Walking With Dinosaurs The Movie on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD - Out 14th April
WALKING WITH DINOSAURS: THE 3D MOVIE combines amazingly realistic dinosaurs with a gripping and engrossing story.
Directed by Neil Nightingale and Barry Cook, this exciting adventure takes the audience back 70 million years into the heart of prehistoric Alaska.
Inspired by the latest research and discoveries in paleontology, the film follows Patchi, a tenacious Pachyrhinosaurus. He may be small, the runt of the litter, but Patchi is also curious and determined.
We join him as he embarks on a thrilling and dangerous journey with his family.
PATCHI BRAVES THE ELEMENTS, FAMILY STRUGGLES AND PREHISTORIC PREDATORS TO BECOME A TRUE HERO.
Dinosaurs went extinct 66 million years ago, but they live on in our imagination as scientists continue to discover more about them: what the different species looked like, how they behaved and how they related to one another. There have been many films on the subject, but few as compelling as WALKING WITH DINOSAURS: THE 3D MOVIE, a soaring and unique adventure.
Watching the realistic 3D family film, which was created with cutting edge technology, it seems as though the dinosaurs depicted on screen are living and breathing creatures. We get a sense of what it looked and felt like when the Earth was populated by dinosaurs.
“Audiences are going to feel like they've gone back in time and met these incredible animals," says the movie’s co-director Neil Nightingale about the film, which takes place in the Late Cretaceous era.
At the center of the story is Patchi, a very small Pachyrhinosaurus (thick nosed lizard). Dominated by his older, much more ambitious and aggressive brother Scowler, Patchi and his family set off on their annual migration, heading south to escape winter and find food. On the way, there are dangers lurking in the form of menacing predators such as Troodon, (Wounding Tooth) a mischievous, ever-hungry predator and Gorgon, a ferocious, carnivorous Gorgosaur (Fierce Lizard), another predator that was rather like Tyrannosaurus rex, but smaller, faster and deadlier. We also meet Alex, a small bird with teeth (an Alexornis).
Patchi meets Juniper, a feisty female who is from a different herd. The pair immediately strikes up a friendship, which promises to turn into something deeper. But will they end up together? The odds are stacked against them because Juniper is expected to obey herd protocol as she grows up and looks for a mate.
Full of many fascinating creatures, such as pterosaurs (flying reptiles) that actually existed during this period, the film is inspired by fossils that have been found near the Arctic Circle from the Late Cretaceous.
The appeal of the new film is enormous, says co-producer John Lynch. “Dinosaurs are their own living action adventure. They're all about life and death. They are also hugely entertaining because they're really weird and strange looking.”
Co-directors Neil Nightingale and Barry Cook, co-producer John Lynch and director of photography John D. Brooks discuss this prehistoric adventure about a dinosaur who struggles to survive in the face of remarkable odds.
Neil Nightingale is the Creative Director of BBC Earth.
John Lynch is a multi award-winning producer. He was one of the team responsible for the BBC’s global, smash-hit television series, WALKING WITH DINOSAURS.
John D. Brooks, the former Vice President of Creative Services at the Cameron Pace Group, is a multi-award winning cinematographer.
Q: What is WALKING WITH DINOSAURS all about?
John Lynch: “It is a classic story about of one of the greatest journeys ever undertaken on Earth: the annual progression of a vast herd of dinosaurs. It's a story of families being born, created and torn apart. It's a story of the young growing up and becoming wise. And it is a story of rivalry and competition, resolution and forgiveness. It’s about animal heroism and it's an epic adventure, but at the same time the film's got all the character led emotion and dramatic narrative of classics such as THE LION KING. And it is inspired by science.”
Q: Can you talk about the setting for the film and what you know about the Earth at that time?
Neil Nightingale: “The story is set in Alaska 70 million years ago. At that time they had 24 hours of sunshine in the summer and 24 hours of darkness in the winter. It was toward the end of the Age of the Dinosaurs, during one of the last great flourishings of the dinosaurs, so there were many different species of dinosaurs on the planet, but also birds and insects. In some ways it was a world we would be quite familiar with, except that it was dominated by the dinosaurs.”
Q: What can you reveal about the plot?
Neil Nightingale: “This is an entertaining family film about a family of Pachyrhinosaurus. Just imagine huge herds of giant rhinos, and you’ll get a picture in your mind of what they were like. Our story follows Patchi, a baby Pachyrhinosaurus, from the first few days in his nest. He’s the last one to hatch. He has an older brother Scowler, who dominates him. Scowler is the alpha male, he is like a typical football player, he is bigger than all the rest and it seems like he’s going to be the leader of the herd. Patchi meets Juniper, a young female, from another family or herd and they become firm friends. WALKING WITH DINOSAURS is the story of how Patchi grows up in this extraordinary world, all the challenges that face him and the adventures he has, the friends he meets and the dangers he goes through. We discover there’s far more to him than we ever thought when he was just a little runt being kicked around in the nest. Patchi is the underdog but he is very curious, he doesn’t give up, he’s caring and loyal and eventually those qualities win through.”
Barry Cook: “The story begins with Patchi exploring his own neighborhood when he’s young. Then he sets off on his first migration, which is akin to a big family vacation. Everybody packs up and goes off into the unknown. There is a huge adventure beneath the Aurora Borealis (the Northern Lights), and it involves fending off predators. It is epic. There is a lot of conflict that makes you root for the hero. What makes it unique is that it takes place within a setting that has not been shown before. Dinosaurs have never looked this real on screen and the film has a real beauty to it.”
