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WALKING WITH DINOSAURS
DIRECTORS: Neil Nightingale and Barry Cook
VOICE CAST: John Leguizamo, Justin Long, Karl Urban, Angourie Rice, Skyler Stone
CLASSIFICATION: PG V
RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes
RATING: 2 stars (out of 5)
TALKING dinosaurs compete for your attention with rolling vistas, but once the poo humour hits, this one just heads down the drain.
Saddling the film with a juvenile coming-of-age story really bogs it down and suddenly the computer- generated images just turn boring and no amount of 3d imaging is going to help.
It is an awkward merging, made worse by trite dialogue.
Though it is book-ended by a live-action sequence of a paleontologist searching for bones with his niece and nephew, this is very much a computer-generated dinosaur story, complete with embarrassingly sassy birds and horrible T-Rex monsters coming at you.
Set in Alaska, Walking With Dinosaurs gives us the story of eternally optimistic Patchi (voice of Long ) and his bully of a brother Scowler (Stone), who have to survive annual migrations and growing up without parents in the late Cretaceous period.
Watched over by his bird-precursor friend Alex (Leguizamo), Patchi has to navigate sibling rivalry, huge dinosaurs out to eat him and natural obstacles like fire and the ocean.
Patchi is a Pachy-rhinosaurus, from the Greek for “thick-nosed lizard” – in case you didn’t know. Don’t worry if you don’t know about dinosaurs because every time a new one is introduced the action stops and we get a quick lesson.
The beginning and end with the real live people sits very uneasily on either side of Patchi’s story and do not add to the didactic experience.
If you’re a five-year-old dinosaur expert, this might appeal, but how is reinforcing the message that boys are heroes who fight and girls are property to be owned one that anybody would want to pass on to a child?
The animals look realistic and the scenery is gorgeous, each deserving a star, but really, what was the point?
If you liked Dinosaur or Land Before Time you’ll like this.