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Trailer: Walking With Dinosaurs

See and feel what it was like when dinosaurs ruled the Earth in this big-screen spin-off from the BBC series.

PT1M47S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2w0uw 620 349

Reviewer rating:

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

WALKING WITH DINOSAURS
(PG, 87 minutes) Now playing.
★★

Walking with Dinosaurs combines the BBC's then innovative 1999 Mesozoic-era digital effects documentary with Hollywood storytelling to create a family friendly 3D feature. If it's a success then we can probably expect further raids on the BBC's vaults. While it's framed by a present-day scenario set in Alaska where a palaeontologist (Karl Urban) tries to remind his niece and bored teenage nephew how much fun dinosaur fossil research really is, Walking with Dinosaurs essentially follows a time-honoured Hollywood tradition: put silly voices on unlikely creatures and let them make childish gags. With a strong nod towards the Ice Age animated series, the movie is narrated by Alex, a chatty Alexornis bird voiced with teeming energy and a cliched Spanish accent by John Leguizamo. He watches over a Pachyrhinosaurus herd that includes a pair of young siblings who grow into adolescent rivals: the smart but gentle Patchi (Justin Long) and the boorish Scowler (Skyler Stone). The film's look - combining impressive computer animation with live action backgrounds - is first-rate, but the tone veers sharply. One minute the young herbivores are bantering as they frolic amid the herd's migration, the next they're watching their father fall (lots of teeth, no blood) to a predatory Gorgosaur. They may have small brains, but these orphaned dinosaurs do not grieve for long. Kids speak and adults roar, so Patchi argues with Scowler and pursues Juniper (Tiya Sircar), who he is soon ''crushing'' on (as in romantically obsessing over, not rolling on until she's squashed); sometimes it's as if you're watching Diary of a Wimpy Dinosaur. There's nothing offensive about the film, but it tries to include so many different elements that it ends up playing as insubstantial and innocuous despite the obvious production budget and detailed design. It's made for children, yet appears to have no faith that the wonder of these extinct creatures might be enough to fascinate them.