Walking with Dinosaurs 3D

Walking with Dinosaurs 3-D

Directors: Barry Cook, Neil Nightingale

Writer: John Collee

Cast: Karl Urban, Charlie Rowe, Angourie Rice

Voice Cast: Justin Long, Skyler Stone, Tiya Sircar, Clay Savage, Jude Tinsely, Mary Mouser, Katie Silverman, Madison Moellers, Michael Leone, John Leguizamo

Synopsis: See and feel what it was like when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, in a story where an underdog dino triumphs to become a hero for the ages.

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

I think I just stepped in some fear....

Does anyone remember that CGI Disney film called "Dinosaurs" that came out years ago? Boy did that movie suck. Sadly, this film serves as nothing more than a cheap knock off of that very same film to some degree. Sure, there's a few differences like how the story is being told in a past tense sort of way, as it's narrated by a bird telling a boy about the history of dinosaurs, it involves a different set of dinosaurs, and the film does tell it's audience a little bit about each dinosaur that appears on screen.

Apart from those things, it's essentially a rip off of a bad Disney film that never should've gotten made to begin with. You still have a cliched ridden romance involving some protagonist, who somehow rises up to become the de-facto leader of the tribe, while protecting the herd from vicious predators during their migration. The protagonist also happens to be something of an underdog archetype, and you have some goofy sidekick, who tries to give our hero love advice along the way. Although I will give "Walking with Dinosaurs" credit for one thing, the bird isn't anywhere near as annoying as the self proclaimed, "Love Monkey", from "Dinosaur."

Oh, there's also a lot of "breaking the fourth wall" jokes throughout this story as well. Sadly, as much as I love a good "breaking the fourth wall" joke as much as the next guy, the problem is it only works when you're doing satire and/or parody, when it comes to movies. Although this is something of a family comedy, it's mostly an adventure story if anything else; which often makes the fourth wall jokes come off as weird. Not to mention the fact that story starts off being narrated by some bird telling a human child about the history of dinosaurs, but as soon as the narration starts, the voice of the hero chimes in saying how he wants to tell the story; even though he didn't even meet the boy at the beginning. Of course, this leads to them fighting over who gets to narrate the story

And for that matter, how the hell did the bird end up talking to the boy to begin with? The story initially starts off in live action. A paleontologist is taking his kids to a deserted area to look for dinosaur bones, as sort of his way of spending quality time with them so to speak. You have one young one that loves learning about dinos, while you have some teenager who could care less. Hmm, I wonder which kid is going to be the one that hears the story.

Long story short, the teenage kid blows off his dad, in favor of trying to get a signal for his cell, so he can text his friends. Then out of nowhere a bird shows up, and talks to the kid. Why does he show up? We don't know, as this film never bothers to explain it. However, the bird wants to educate the young boy about dinosaurs by telling him the story about a friend of one of his ancestors, from the prehistoric era. Gee, why does this movie feel so much like "Reading Rainbow" now? And from there, you can pretty much take a wild guess what happens.

I won't spoil it for readers, but if you've seen as many movies as I have, then you'll know exactly how this film will play out within the first ten minutes. To call "Walking with Dinosaurs" insanely predictable would be a huge understatement to say the least.

Plus, if you're not a fan of poop jokes in family comedies, then chances are you're not going to like it in this film either.

However, that's not to say the film doesn't have it's good points either. For starters, the special effects are simply amazing in this film, as these are arguably some of the most realistic dinosaurs that you'll ever see on the big screen; with the notable exception of "Jurassic Park" respectively.

Also, if you choose to see this in 3-D, then it's definitely worth it, as some of the images will pop out at you on the big screen. Although I should warn readers that if you're one of these people that suffer from heart problems, then I'd avoid the 3-D showings because some of it might be a bit too scary for some people.

Overall, I'm not going to say that "Walking with Dinosaurs" is the worst family film that I've ever seen, but it leaves a lot to be desired. I'm sure kids will probably love the movie, as it offers a fairly straight forward narrative to follow, but if you're an adult wanting something with a bit more substance to it, then you won't find it here. However, if you're interested in a great family film about dinosaurs, then I would suggest the "Land Before Time" animated movie, as it still holds up to this day. Anyways, I'd probably have to give this film a one out of four.

The visuals are impressive, but it's a shame the rest of the movie sucks.

© 2014 Steven Escareno

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