- Directed by Neil Nightingale and Barry Cook
- December 14, 2013 (Dubai International Film Festival) / December 20, 2013 (US)
- Patchi-Justin Long
- Juniper-Tiya Sircar
- Alex-John Leguizamo
- Scowler-Skyler Stone
- Uncle Zack-Karl Urban
- Ricky-Charlie Rowe
- Jade-Angourie Rice
The story of a young Pachyrhinosaurus and his herd set in the Late Cretaceous period some 70 million years ago.
Walking with Dinosaurs gets its name from the Walking with Dinosaurs franchise universe (or whatever they’re calling it). This is not a straight animated feature but rather an animated educational film aimed more at a youthful audience rather than it is an adult audience. And it gets kind of weak because it focuses on education rather than entertainment.
If you are plunking down coin to watch a movie you should be entertained first. Nothing wrong with educating or sending a message but there needs to have a good story. If you wish to focus on education then skip the theater.
Why do I say this is an educational film? First off because many of the dinosaurs in this movie derive their names from whatever species they’re from. Not only that but every time a new dinosaur character is introduced that happens to be from a new species we get a brief blurb about that creature. And that really brings things to a crawl.
While Walking with Dinosaurs tries to be educational, and at points accomplishes that, it just is rather boring as a story. There’s the typical of story involving a romance between the character of Patchi (Justin Long) and Juniper (Tiya Sircar) with Patchi’s brother Scowler (Skyler Stone) being the third wheel. It just never works. I know this is aimed at kids, but Anakin and Padme had better dialogue and a stronger connection than these two!
In Walking with Dinosaurs there is CGI married with real world images and it is rather impressive stuff to be fair. The original Walking with Dinosaurs special did this as well and was something amazing. This has better tools to work with and uses them exquisitely.
One thing that I found very weird in this film was the children talk but the adult dinosaurs can only roar. There’s even a joke made about it. I just can’t figure out why this is though. I mean the adults don’t have to be main characters but it just makes no sense for them to lack language. What in context of the film causes this? I know in real life the voice work was added because an executive felt it was needed for children to relate to the young dinosaurs but why leave out the adults? One or two words from an adult would have sufficed.
Walking with Dinosaurs is not terrible but it’s far from great. Small children will enjoy it but anyone older than a toddler probably not. Plop your kids down for this but leave the room to avoid boredom.