Reviewed by: Andrea McAteer
WHY did God create dinosaurs? Answer
|Featuring:||John Leguizamo … Alex (voice)
Justin Long … Patchi (voice)
Tiya Sircar … Juniper (voice)
Skyler Stone … Scowler (voice)
Charlie Rowe … (voice)
Angourie Rice … Jade (voice)
Michael Leone … (voice)
|Distributor:||Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation|
When I saw “Walking With Dinosaurs” was coming out on film, I thought it would be different. Years ago I had taken my son to a show, by the same name, at our Civic Center. There were animatronic dinosaurs, as well as dinosaurs with people in them controlling the movements. It was a life-sized show, and it was great. I thought, at first glance, the film would be similar. It was not. It is a life-like CGI film about the migrating patterns of a herd of dinosaurs and the difficulties they encounter along the way—life and death battles, getting lost, and the fight for dominance in a herd.
The main character is Patchi, voiced by Justin Long, who is a young pachyrhinosaurus. This is Patchi’s first migration. He and his family, as well as their herd, are moving to the winter lands. Patchi is seen struggling with his place in the herd and growing into a young adult dinosaur who shows his true character in the midst of life’s struggles.
I did not see the movie in 3D. I have to say, I was disappointed by this movie. It was voiced in the typical fashion of many cartoons nowadays, yet the mouths did not move to the voices. The dinosaurs would make animal noises, roar, whimper and the like, yet the character’s voice would often go right over these sounds. Personally, I would have preferred the nuances of body language and animals sounds. I felt they were strong enough to convey fear, happiness, sadness and a variety of other emotions. The voice-overs were typical humor, light-hearted joking, sarcasm and mildly crude or rude comments. For me, I really felt it took away from a film that could have done better solely with a narration, much like the movie “Chimpanzee.” Even though the movie has its characters talking, it is also narrated by Alex, the bird, voiced by John Leguizamo.
There are some fierce battle scenes that could frighten young children and a scary passage over a not quite frozen lake. Brothers have to battle each other, and there is a lot of biting in all the battle scenes, yet there is no blood in any of these battles. There is a sad moment where Patchi’s father dies in battle, but Patchi and his brother Scowler quickly move on from it. Patchi is defeated in a battle, and a tree falls across his neck leaving him stuck, while birds peck at him. My 8 year old covered her mouth in shock and worry. That could be a scary moment for young children.
When Patchi sees the female Juniper for the first time, there is some Barry White music playing, which gives it a sexy feel, not needed for a kids’ movie. The word “butt” and variations of it, are said a number of times. “Holy crab” is said, and some dinosaurs are called losers.
There are positive messages in this film. Scowler (Skyler Stone), Patchi’s brother, who becomes aggressive while herd leader, is given an opportunity to redeem himself when he is willing to sacrifice himself for the safety of the herd. Patchi steps in to help his brother and the herd. As my 8 year old said, she liked how Patchi helped his brother, even though he didn’t do anything nice for him. Patchi’s character thinks of the well being of others before his own.
In the end of the film it is said, “What happened after that is hard to say, but has puzzled dinosaur lovers.” Whereas we don’t know for sure what caused the final extinction of the dinosaurs, a strong possibility is that the Biblical flood in the account of Noah played a large role. Genesis 6-8 speaks of the Flood. Specifically Genesis 7:17-23 says,
“For forty days the flood kept coming on the Earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the Earth. The waters rose and increased greatly on the Earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. They rose greatly on the Earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits. Every living thing that moved on land perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the Earth, and all mankind. Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. Every living thing on the face of the Earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the Earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.”
The book “The Great Dinosaur Mystery and the Bible” reiterates Biblical ideas and gives views on dinosaurs, age of the Earth and the inaccuracies and suppositions about dinosaur fossils. I found this to be a great resource that would complement the library of any child who has an interest in dinosaurs.
Overall, this movie will be of interest to younger children, but be wary of your child’s sensitivities. It can be scary for very young children. I think adults will find it less entertaining than other children’s films. It takes a good concept, and more or less reduces it to a typical children’s movie.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: None
Visit Christian Answers’ dinosaur-size Web site where you’ll discover a mountain of knowledge and amazing discoveries. How do dinosaurs fit into the Bible? You’ll find the answer to this and many more of your questions. Play games, browse and learn. Includes many helps for teachers and parents.
by Ken Ham of Answers In Genesis (Christian Answers Team Member)
Can kids tell the difference between fiction and truth?
Here’s the problem. Most kids today attend public schools, where they are taught fiction (evolution) as fact! Then they go to see a movie at a theater such as the new film “Walking with Dinosaurs,” which they know is made up (fiction)—but at the beginning the movie presents the same fiction (Evolution) they are taught at school!
So even though kids may know the movie is just fiction, the fiction of Evolution taught to them as fact in most schools (and through many television programs/documentaries on PBS, The Learning Channel, The Discovery Channel, etc.) is reinforced by such movies. Do you really want your kids going to this new movie?
Two AiG researchers went to see this movie on its opening day yesterday to write this short review for me (a more in-depth review will soon be written):
“The film Walking with Dinosaurs, based on the 1999 BBC 6-part mini-series of the same name, premiered on Friday, 20 December. The film appears to be intended for children (even young children) through adults.
“Walking with Dinosaurs” mentions millions of years and evolution very early on. The movie begins in the present day as a bird lands near a teenage boy and explains to him that the bird’s ancestors are dinosaurs. He then begins to tell the story of one of his ancestors, 70 million years ago.
The film is set in what evolutionists call the Late Cretaceous period—and the influence of evolutionary ideas is evident in the way the dinosaurs are portrayed. The Troodon, Hesperonychus, and Chirostenotes are all feathered dinosaurs that appear in the film. On many occasions Answers in Genesis has responded to the claims that dinosaurs had feathers. One of the more recent responses can be found on our website. But there’s no evidence that dinosaurs had feathers. Such claims are just the evolutionists’ way of making the evolutionary story seem true. They so want kids to believe in evolution, this claim of dinosaurs having feathers is made very often in our day—through movies, museums, books, newspaper articles, documentaries, etc.
Another disturbing element of Walking with Dinosaurs that our researchers mentioned was the repeated scatological (scatological means: study of feces) humor and references to “butts” throughout the film. It seemed to be the primary form of humor that the writers used. Of course, aside from the evolutionary content, Christian families may not want their children exposed to such humor, and may wish to avoid seeing “Walking with Dinosaurs” for that reason.”
Published on December 21, 2013 in Answers In Genesis Current Issues in the World, Museum Updates and Thoughts and Things.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.