Writer: Casey ChongWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“The Land Before Time”, “Dinosaur” and “Ice Age”
Looking at the title "Walking With Dinosaurs: The Movie", this reviewer can't help it but figure that the title somehow relates to the Was (Not Was)'s funky hit single, "Walk the Dinosaur" back in 1987. In fact, that song has made it to some of the most popular movies in Hollywood including "The Flintstones", "Dinosaur" and "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs". That aside, "Walking With Dinosaurs: The Movie" has actually nothing to do with the song but rather it is based on BBC's six-part documentary TV miniseries which is now retooled as a family movie for this first big screen adaptation.
The story centers on three Pachyrhinosaurus - brothers Patchi (voice of Justin Long) and Scowler (Skyler Stone) as well as Patchi's best friend Juniper (Tiya Sircar) - on a migrating journey during the Late Cretaceous period, 70 million years ago.
Instead of a typical monotonous narration often found in a documentary movie, it is kind of refreshing to see a hybrid version that mixes Disney-like (read: cutesy) formula which definitely appeals to kids and adults alike who loves all things dinosaurs. The way how some of the dinosaurs' species are introduced and explained are fun and fascinating facts to learn from, while this reviewer particularly enjoyed the scene where Alex the Alexornis bird (John Leguizamo) makes fun of a dinosaur predator called Gorgosaurus.
Speaking of John Leguizamo, his voice over narration steals most of the show with his often witty and sarcastic remarks. In fact, he's one of the reasons that drive the movie forward. The rest of the voiceover talents are equally exceptional; Justin Long's naïve-like voice fits his Patchi character well who always gets bullied by his mean brother, Scowler.
However, the script feels too formulaic (the sibling rivalry between Patchi and Scowler has too much of the "been there, done that" kind of feeling which is seen countless of times from other animated movies) and sometimes feels too cheesy (the "romance" scene between Patchi and Juniper quickly springs to mind) for its own good.
Still, the computer-generated animation that blends seamlessly with the live-action background is visually spectacular and even more so if the audience chooses to watch this in 3D. As this movie is reviewed based on the 3D version, the effect really adds a lot to the cinematic experience.
While "Walking With Dinosaurs: The Movie" is hardly a masterpiece by any means, it remains an ideal family entertainment this holiday season.Cinema Online, 17 December 2013