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DVD Reviews: When Dinosaurs Roamed

The Final Say!

Feature Score:
DVD Extras Score

Reviewed by Tory Favro
Review Date: 03 May 2003
Distributed by:
Magna Pacific
Running Time: 95 Minutes


Narrated by one of my favourite actors, John Goodman, When Dinosaurs Roamed teaches us about the first appearance of dinosaurs in America and how evolution managed to allow them to flourish over the millions of years that they stalked the earth in all their might and majesty.

In addition to Goodman's excellent voice over, the story is told in great detail with the help of some magnificent computer animation. This is portrayed in much the same fashion as the great series Walking with Dinosaurs. Showing real life landscapes combined with some wonderful CGI (computer generated images) of dinosaurs interacting with each other and the world about them.

This documentary runs for 95 minutes and follows the history of these magnificent creatures for 150 million years. It was amazing to see how the dinosaurs that inhabited America developed over this period of time, eventually becoming the earliest form of mammals prior to the evolution of mankind.

The beauty of this series is Goodman's voice over as far as I was concerned. I find him to be very easy to listen to and the way he reads and presents allows you to retain a lot of the information presented as it is entertaining.

A few of the animations are a little bit off kilter with the reptiles not convincingly interacting with either each other of the environment, but it doesn't really detract from the show at all. If I wanted to see faultless animation, I would be looking at the Jurassic Park series, not a documentary. What I saw here was however, excellently portrayed and stunningly presented.

The disc was shown in full frame but a nice touch was that it used full 5.1 surround to great effect. Creature sounds and an almost ambient soundtrack made this documentary one very immersive experience. The show also made much use of other computer techniques whereby we could examine the skeletal structure of the dinosaur and how certain parts of the creature were perfectly suited toward fight or flight depending on what it's needs were.

Other wonderful additions were the way that a very active camera took you along with the creatures and the way they moved, flew or hunted with packs or by themselves. I was extremely impressed with the entire package and would recommend it to anyone who was into ancient reptiles or even for schools to add to the library collection.

Where Dinosaurs Roamed Features

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