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Walking with Monsters: Before the Dinosaurs

4.1 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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  • Walking with Monsters: Before the Dinosaurs
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Product Details

  • Actors: Kenneth Branagh
  • Directors: Tim Haines
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Warner Bros. Home Video
  • Release Date: Jan. 17 2006
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000BNI9EU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #38,540 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

Before the Dinosaurs: Walking With Monsters

Many people think of the dinosaurs as the first inhabitants of the earth, but this prequel to Walking With Dinosaurs puts viewers in the midst of a host of strange creatures that inhabited the earth millions of years before the dinosaurs ever existed. With the help of complex computer animation and the research of hundreds of paleontologists, the BBC presents an extremely realistic picture of the earth's earliest, most primitive aquatic inhabitants and chronicles their evolution to the precursors of man himself and the mighty dinosaurs. The first Walking With Monsters episode begins in the Cambrian period 530 million years ago, showcasing how a simple jellyfish-like sea creature evolved over 200 million years into new creatures with eyes and protective external and internal skeletal systems. These adaptations resulted in the world's first fish, arthropods, amphibians, and land-loving reptiles. The second episode details the giant insects of the Carboniferous period 300 million years ago and demonstrates how evolution empowered amphibians and reptiles by creating mechanisms to regulate their own body temperature and developing specialized teeth. The final episode begins in the late Permian period 250 million years ago when the earth was essentially one large desert full of volcanic activity. While much of earth's life was extinguished during this period, adaptation and evolution continued, bringing the development of a specialized hip in a tiny reptile called the Euparkeria that would prove to be the forerunner of mammals and evolve into the dinosaurs in the Triassic period. While some criticize this project as a somewhat overly dramatic presentation of speculative paleontology as fact, this program utilizes scientific inference to bring pre-history to life and highlight the amazing adaptations and evolution of the earth's earliest inhabitants. The bonus "Trilogy of Life" feature details the research, vision and hard work inherent in the creation of the Walking With Monsters, Walking With Dinosaurs and Walking With Prehistoric Beasts. (Ages 6 and older) --Tami Horiuchi

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The whole Walking With series is just wonderful! It began with the dinosaurs, but then expanded to the less well known, but far more interesting life forms that have inhabited this planet. Walking With Monsters goes back to the earliest life on Earth and progresses through the ages right up to the time when dinosaurs begin to appear. You will be amazed by the diversity of creatures that have inhabited this planet. Walking With Monsters has a neat little subplot: the evolution of humans. In each episode we learn of another adaptation that has evolved and then has been maintained through countless generations. This show is good for anyone interested in animals, biology, geology, and evolution. Don't worry though, all the science is presented in a "you are there witnessing the action" fashion, so you are learning without even realizing it!
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Format: DVD
I must say BBC has done it again, I like the special effects on this program and I find this program is worth watching and add to my collection.

I also give this program 2 thumbs up.

BBC is the best.
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Format: DVD
Im a fan of the new BBC show Primeval that has a new monster in every
episode, and once i knew that they used the same software to create their
creatures to make walking with Dinosaurs and other shows...i was hooked.
Walking with Monsters is great. Great scenery with incredible
monsters added is very nicely done...they sure look real. Boy, technology has really advance... its incredible eye candy.
If you are into monsters and should enjoy it.,
A keeper for sure.
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Format: DVD
There are pluses and minuses with this one. The single biggest upside is that as with all the "Walking with... " shows, it is both beautiful and wondrous to behold, regardless of what you might think of the content on any deeper level. Of course, as with all the shows in this franchise there are occasional moments where the special effects don't quite come off. This time around the main problem is that here and there the CGI is just a little bit too smooth, making you suddenly all too aware that it is indeed only CGI. But such moments are very much the exception rather than the rule. Overall, this is an amazing thing to watch. It presents us with visions of incredible, alien landscapes that must surely enthral any thinking, feeling person. And because of all the shows in this series this is the one dealing with the time farthest removed from our own, it is also the one that offers us a view into certainly the most alien, and arguably the most enthralling worlds of all.

That said, there are also some viable criticisms of this work.

First of all, we might as well acknowledge that like all the shows in the franchise it is a seamless melding of real science, pure speculation, and a great deal that is somewhere in between. The series creators accept as much, but some palaeontologists quite understandably object to this blend. They would like it to be made clearer where the real science ends and the speculation begins. I am not entirely unsympathetic to this view. But the actual rights and wrongs of the issue aside, from a viewer's perspective I think the way to get the most out of this work is to approach it much in much same spirit as
...Read more ›
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By A. Volk #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on May 10 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This video series is really one long show split into three parts. They're not very long individually, maybe 45 minutes or so. They are shot in the same style as the Walking With Dinosaurs series. Generally speaking, the images are superb and well worth watching. I love the period of life before the dinosaurs, because Earth, and the animals on it, were quite different than they are now. Almost alien-like! For example, oxygen levels 20% lower, or 40% higher, or temperatures 60% higher, can all make dramatic differences in the kinds, number, and variety of life and landscapes on Earth. That was really interesting to see, and it's a subject that you don't often hear/learn about, making it well worth watching. On the negative side:

1- Some of the animals are again, acting too smart. This is a problem with all dinosaur shows. They were mental midgets (other than a very few at the end of the cretaceous), resembling fish more than mammals in their capacity for behavior.

2- The run time for the huge range of animals was quite short. This show spans a period almost as long as the reign of the dinosaurs, so three episodes only give you a glimpse of a small number of animals. Especially the Cambrian period, there were many fascinating kinds of animals never seen before or since. More about them would have been nice.

3- There aren't any extras to this DVD. No making-of, and no science-of. I find the latter especially disappointing, given how little is generally known about this area.

So with those limitations in mind, I'd probably give this a 3/5 if it weren't for the fact that it covers a period of Earth's history that you won't see anywhere else. That makes it well worth watching. Plus children are going to love the huge, strange animals that are so different from what they've ever seen before. Overall then, I recommend this DVD for parents, children, and anyone interesting in prehistoric life.
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