Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Walking with Dinosaurs 3D

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for creature action and peril, and mild rude humor
Profanity:Some schoolyard language
Nudity/Sex:Some potty humor
Alcohol/Drugs:None
Violence/Scariness:Dinosaur predator violence and peril, sad death of parents
Diversity Issues:None
Movie Release Date:December 20, 2013
DVD Release Date:March 24, 2014

walking_with_dinosaurs

Dinosaur movies pretty much all have the same plot.  Unless it is a fantasy like “Jurassic Park,” the story is pretty simple: the dinos have to migrate and there are a lot of encounters and adventures along the way. What separates Walking With Dinosaurs 3D from earlier entries like “The Land Before Time” and Disney’s then-state-of-the-art “Dinosaur” is the beauty and majesty of the great creatures, marred a bit by a jokey script with too much focus on poop and barf jokes, silly winks at the audience about the animals’ “future as an oil field,” and distracting anthropomorphism.

A brief prologue set in modern day has a brother and sister visiting their paleontologist uncle (“Star Wars’” Karl Urban) in Alaska.  The girl is excited by the broken tooth found by her uncle and happy to accompany him to the dig to see if they can find more bones.  But her older brother is bored.  “I’m not really into digging for dead things.”  He’d rather text his friends about how lame everything is.

But then a bird (voice of John Leguizamo) appears to explain that “Every fossil tells a story.”  He transforms into his prehistoric ancestor, garishly colored with trailing trail feathers and toothy-looking protuberances from his beak, to narrate the story of his friend Patchi (voice of Justin Long), from just after hatching as the runt of the nest to adulthood and becoming a father with his own eggs to guard.

Our hero is Patchi, a Pachyrhinosaurus (thick-nosed lizard), whose early run-in with a predator leaves a hole in his frill that helps us identify him as he goes from hatchling to adolescent to adult.  He is a cheerful, curious, friendly vegetarian, a bit in the shadow of his alpha male older brother, Scowler (voice of Skylar Stone).  Their father is the pack leader who shows the rest of the tribe the way when it is time to migrate.  But along the way there is danger, especially from predatory meat-eaters who find the plant-eaters delicious.  Patchi’s parents are killed (off-screen) protecting their young.  Scowler takes over via head-butt battle, and it looks like he may take over the pretty female Patchi likes as well (Tiya Sircar as Juniper).  Will brains triumph over brawn?

Kids in the audience seemed to enjoy the slapstick and potty humor and it is possible that it tempered the scarier themes.  It will certainly make fans of the television series happy, and, I hope, inspire curiosity about the real stories that fossils tell.  Viewers with more serious interest in dinosaurs will want to take advantage of the Blu-Ray’s “Cretaceous” option and skip the human voices.

Parents should know that this film has dinosaur-era violence, characters in peril, injured and killed, sad deaths of parents, and potty humor.

Family discussion:  Why did Patchi and Scowler make different choices?  Which was your favorite kind of pre-historic creature and why?

If you like this, try: the television series and visit your local natural history museum to learn more about dinosaurs



Previous Posts

Intuition -- A Short Film from Danielle Lurie
I love this short film from Danielle Lurie about a young woman who needs to learn to listen to her heart, with a wonderful performance by Montse Muñoz. [vimeo]https://vimeo.com/101953117[/vimeo]

posted 10:09:01am Jul. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Joseph Nasser of "Amber Alert: Terror on the Highway"
Reserve Police Officer Joseph Nasser produced Amber Alert: Terror on the Highway to help raise awareness of the Amber Alert system. It stars Tom Berenger as a man on the edge, making a dead rush for Mexico and kidnapping two young girls along the way. He is hotly pursued by police chief Martha Geig

posted 8:00:33am Jul. 28, 2014 | read full post »

"Guardian of the Galaxy's" Awesome Mixtape
One of the many pleasures of "Guardians of the Galaxy," opening this week, is the soundtrack featuring some 70's classics from an "Awesome Mixtape" played by Peter "Star Lord" Quill (Chris Pratt).  Here are some of the highlights. "Hooked on a Feeling" by Blue Swede [youtube]http://www.youtub

posted 8:00:21am Jul. 27, 2014 | read full post »

Comic-Con 2014: Day 2
Day 2 of Comic-Con included: an interview with "Sharknado" and "Sharknado 2" screenwriter Thunder Levin, a buggy lunch with Boxtrolls, press events with the directors and casts of four films, and appearing on the Rotten Tomatoes panel, where each attendee was given a paddle with a ripe tomato on on

posted 10:04:47pm Jul. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Thank You! This Site is 19 Years Old This Week!
It seems like yesterday, but it was 19 years ago this week that I first began writing reviews online as The Movie Mom®.  Anyone remember Prodigy?  The first appearance of my website was via the Sears-owned online service, so long ago it does not even turn up in Wayback searches.  At the time, we

posted 3:59:49pm Jul. 26, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.