Walking with Dinosaurs – Review

Over ten years ago, in 1999, the BBC decided to create a television series that would go on to captivate audiences across the planet. That six-part documentary was Walking with Dinosaurs, and to this day, it remains one of the most successful and profitable tv-made productions ever made in the United Kingdom.

After numerous set-backs and budget changes, 20th Century Fox, in partnership with BBC Earth decided to resurrect the franchise, bringing it back to life as Walking with Dinosaurs: the 3D Movie, but can it capture the magic and sparkle of what preceded it?

The short answer is no. Neil Nightingale and Barry Cook come together to direct the first and hopefully last true turkey of the 2013 movie season. Walking with Dinosaurs: the 3D Movie, follows the story of a young Pachyrhinosaurus, affectionately namedwalking_with_dinosaurs_3d_ver3 Patchi (voiced by Justin Long) as he migrates south for the winter alongside his larger brother Scowler (Skyler Stone) and love interest Juniper (Tiya Sircar).

Herein lies the most fundamental problem with Walking with Dinosaurs, giving the characters names and voices is something which is completely unnecessary and is only briefly mentioned in the film’s original theatrical trailer. Instead of being able to enjoy a documentary-style film like March of the Penguins for instance, we are treated to 87 minutes of insipid Americanised dinosaurs shouting truly hideous dialogue.

Not even the presence of John Leguizamo as a narrating Alexornis, ridiculously named Alex, can save a film which showed so much promise from its trailers and its marketing.

However, mute the sound and you can still see the amazing movie this could have been. Beautiful, sweeping shots of the Alaskan landscape are brilliantly merged with fantastic CGI dinosaurs which never needed voices put over the top of them, the story is there, plain to see without all the unnecessary Americanisation.

Perhaps if the BBC had gone into the project alone, audiences could’ve ended up with a film which captured the integrity of the original series; instead they get a truly dire experience which seems to rest solely on its title.

Steven Spielberg can rest easy in his bed, as Walking with Dinosaurs: the 3D Movie will not trouble Jurassic World when it is released in 2015. I suggest, if you’re craving movie dinosaurs like I was, sit back at home and re-watch the Jurassic Park trilogy to see how it’s done properly.


Scoring /10





Special Effects/Cinematography




Costume Design






Overall: A brilliant series destroyed by this disgraceful attempt at film-making

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