I think children of the 90's have the shared experience of being pelted with everything dinosaur. There was The Land Before Time, Jurassic Park, TV's Dinosaurs, and the many sequels that followed, not to mention museum exhibits and animatronic dinosaur experiences. At this point, I am predisposed to love dinosaur movies. How is it possible then that directors David Krentz and Erik Nelson with narrator Werner Herzog took a film about dinosaurs ripping each other limb-to-limb and made it so boring?
Dinotasia is a series of vignettes of mother dinosaurs protecting their babies, grown dinosaurs tearing each other apart, or dinosaur parents getting killed, leaving their baby dinosaurs behind. Between each vignette, Herzog provides ridiculous narration about how the world of dinosaurs is a stage and how there are no heroes or villains in nature. This is a series of dinosaurs fighting, and the film's narration is trying to convince the audience that the action is deeper or more profound than it really is.
Besides my issues with the narration, the overall look of the series is not great either. Krentz and Nelson decided to film real locations and overlay CGI dinosaurs into these environments. I think the decision was made because they thought it would give Dinotasia a realistic edge and also due to budgetary concerns so they wouldn't have to create CGI environments. The end result is not very impressive, though. Consider that Jurassic Park came out nearly 20 years ago. Look at Jurassic Park's combination of computer-generated and practical effects and then look at Dinotasia. Considering the advancements in technology since 1993, Dinotasia should have been much, much better, even if it didn't have a feature film budget.
In the end, Dinotasia is more likely to inspire yawns and eye-rolls than genuine thrills. If you are tempted to pick it up, I'd recommend re-watching Jurassic Park or even Disney's Dinosaur before subjecting yourself to Herzog's deathly dull dinos.
Special features include deleted and extended scenes.
"Dinotasia" is on sale November 6, 2012 and is not rated. Animation, Documentary, Education. Directed by David Krentz, Erik Nelson. Written by Erik Nelson, David Krentz. Starring Werner Herzog.