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Chased by Dinosaurs

Chased by Dinosaurs on DVD

There’s probably a very small percentage of the population that hasn’t – at least at some point in their lives – wanted to be whisked away to the land of the dinosaurs.

The BBC, with their record of producing great documentaries, has given us the next best thing: they’ve used state of the art computer graphics and a very brave presenter to come up with Chased by Dinosaurs, in which Nigel Marvin finds himself face to face with the largest creatures ever to walk the Earth.

The doc comes in three parts, The Giant Claw, The Land of Giants, and Chased by Sea Monsters (which itself is split into three parts). Land of Giants has Nigel following a group of Argentinosaurus (the largest land animal in history) as they make their way home. They encounter various perils along the way, the worst of which is a group of predators that may (or may not?) make off with a little snack. In The Giant Claw, Nigel does his best to track down the owner of said claw, which is about as safe and easy as you’d imagine. Chased by Sea Monsters takes us to the seven deadliest seas on the planet, full of sea scorpions, giant squid, and a hell of a lot worse.

As much as I love BBC documentaries, sadly this is not one of their best. Even as fascinated as I am by dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures, I frequently found myself disinterested, even bored. It could be that there have been so many dino docs that it just isn’t cool anymore; it could be that having a human right there with the dinos takes away much of the realism and credibility; or it could just be that the previous ones were so good that the lesser ones pale by comparison. Who really knows for sure?

The CGI dinosaurs are very well done, though again, not as good as the previous docs. Some parts look perfectly realistic, while others are clearly computer generated. But I guess that’s really no different than many of the big budget Hollywood blockbusters coming out these days.

Unfortunately, I just can’t bring myself to recommend Chased by Dinosaurs. Its heart is in the right place, and they’ve done a good job on it; I just found myself bored too many times to be able to say that I enjoyed it. If you’re more of a freak for this stuff than I am, it’s probably worth your time. Anyone else should try Walking with Dinosaurs (or the equally well-produced Walking with Prehistoric Beasts) instead.

Once again, the DVD presentation is excellent. Presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, the quality is very nice. Colors are very sharp, detail is well done, and there is no dust or grain to be seen. Audio is Dolby Surround, with fairly good separation between the front channels. Sound effects fill the room nicely, Nigel’s onscreen narration is the predominant element, and the score stays in the background enough to be audible but not overpowering.

Extras include a 50-minute making-of featurette, and a series of Dinosaur Fact Files.

Chased by Dinosaurs, from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
150 minutes, anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1) 16x9 enhanced, Dolby Surround
Presented by Nigel Marvin
Produced by Jasper James
Executive Produced by Tim Haines, Adam Kemp


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