2013, Cert U, 87 mins
‘But, they aren’t supposed to talk, are they?’, you’d ask, and you’d be right. Hollywood has taken a few privileges with the esteemed Walking with Dinosaurs name and transformed it into The Land Before Time.
The reptilian giants we fell in love with from the groundbreaking BBC documentary have been given voices, particularly, American ones.
“Over the course of the next 80-odd minutes — which, for convenience’s sake, compress a decade or more of growth into a single cross-country trek — Patchi, a runty, horn-headed Pachyrhinosaurus voiced by Justin Long, blooms into a massive, veggie-eating monster. Thanks to Long’s playful voice and endearing character work, audiences will cheer for this big, ugly brute as he falls in love with lady dino Juniper (Tiya Sircar), butts heads with big brother Scowler (Skyler Stone) and defends the herd from a Gorgosaurus attack (like a T. Rex, but with even tinier claws).” (Variety)
The sight of these beasts are majestic enough, do we really need nasally voices and sassy pop tunes to accompany them? I don’t know, but there’s a genuine educational nod there somewhere, it’s just buried under a plethora of cuteness, like a forgotten fossil.
Review by Jack Whiting