However, that isn't why I'm here right now. I'm posting to talk about something awesome that was announced by 20th Century Fox on Wednesday. I shouldn't really have to say anything, just look at the trailer:
Yes, a Walking with Dinosaurs 3D movie that will be coming out this Christmas. For Dino-Fans like me, this is a godsend. Quite literally this is what the Dinosaur community has been looking for, for ages. I couldn't believe it when I saw it, as it's almost too good to be true. As for why, I'll list the reasons below.
- Feathered Raptors!!! - If you look at one of the scenes towards the end, their is a sincere feathered Deinonychosaur (It looks to be a Troodon, but I'm not drawing conclusions yet). I have been wanting to see feathered dinosaurs in a movie for so long, and we're finally getting it. It's 100% scientifically accurate, and much better looking than the 6ft bipedal iguanas in Jurassic Park.
- Realistic Dinosaurs - Truly, I have never seen more scientifically accurate looking extinct animals. According to Mark Witton on his blog, he as well as other paleontologists and paleoartists like David Krentz, Tomas Holtz, Scott Sampson, Luis Chiappe, and Victoria Arbour have all been involved in re-creating these animals. Heck, according to him they even consulted Mark about the anatomy on the inside of the pterosaur's mouths trying to get every detail as scientifically accurate as possible. I watched over the trailer about a dozen or so times now and I can find only 1 scientific inaccuracy in it (which I will discus below), but seeing as many documentaries fail at even getting that right, this is truly amazing.
- Dinosaurs Acting like Dinosaurs - Unlike Jurassic Park, where the animals are nothing but hideous monsters, or Land Before Time and Disney's Dinosaur, which featured talking, human-like dinosaurs, by the looks of it this appears to be what the title suggests: a 3D movie about Dinosaurs, not human-like or Sci-Fi movie monsters, they act like Dinosaurs. Now, there have been some suggestions in the comments of some of the trailers that these animals will talk, but seeing as they don't talk in the trailer (instead making a lot of animal sounds), it's based on the groundbreaking documentary series that goes by the same name, and seeing as the description of the actual movie states that it will be about real-life dinosaurs, I highly doubt the animals will talk.
- Feathered Raptors!!! - Did I mention how amazing this is?
- New, Somewhat Unique Story - The story seems to be following the life of a young Pachyrhinosaurus, born young and weak climbing up to become an alpha male in his herd, and the hardship he faces. At least that's what I got from watching the trailer. However, if you do a little research online it seems that it isn't just following the life, it's a rivalry story. Apparently it doesn't just focus on the main Pachyrhinosaurus, but also on another Pachyrhinosaurus, his brother, and about how they grow up together. I'm guessing that the brother is probably the second little Pachyrhinosaurus slightly larger than our hero in half of the scenes, as well as possibly the other big individual shown during the clash towards the middle of the trailer. This is certainly an interesting concept to put into a Dinosaur movie, especially since every dinosaur movie I've ever really watched seems to be (according to my dad) about getting from Point A to Point B and there are meat-eating theropods in-between. In this movie you're following the life of this individual as well as the hardships he face,s not just with vicious predators and a terrifying world he has to live in, but with his own brother and himself. That's a new and interesting concept that I haven't seen before in a Dinosaur movie, and I can't wait to see how they play it out in the film.
However, being the scientist-in-training I am, I am disappointed about a few things. For one, seeing as they got so many things right in this movie, the one glaring inaccuracy out of the entire movie turns out to be our hero himself. Young Pachyrhinosaurus specimens don't show flat faces like the individual in this show. Instead they have a weird growth sequence where juveniles develop a small horn at a young age which later develops into the horn as they mature. This is seriously an extremely minor thing, and in fact I don't even know why I'm bringing it up. I guess it's somewhat disappointing that in a movie where they got everything so right, the fact they missed one thing kind of annoys me.
I also wish we had feathered Tyrannosaurs, seeing as Yutyrannus was found earlier last year, but according to Witton they designed the Tyrannosaurs before the Yutyrannus discovery came out, so I guess it's acceptable. I also wish the dinosaurs were maybe a little less shrink-wrapped and more speculative, as that's what paleontologists have been trying to push towards nowadays, but again the dinosaurs look great anyways so it's acceptable, and in truth that'd probably be asking for too much.
After hearing the news about JP4 having featherless raptors and getting another new predator appearing, that has definitely lowered my expectations and now I really don't care about the franchise anymore. This on the other hand looks spectacular, so I'm pretty dang excited! Can't wait for this to hit theaters! What's everyone else's thought? Feel free to share!