John D. Brooks: “This classic adventure shows how life is both a celebration and a tragedy at the same time. It happens to all of us; every single living person has events in their lives that are happy and sad and these characters are no different. On their amazing journey they get hurt, they are thrown challenges and have to face and overcome them. For example, they get backed up by one of the predators that attacks them and they fall into a river. They meet those life challenges and overcome them one after another. I think that is a great message for kids.”
Q: Can you say a little more about the romance between Patchi and Juniper?
Barry Cook: “Patchi meets Juniper and wants to get to know her. They are separated after their first meeting and they meet again later. Our story looks at the dynamics amongst adults in the herd and how it all works, how the strongest male ends up with the girl. That means that Patchi probably can’t be with Juniper. No matter how much he wants to be with her, it just doesn’t work that way in the animal kingdom. We discover whether Juniper will have to follow the social order? Society is telling her one thing, but her heart is telling her to do something else.”
Q: Can you discuss the rivalry between Patchi and Scowler?
Barry Cook: “Something dramatic happens and Patchi is challenged by his brother, there is a big duel between them. There is sibling rivalry, but actually they don’t want the same thing. Patchi doesn’t really want to be the leader of the herd. Scowler does, he wants to be just like his dad, who was the leader. Patchi just wants to be with Juniper. So he has a singular desire, but that ends up setting the stage for his heroic action.”
Q: How deeply is the audience immersed in the story?
John D. Brooks: “The background shots were filmed live in Alaska and New Zealand which makes the film very immersive. Instead of crossing a barrier of fantasy, which is normally what would happen in a film, viewers are actually going to divorce themselves from reality and step into another reality. It is going to seem like a real experience, so that you are on the journey with a set of characters that existed 70 million years ago. It is almost like a time travel experience for the audience. I think they'll lose themselves in this great story of these three dinosaurs in such a real sense that it's going to be very hard to forget they don’t exist.”
Q: What made this period, the Late Cretaceous, particularly interesting for an adventure film?
Neil Nightingale: “There was a great diversity of dinosaurs and lots of great characters. Also this is a story that has not been told. These characters are not as well known as T. rex or Triceratops or Stegosaurus, so we have a range of different dinosaurs that most people have never heard of. They were living in an amazing situation up in the Arctic. They probably did go on these migrations and there could have been lots of adventures.”
Q: What specific dangers do Patchi and his crew face?
Barry Cook: “During the migration they have to cross through a territory where the dangerous Gorgosaurus live, they are predators, like T. rex, but they’re smaller and a lot faster. In our story, every year they wait for the migrating herds to pass through their areas, so that they can have their feast. Without giving too much away, the Gorgosaurus attack the herd and force them across the river. So Patchi and Scowler and Juniper are separated from the herd. They end up on their own and have to fend for themselves. They also have to take on an unusual herd of Edmontosaurus. They were giant herbivores.”
Q: How much of this story is inspired by fact?
Neil Nightingale: “Biological aspects of the dinosaurs’ lives have inspired our story. We know that some dinosaurs looked after their young in the nests and fed them and that’s a feature in the film. We know they lived in big herds because big numbers of bones have been found. But then of course the film tells the fictional story of Patchi. Dinosaurs have been anthropomorphized to make an entertaining family movie. But the things that happen to Patchi could have happened and the animals around him, such as the big bad Gorgosaurus, really did exist. They really did chase baby Pachyrhinosaurus.”
Barry Cook: “The action in the movie is true to life but we have imagined the characters’ thoughts and emotions. That provides a way in for us as an audience and enables us to portray Patchi's life as not merely a great adventure but a meaningful journey.”
Q: What is the theme of the film?
Barry Cook: “The story is about survival, not just now Patchi beats the odds but more importantly why he fights so hard to survive. It explores the notion that there is purpose behind his quest to survive. The bottom line for me is that like Patchi, we all struggle to survive and to protect those we love.”
Q: WALKING WITH DINOSAURS is a wonderful, rousing story. Will we also learn about dinosaurs and how they lived?
Barry Cook: “You will learn a lot, but in a very fun way. You won’t feel like you have watched a nature documentary. You’ll come out of the film knowing a lot more about dinosaurs than you’ve ever known before, but I don’t think you’ll be aware that you are actually learning as you watch the film.”
Q: What makes the film stand out do you think and what can audiences look forward to?
Barry Cook: “You will encounter some of the most realistic dinosaurs ever seen on the screen and a really great, epic adventure story about a kid who becomes a great hero. He’s a dinosaur, but I still call him a kid.”
John Lynch: “WALKING WITH DINOSAURS is a fantastic mixture of drama, entertainment and fact. And if it gets people fired up about the prehistoric world, that would be a fantastic achievement.”
Barry Cook: “One thing that makes any adventure great is never knowing what's around the next corner and that is certainly true with this story. As an audience, we discover Patchi's world as he does, which enables us to identify and empathize with him in a remarkable way. The wonders of his world and the dangers he faces in life shape him as a character. Will he endure? Can he survive? We root for him at every turn because we see ourselves in his story. Life can be tough, even harsh, but if we never give up, great things can happen.”