While at the video shop, I stumbled across “March of the Dinosaurs” – a CGI documentary that follows the migration of a herd of Edmontosaurs to the south as they attempt to escape the harsh winter in the Arctic. Created by the makers of Walking with Dinosaurs, I figured Gavin would really enjoy it since he really liked the CGI documentary on the dinosaur extinction that was on at the Dinosaurs Alive program at the National Science Center. I also thought he might learn a bit more about dinosaurs from watching it.
When I told him about it, he was pretty excited to watch it. Perhaps there was a bit of a miscommunication because he kept asking me when the asteroid was coming to wipe out the dinosaurs. March of the Dinosaurs was set 70 million years ago so the extinction event was not due for another 5 million years. Nevertheless, the storyline was still entertaining enough and possibly a little too “scary” for Gavin who wanted me to fast-forward the scenes where the carnivours went after the herbivours. Perhaps if they hadn’t hyped up the suspense music, Gavin might not have been so scared.
The movie plays very much like a documentary from Animal Planet where we watch the activities of the dinosaurs while a voice over tells us what’a happening. It was an entertaining way to learn about the dinosaurs. I also liked that they featured the less common dinosaurs. Most dinosaur shows always go for the well-known dinosaurs – T Rex, Velociraptor, Triceratops – but in March of the Dinosaurs, they featured some of the lesser known dinosaurs:
As for how accurate the information about the dinosaurs were, I wouldn’t know since I’m no dinosaur expert. I decided to check out a few reviews on March of the Dinosaurs written by more knowledgeable individuals. Based on what I read, there were some gross errors, like the pliosaur living in a frozen lake (pliosaurs are reptiles, not fish, so they need to come up for air which would not have been possible if the lake was frozen over), and quetzalcoatlus being portrayed as a scavenger (an original hypothesis that was later rejected). Some of the behaviours of the dinosaurs were also based on conjecture and assumptions – fillers that were probably necessary for them to create a more complete storyline.
Archosaur Musings felt that as far as accuracy goes, March of the Dinosaurs is probably one of the more accurate dinosaur documentaries of this kind. However, if you want the top of the list for accuracy, then you should look for the original Walking with Dinosaurs series by BBC.
Everything Dinosaur labelled March of the Dinosaurs as a bit of a mixed bag.
Personally, I feel that there was enough accuracy in its portrayal to make the show a worthwhile educational experience. Like most other movies based on historical fact, the primary intention is to generate interest and awareness on the subject. Any further information can be sought out by the individual viewer according to the level of interest incited.
As far as Gavin is concerned, he is not keen to watch it again purely because of the “scary” scenes in the show. If I worried that the show has put him off dinosaurs, I can breathe a little easier because he has told me he now wants to watch a dinosaur movie about the extinction event.
Here are some videos from Youtube portaying segments from March of the Dinosaurs: