the CGI team couldn't redo the model when the animal's species got changed. See more »

Connections

Edited into Dinotasia (2012) See more »

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Voyage of the Disneysaurii
26 January 2013 | by (Glasgow, Scotland) – See all my reviews

Take a smattering of randomly themed vignettes, add some excitable paleopublicists, curiously proportioned and bizarrely animated models, throw them together, blend, and pour.

Is this entertainment? Education? I'm really not sure, and neither is it. Some paleontological background is presented, but in a token way, with a few stock shots of hammer wielding Indiana Jones style field workers cutting to a hand waving exposition of the conclusions, with no connection between the two. Science by assertion.

Pragmatically though, all television is a way to attract eyeballs for advertisers, and this series is clearly aimed at doing just that.

To its credit, there is an underlying theme to each episode, such as parental care. But this is illustrated with tiny minidramas, jumping around between eras and species in a disjointed way that prevents any subject being explored in depth.

And there are also some highly spurious scenarios, presumably thrown together more for re-use of models or raw drama than through any suggestion from their tame pseudo-science mouthpieces - giant killer mosquitoes, being a standout example.

The animation is passable, barely. Strangely staccato, it's more reminiscent of Harryhousen than Jurassic Park. Since the latter was made twenty years ago, there's little excuse for such jerky, hesitant beasts that float and waft through their environments without any interaction.

All of this I could forgive, but for one thing: the comedy anthropomorphisation of the stars, with a side line in puppyish behaviour.

Apparently the way to sell dinosaurs now is to have them react like people or our favourite contemporary beasts, to project human problems and emotions and reactions on to them.

Dinosaurs perform double-takes, females sport rounded, darkly lined eyes - I could swear that some of them were batting lashes. A sleepless night leads to a tired, grumpy dinosaur during the day. It's an animal! If it's tired, it will just lie down and sleep, problem solved.

This theme continues through the episodes that I bothered to watch, but eventually I realised that I was watching popular entertainment that simply isn't very entertaining.


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