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Review: Walking With Dinosaurs

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Walking With Dinosaurs comes roaring back on to our screens this Christmas, but Emma Sudderick thinks it should have stayed extinct.

This Christmas, the BBC did something it has needed to do for 10 years. It brought back the dinosaurs.

So what did I do? I forced my two younger cousins to come to the cinema and spend 2 hours watching animated dinosaurs migrating. My dignity was saved, until it became apparent that I enjoyed the film more than the children did.

This is probably very true for one very good reason, I still remember the thrill of seeing dinosaurs for the first time on my TV screen.  It didn’t matter to me that the storyline was limp at best or that the characters were completely stereotypical of a children’s narrative, I was just excited (to the point of nausea) that I was watching a film about dinosaurs for the first time in years.

Once I had got past this initial elation, I started to see its faults. The plot had very little substance and the characters had even less.

walking with dinosaurs
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

The protagonist, a Pachyrhinosaurus (aptly named Pachy), is the runt of the litter, constantly being picked on by his elder brother. As every children’s protagonist should be, he is suitably erroneous in his and find himself in all kinds of mischief.

This mischief, by luck alone, leads him into a romantic affair with another dinosaur, Juniper. Gee, doesn’t this sound familiar? Then the great migration begins and along the way the herd are met with all kinds of difficulties, including CARNIVORES! Gah! The film has so much substance that you can almost sink your teeth into it! (Get it?)

What I hope to emphasise is that there is very little reason that you should go and see Walking with Dinosaurs. It is a relatively short film, made solely for children. Yet there is something charming about the production. Whilst looking at the elements of the film in isolation make it seem like a dire attempt at reigniting the dino-mania many experienced when the original documentary first hit our screens in 1999 (I know, I feel very old too. One could almost say, prehistoric…), the film left me with a feeling of immense fulfillment. It was comical, uplifting and educational all at once. What it lacked in eloquent script writing it made up for in nostalgia.

I ended up walking out of the cinema entirely satisfied and entirely in need of someone to remind me that I was an adult.

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