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Walking with Dinosaurs

Films can be both fun and educational given the right subject matter and approach. Dinosaurs seem to fit the bill perfectly, but 20th Century Fox manages to drop the ball when it comes to Walking with Dinosaurs. No amount of special effects in the world can make up for its dull story and atrocious voice acting.

The Earth was a very different place 70 million years ago and dinosaurs were the undisputed rulers. Walking with Dinosaurs follows a pachyrhinosaurus named Patchi (Justin Long) and his herd as they live together and make their yearly migration across the continental landscape. All of it is wrapped around a pitiful framing story about an archeologist named Zach (Karl Urban) and his niece and nephew as they unearth dinosaur fossils in the mountains. As the live-action scenes only take place at the very beginning and end, they feel unnecessary and out of place. It would have been better, although not much, if they had just stuck with the dinosaurs.

Walking with Dinosaurs uses CGI dinosaurs with live-action backgrounds to create something visually pleasing. The special effects used to create the dinosaurs are top notch and definitely create a sense of realism. Unfortunately, the story is so dismal that it quickly destroys any wonder and awe that might have been there to begin with.

Patchi is a young pachyrhinosaurus who is learning the ins and outs on what it means to be a part of the herd as they migrate to where the food is. His best friend is Alex (John Leguizamo), a witty and bothersome Alexornis bird who also happens to be the narrator of the film. Together they’ll encounter forest fires, frozen lakes, and dangerous gorgosauruses. While that may sound very exciting, it’s actually pretty boring, even for kids. None of the characters are all that interesting as the film simply goes through the motions with a little bit of dumb humor here and there. There are a few facts that pop up when a new dinosaur is introduced but there aren’t that many varieties in the film in general.

Overall, Walking with Dinosaurs  is a bland film that features some spectacular animation but severely lacks and real heart in its story. It plays out more like a direct-to-DVD release rather than something that is being shown in theaters. There are plenty of other better options for families looking to see a film together this holiday season.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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