Advertisement

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
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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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?

Advertisement

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

Interview: Matt Mamula of Celebrity Impersonator Documentary "Just About Famous"
Matt Mamula co-directed "Just About Famous," the very entertaining new documentary about celebrity impersonators. He generously took time to talk to me about the unexpected opportunities that open up when someone looks like someone who becomes ...

posted 3:59:51pm Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Barak Goodman of "Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies"
Director Barak Goodman talked to me about his superb series for PBS, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, now available on DVD. The series is produced ...

posted 3:55:04pm Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Creativity Conference 2015: Nancy Pelosi, Snoopy, and Drones with GoPros
I had so much fun at last year's Creativity Conference that I could not imagine how they could top it this year, but they succeeded. This is ...

posted 3:07:48pm Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: The Little Prince
The beloved book The Little Prince has been gorgeously animated, with voices including Jeff Bridges, James Franco, and Rachel McAdams.  I love this trailer. [iframe frameborder="0" width="480" height="270" ...

posted 8:00:24am Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Samuel L. Jackson is the President in "Big Game"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKThy0cipVA ...

posted 8:00:34am Apr. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

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

All reported content is logged for investigation.