“Walking with Dinosaurs”: Should Be More Walking, Less Talking

Walking with Dinosaurs Barry Cooke and Neil Nightingale's Walking with Dinosaurs is a kids' movie, but kids deserve better than this quasi-educational story of a spunky young Pachyrhinosaurus (voiced by Justin Long) who does indeed spend a lot of time walking with dinosaurs, being one himself. Reportedly recorded a month before the film's release date, the dialog provided by Long, John Leguizamo, and others is full of modern slang which immediately dates the film (“You're about to get served!”), and the characters seemingly communicate via telepathy, which means we're at least spared having to watch the photorealistic CGI dinosaurs move their mouths to match the endless stream of poop jokes. It's to the technicians' credit that the dinosaurs are convincing enough to make you wish they hadn't ruined the footage by dubbing cutesy teenage dialog over it, but then you remember that it's obviously not real footage, that all the onscreen creatures are composed of pixels, and the whole enterprise feels like even more of a wasted opportunity. Walking with Dinosaurs is just a mess across the board; a sidebar giving the vital stats of the Gorgosaurus hints at what the picture could have been, but those occasional attempts at being genuinely educational are always overshadowed by an apparent desire to make kids dumber.

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