There are some animated movies that have breathtaking animation and gorgeous backgrounds but everything else about the film is just awful that I feel that the film was a missed opportunity. Sadly, "Walking with Dinosaurs" is yet another one of those movies. This is a movie that has some fantastic visuals provided by the studio Animal Logic, but the story and the characters are absolutely atrocious that I certainly cannot recommend it. I'll get into why in a little bit, but here's what happens in this movie.
After a pointless live-action introduction with Karl Urban playing a paleontologist, we are told a tale about when a group of Pachyrhinosaurus dinosaurs living in the Cretaceous era migrates back in forth every winter through the Alaskan wilderness. In the film, we focus on three young dinosaurs named Patchi, his brother Scowler and their friend Juniper along with a bird named Alex and how they go on a crazy journey including get lost in the wilderness and even having to watch their parents get killed by a Gorgosaurus. You may be now wondering why I haven't put in the voice actors yet and the reason why is because I don't consider them voice overs as much as inner thoughts from the characters provided by Justin Long, John Leguizamo, Tiya Sircar, and Skyler Stone. The dinosaurs don't talk as their lips don't move yet we still hear their voices as if they're psychic. There's a huge reason why this doesn't work but I'm going to talk about the visuals first.
The animation in this film is gorgeous. It has some fantastic live-action backgrounds and the animation for the dinosaurs looked great as well. The dinosaurs are all impressively rendered and I was amazed at how well detailed they were. It's really a pristine movie to look at. Too bad there wasn't a mute button for this movie because I would have used it had I had the chance. The voice over work is so annoying and juvenile that it really sinks the movie. From what I've read, the film was supposed to have no voice-over work or narration at all and was supposed to be told visually yet the stupid executives at 20th Century Fox forced the director to include voice-over work in order for the children in the audience to connect with the dinosaurs. That was a terrible move. By doing this, we have to listen to some awful juvenile humor read by actors from Fox's other family movies that it's difficult to relate to the characters and I honestly struggled to get through my viewing. One joke about how Alex and Patchi argue of how the dinosaur fell into the river and how the film actually rewinds to the same scene was so unfunny that I actually almost gave up watching the film. I'm not even kidding. This film is so unfunny and juvenile I nearly gave up. Even the educational element of this film falls flat. To teach kids about certain dinosaurs, the film pauses itself whenever a new dinosaur appears on the screen and has a second grader read off the text information about the dinosaur. That also really annoyed me.
Annoying is the best word, to sum up, "Walking with Dinosaurs". Despite its breathtaking visuals, the voice overs added to the characters as well as the failed attempts to educate the audience failed spectacularly resulting in one of the most annoying animated movies I have ever seen. If I were to grade those two elements separately, I would give the visuals a perfect ten but everything else a one. Though on average, I think a two seems about right. Hopefully, there will be another edit of this movie to remove that juvenile audio because I certainly would want to see a more adult version of this movie. Until then, I'm sticking with "The Land Before Time".