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When Dinosaurs Roamed America

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#1 of 5 OFFLINE   Julie K

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Posted July 15 2001 - 07:09 PM

I just caught this on Discovery channel and am most disappointed. While I didn't think it could beat the wonderful Walking With Dinosaurs, I was surprised at just how badly it failed.

The format was different from WWD in that the dinosaur sequences were interleaved with interviews of paleontologists. (These interviews were badly re-dubbed and noticably out of sync.) So while the show didn't have the start-to-finish appearance of a 'nature show' like WWD had, I still expected good stuff in the dino sequences.

Unfortunatly the effects themselves were pretty poor. The dinosaurs did not seem to "fit" the background. The animation didn't seem real and I never really felt like any dinosaur was really touching the ground. It looked like WDRA used digital water and sand effects whenever a dinosaur entered water or stepped in sand. WWD used practical effects and the final appearance in those episodes are immensely better. The dinosaurs of WWD were also much more finely detailed.

And then there was the grass. The producer of WWD talked a great deal about the headaches of finding locations without grass. The makers of WDRA didn't bother. We're told grass hadn't evolved, but still are shown herds of Triceretops lolling about a grassy plain.

Other small things bothered me as well. If I had heard "docile plant-eater" one more time I would have screamed (the writers of that should all be forced to go pet a hippo or Cape buffalo, as if herbivores are innately docile Posted Image ) There was a definite anti-predator slant to this show (whereas WWD seemed to find an immense interest in them Posted Image ) so we hear of T-rex "tyrannizing" the savannas and the other dinosaurs that just "want to be left alone."

The narrator, John Goodman, is no Kenneth Brannagh. The narration also suffers from a dumbing-down for American audiences.

But mostly, the CGI just don't work. Much of it was far too jarring in it's out-of-place look and it kept pulling me out of the story far too often. Oh well, that's one less DVD that I have to buy.

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#2 of 5 OFFLINE   Joe_C


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Posted July 15 2001 - 11:08 PM

Hmm that's disappointing. I was really looking forward to this one, especially after WWD. I'll probably still try to catch it sometime. But I'm not going to make an EXTRA special effort to do so. Do you know if/when they will be reshowing it? ------------------ I am Jack's Signature "Here's to us poor schmoes, working for the man. Even if he is a hot, sexy female man." "But as a gentleman, I must warn you, if you so much as glance at another woman, I'll be on her like a fly on a pile of very seductive manure."
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#3 of 5 OFFLINE   Dean DeMass

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Posted July 16 2001 - 04:10 AM

I could only watch about 30 minutes of this mess. The effects were very bad and it was just plain dull.

Walking With Dinosaurs is a much better documentary on dinos. Don't even waste your time with When Dinosaurs Roamed America.


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#4 of 5 OFFLINE   Bryan


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Posted July 19 2001 - 09:31 AM

Me too, Dean. About 30 minutes.

And Goodman... It's kinda hard to take him seriously anyway, but they gave him 0ne line every minute or two in the first part of the show.

(paraphrased) "In such and such a time, a meteor hit the such and such area of Pangia" and then a minute later some other line about what it did.

And the inconsistancies just sstarted grating on my nerves. It's like they didn't even bother with the "rules" that were set in WWD (grass and such). Oh well, the Discovery Channel has been very good to us in the past.

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[Edited last by Bryan on July 19, 2001 at 12:32 PM]

#5 of 5 OFFLINE   Van Patton

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Posted July 19 2001 - 10:52 AM

I watched some of this late last night and was unimpressed with the effects. The skin textures were especially lame. ------------------

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