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Walking With Cavemen

Robert Winston , Alec Baldwin    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 25.00
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Frequently Bought Together

Walking With Cavemen + Walking With Prehistoric Beasts + Walking with Monsters: Before the Dinosaurs
Price For All Three: CDN$ 164.88

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Product Description


Breaking the mold of previous "Walking with" offerings, the BBC's Walking with Cavemen sees Professor Robert Winston follow in the footsteps of ancient man in a series that traces the history of humanity from bipedal ape-men (Australopithecus Aphaeresis) to the awakening of the human mind's potential with Homo Erectus. Over four fascinating half-hour installments, Wilson presents an accessible and populist, but still suitably anthropological study on how apes became human and the traits that we inherited from our earliest ancestors.

Unlike Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Beasts, Cavemen combines CGI with actors to portray the characters in the story of man. Initially this seems to make it far less technically impressive than the earlier programs--memories of Stanley Kubrick's 2001 are inevitable--but fortunately the acting is superb and the viewer soon forgets that these are people in monkey suits. The series also makes use of a special effect called "deep time-lapse", which shows in a matter of dramatic seconds the thousands of years of geological changes that sped up our ancestors' evolution. Wilson himself takes part in the action as if he is a modern-day naturalist following lions across the Serengeti rather than creatures long extinct. This approach makes for a more immediate as well as poignant interpretation of history: the result is an enlightening and moving tribute to the human journey. --Kristen Bowditch

