Friday, December 20, 2013

'Walking with Dinosaurs' Roars into Theaters

For most kids, dinosaurs are where it's at. They're larger than life, ferocious, fascinating -- and, sadly for some kids, including my own -- no longer with us. (I'm actually OK with that last part, to tell you the truth.)

Lucky for dino-loving kids, there's Walking with Dinosaurs, a new 3D-animated movie from 20th Century Fox that does an amazing job of re-creating what life must have been like during the prehistoric era.

Filmed with live-action settings in Alaska and New Zealand, Walking with Dinosaurs combines animation with real-life wilderness to make you feel as if these animals could actually exist now -- but in some uncharted part of the world.

CC loved it and immediately wanted to see the movie again after it finished.

Featuring the voice of Justin Long as Patchi, the runt in a litter of Pachyrhinos, Walking with Dinosaurs follows the Pachyrhino herd as they make their way south for the winter.

The herd faces all sorts of treacherous obstacles, from predatory dinos to natural disasters to dangerous terrain. And while the likable and adventurous Patchi seems content to play second fiddle to older brother Scowler, eventually he has learn to assert himself and find out what being a hero is all about.

It's a great underdog story—and one that highlights the fact that you can still be who you are and be a leader, too.

The 3D imagery is also tops. The animation really immerses you in the experience, as the herd travels over rivers and through forests to get to their summer home. The texture of the dinosaurs' plates and skin and horns and claws is realistic enough to make you forget that they actually don't exist anymore.

While the PG-rated movie doesn't shy away from dino violence (Parents: keep in mind that there is some peril as well as heartbreak involving a parent), Walking with Dinosaurs isn't grim. And most kids who love dinosaurs know how treacherous they can be. I was worried that it might freak CC out, but she was engaged and ready for more.

John Leguizamo as the voice of Alex the Alexornis bird adds a nice comic touch to the movie, infusing this prehistoric flyer with heart as he guides audiences through the late Cretacious period.

What's also helpful is that, as new dinos are introduced, the movie pauses to explain their names and what they eat.

So kids and dino-friendly parents, get ready for a seriously fun—and educational—creature feature.

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