WALKING WITH DINOSAURS – A Review by John Strange



By: John ’Doc’ Strange

Directed by: Barry Cook, Neil Nightingale

Cast: Charlie Rowe, Karl Urban, Angourie Rice, John Leguizamo, Justin Long, Skyler Stone, Tiya Sircar, Clay Savage

MPAA Rating: PG (for creature action and peril, and mild rude humor)

Selig Rating: FULL PRICE*

Runtime: 87 Min.

Walking With Dinosaurs is a look at the possible events that led to a set of fossilized dinosaur bones in Alaska by paleontologists (one from the Perot Museum of Nature and Science where the skeleton is on display to the public).  To dramatize the story, the film opens with a paleontologist (Karl Urban) taking his nephew (Charlie Rowe) and niece to the dig site to see his work.

Following the discovery of the skeleton, we are taken to the past to see how it might have gotten there.  The action revolves around Patchi (Justin Long), a Pachyrhinosaurus, the runt of the herd.  His adventures during the herd’s migration are the basis of the story.

This film has all of the elements of a truly engaging story: action and adventure, romance, and suspense.  What it also has that will frighten younger children is violence.  When the gorgosaurus first attacks a member of Patchi’s herd, a young man sitting next to my friend and I stood up and told his mother he wanted to leave, now. 

His words and actions brought home to me that this is very real looking, not at all like 1988’s The Land Before Time.  While this film is very accurate in its look and shows the true dangers faced by dinosaurs, it also shows the beauty of the time.  The scenery is breathtaking and the butterfly scene was wonderful.  On an educational note, each time a new variety of dinosaur appears on screen the action stops and the name of the dinosaur plus it’s scientific name and type (carnivore, herbivore, or omnivore) are displayed on the screen.

For the first time ever I am rating a film a qualified FULL PRICE.  For ages 12 and above this is a wonderful movie.  For the younger filmgoers, you will need to explain about the realism in the film before you consider taking them.  Some will love it but others, like the young man I spoke about above, will be badly frightened. 

Movie Site: http://www.walkingwithdinosaurs.com/movie/

The Selig Rating Scale:

FULL PRICE – Excellent movie, well worth the price
MATINEE – Good movie
DOLLAR – OK movie
CABLE – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
FREEBIE – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.
COMMERCIAL TV – Commercials and cutting to the allotted time will not hurt this one.
FORGET IT! – Bad. If you see this one, do yourself a favor and keep it to yourself.
GET YOUR TORCHES – BAD! – Burn the script, the writer, the director and maybe even the actors!

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