Mongolia, 25 million years B.C. This episode follows a young Indricotherium. After a dramatic birth, he must survive in a world of rhino-sized predators like Hyaenodon and pig-like monsters such as ...
Where _Walking With Dinosaurs (1999) (TV)_ took us through the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous Eras, Walking With Prehistoric Beasts examines the various Cenozoic eras, when mammals began to dominate after the massive late Cretaceous extinction that killed 65% of life on Earth, including the dinosaurs.Written by
Jonah Falcon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The most difficult episode to make was Walking with Prehistoric Beasts: Next of Kin (2001), as the Australopithecus' animation required significantly more attention to detail than that of any other animal. The animation crew had to study chimpanzees to get their movements right, and even creating a simple walk cycle proved problematic. Their anatomy is more human-like than the show's other creatures, which lead to further difficulties, as the joints of their limbs and their skin folds had to be meticulously checked. Both the effects team and their scientist supervisors had learned so much during this process that the animators were actually invited to help out with scientific papers on Australopithecus. See more »
We have since built museums to celebrate the past, and spend decades studying prehistoric lives. And if all this has taught us anything, it is this: no species lasts forever.
See more »
Marvelous Series, but just a microscopic notch below its predecessor
Lacking cable, I was unable to see "Walking with Prehistoric Beasts" when it premiered last December on the Discovery Channel. Therefore, I had to wait impatiently until February 2002 to purchase the DVD set. My anxious wait was not in vain. "Prehistoric Beasts" is awe-inspiring, provocative, informative, and ambitious, very nearly the equal of its precedessor "Walking with Dinosaurs". The scientific knowledge, care, production, and preparation the BBC crew expended on this program was well invested and deeply appreciated, at least by this paleontology buff. I've watched the "episode" DVD and "making of" DVD at least three times already. I will never get tired of it.
Why a shade below "Dinosaurs"? Well, dinosaurs have a unique marquee appeal all their own - they are truly exotic, mysterious, and alien. While the creatures featured in "Beasts" were all special and impressive - from the forest ants and hopping Leptictidium to the titanic Indricotherium - they're still just a tad too familiar. Nonetheless, I enjoyed all six episodes for their professionalism, information, and naturalism (except for some self-conscious camera work, as for example when the indricothere calf knocks over a camera and a mammoth sprays mud on another one - which I actually found amusing). The CGI and animatronic work was phenomenal for the most part, especially in the mammoth sequences - they seemed just like living hairy elephants. Only some of the renditions - like the Smilodon kittens and a couple of the Australopithecines- seemed just a tad artificial. But that is definitely a minor quibble. Also, digitizing out the mating Australopithecines was a bit distracting. As with the mating stegosaurs in "When Dinosaurs Roamed America", they should have just cut away before the deed was consummated.
My favorite episodes were the "indricothere" and "woolly mammoth" ones, because I am a sucker for giant mammals (megafauna). It's a shame these creatures aren't still with us. Some, like the megatherium, doedicurus, and mammoth, were alive only a few thousand years ago!
To those who did not enjoy the "Walking.." series because it is based on speculation and conjecture, I say, suspend your disbelief and savor the daring and original attempts to re-create a lost world based on the most up-to-date information. It is so well-rendered that if it didn't actually occur that way eons ago, it should have!
Again, kudos to the BBC for both "Walking.." series and their accompanying books (which I also own). I recommend they continue this paleontological quest; they are many more prehistoric beasts to feature!
Out of 10, I would rate "Walking with Prehistoric Beasts" a 9.5!
5 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this