Product Description

How did our ancestors come to invent language, to shape the world with tools, to create art, and to imagine the future? The award-winning team behind Walking with Dinosaurs and Walking with Prehistoric Beasts brings you this missing link in the story of life on our planet.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Eye Opener Nov. 13 2003
I've read the negative comments on this installment of the "Walking With" series and can only partially agree with them. The production could have been better, but I think we have become spoiled by watching computer generated animals done extremely well and realistic. This version contains many human actors and thus the whole "feel" of the production is different.
Also, not everything produced on Discovery is meant for children. There are still many, many adults who wish to learn about the past and appreciate a more academic presentation then would occur if a show such as this were aimed at a more younger audience. I guess it is taken for granted by a lot of the media that once one becomes an adult, all that matters are sports competitions and sitcoms. This series thus was extremely refreshing to watch.
That being said, I came away from watching "Cavemen" with a newfound respect for our ancestors. All too often they have been portrayed as comical dimwits, running around with clubs and dragging women by their hair. Now I realize this is actually very disrespectful and totally inappropriate. These very ancient ancestors managed to learn to survive some of the worst environmental conditions imaginable, grew more creative over time and with this creativity laid the foundations of modern civilization. As stated in the series, the discovery of fire not only chased away the denizens of the night, but also provided an opportunity for homo sapiens to learn to create,to reflect, become more emotional creatures and allow for the development of higher brain functions.
Neanderthals especially have had to bear the brunt of many a joke. Although their species did not survive, they can hardly be termed a failure.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What's left to say? Dec 29 2003
Having now seen both verisons I have to say the uncut BBC two part production is the best. Longer, doesn't spoon feed you and the DVD has LOTS of extras - fact files, photo gallery, storyboards, post-production interviews and even 'on location' interviews with actors, the movement director and the effects supervisor. Why buy hamburger when you can get steak?
Seems much longer than just 100 minutes - lots of details and solid story telling.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Best DVD on this subject March 24 2004
Having watched the tv debut of this series, then the purchased DVD I would have to complement the final product as a better effort, especially from the choice of narration. This topic is very difficult to do, especially with animation of human-like animals where we can be more critical than with dinosaurs. The story lines are a bit tedious but interesting. Still it is difficult to believe we can reconstruct the behavior of the apes and human predecents based on our current database. I still think the effort is worthy. The graphics are very well done, possible not appropriate for a young viewer. In one scene the "cavemen" kill a hooved animal and then degut and eat it. My wife sent our 7 year old out of the room on that one! Perhaps it is such realism that makes the Walking With series so well received. Overall a good effort and worthy purchase for such a difficult and challenging subject.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Our ancestors - the way you've never seen them. Dec 15 2003
Ever wonder what your ancestors were like 100 years ago? Or perhaps wonder what your geneological tree looked like in the middle ages? Ever ponder what your forefathers were doing back in the time of the Greeks & Romans of a few thousand years ago? Or, back even further, what they were like a few million years ago?
Well, it is the latter epoch that is covered by this DVD. It is an overview of human evolution, 7 million years in the making. It takes us from the dawn on man all the way up to about 140,000 years go; long time ago for us, but mere seconds ago on a cosmic timescale.
Along the way the documentary displays diverse humanoids, some of whom make it, some of whom don't. It also demonstrates their interaction with long-extinct species of animals that were around the same time they walked the earth.
I must caution that the DVD pulls no punches when it comes to showing the animalistic traits of primitive man. The rites of courtship, hunting, eating and gutting of animals are all shown with uncompromisingly graphic demonstrations. I would not recommend this video for young videos, nor would I suggest that anyone watch it while eating. Some of it is not the most appetizing of images in the world.
That said, it is quite remarkable to identify just how much we modern humans have in common with these early products of evolution. If we look closely, we will see a lot of ourselves in them.
The late astronomer Carl Sagan once remarked that, if the history of the universe were shrunk to the scale of a calendar year, all of humanity exists would exist in the last 10 seconds of that year. This scientific expose is a glimpse into those 10 seconds. As Stephen J. Gould once said, "We stood up first and got smart later." Here is OUR story of how our ancestors stood up, got smart and began their long, slow and tenuous march towards civilization.
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I hate to criticize the Discovery Channel, but what programming executive ape decided they needed to dumb-down and Americanize this excellent documentary? The original BBC version, which is what you get here,is vastly superior to the Discovery Channel broadcast of June 15th, 2003. The different vignettes are longer, better narrated (by a British narrator, not Alec Baldwin) and have a real cinematic kind of feeling almost totally missing from the rushed along, tightly edited version we saw on tv. In fact, after viewing this DVD, the Discovery broadcast seems like a mere infomercial for this longer, better version. If you liked what you saw on Discovery, I highly recommend this DVD. It's like watching WWC again for the first time.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Witness the Evolution of us
Were did we come from? we were born from our moms , no I mean were did homo sapiens come from? the answers to our evolution is on BBC's Walking with Cavemen. Read more
Published on July 11 2004 by Tyler Reece
2.0 out of 5 stars The BBC has done better
Over the duration of the 'walking with' series, I've really come to question what validity it has. I know that there is probably some merit in seeing recreations of what the... Read more
Published on Sept. 18 2003 by C. Moon
1.0 out of 5 stars Walking with Cavemen
This documentary is totally inappropraite for children and should not be advertised as a part of the "Walking with..." series. Read more
Published on July 8 2003 by Mary Lent
2.0 out of 5 stars Where's the realism
What made the "Walking With..." series worth seeing was the creation of photo-like moving pictures of prehistoric animals as they may of been. Read more
Published on July 7 2003 by Alan Poropat
3.0 out of 5 stars hope the DVD is better- TV is DISAPPOINTING
I haven't seen the DVD version, but if Alec Baldwin is narrating it I won't bother buying it. He is living proof that every village does indeed have its own idiot, and that he... Read more
Published on June 27 2003 by D.G. Campbell
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as real as it gets anymore
Let me just say I love Walking with Dinosaurs and Walking with Prehistoric Beasts. Those two are such absolute masterpeices. Read more
Published on June 24 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Great educational DVD!! (Not for kids however)
This DVD is wonderful and keeps the audiences attention till the very end. The video is very educational, but appeals to everyone. Read more
Published on June 16 2003 by C. Hubbard
3.0 out of 5 stars Alec Baldwin Explains It All
When watching "Walking With Cavemen" which is a very-well produced educational film - I could not help but laugh every time Alec Baldwin appeared on camera. Read more
Published on June 16 2003 by M. Bishop
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