While Walking With Dinosaurs is somewhat educational and certainly nice to look at, it is at best only marginally interesting.†The film begins as a teenager marvels at his bad luck to be dragged to a digging site with his little sister and paleontologist uncle. Resigned to spend the trip texting next to the car, the sullen youthís day takes a turn for the better when he is visited by a chatty crow (voiced by John Leguizamo) in the mood to share the story of his prehistoric ancestor Alex, an Alexornis bird, and his adventures with Patchi (Justin Long), a baby pachyrhinosaurus.
With this hasty setup complete, the film becomes a photo-realistic tale of young love in the Cretaceous era. Patchi, the runt of his family, falls for a female pachyrhinosauruses named Juniper (Tiya Sircar). Despite having hatched just a short time ago, Patchi is certain that Juniper is the one for him and attempts to win her heart. Unfortunately, the path to love is traveled by many other dinosaurs, as his jerky big brother Scowler has an eye on becoming both the herd leader and Juniperís mate.
While the CGI is beautiful to look at and the 3D effects are worth the ticket price, Walking With Dinosaurs never quite manages to figure out where the story is going -- an ironic feat seeing as how the plot is literally about walking south, then walking north, and then south again as a herd of pachyrhinosauruses migrate with the changing seasons. Sometimes, the tone is one of pure entertainment, albeit the flimsy kind with scatological humor that falls short and a scrappy protagonist who remains unrelentingly cheery as he is met with a series of disasters, deaths, and injustices. Yet as each new species is introduced -- and there are many -- there is a corresponding fact sheet that abruptly changes the tone to that of childrenís educational programming.
The result is a careless mishmash of unfunny dialogue, educational tidbits, and a multitude of sudden events that never manage to take away the feeling that nothing has actually happened. Walking With Dinosaurs just canít pick a direction, and because of that lands squarely in the tar pits. Dino-loving kids would be much better served by a trip to their local museum of natural history.
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- Released: 2013
- Rating: PG
- Review: While Walking With Dinosaurs is somewhat educational and certainly nice to look at, it is at best only marginally interesting.†The film begins as a teenager marvels at his bad luck to be dragged to a digging site with his little sister and paleontologist u… (more)