Story

Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie is set 70 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous period. It is not a documentary, but an animated and fictionalised account of the life of dinosaurs.

Walking with Dinosaurs is narrated by an Alexornis bird named Alex (voice of John Leguizamo) and follows three Pachyrhinosaurus named Patchi (voice of Justin Long), Scowler (voice of Skyler Stone) and Juniper (voice of Tiya Sircar) as they grow from young children into adults. Patchi and Scowler are brothers and get into lots of trouble during their younger years. But after Patchi meets and falls in love with Juniper, a female dinosaur of the same species, he is inspired to be the best he can possibly be.

Patchi and his herd migrate every year in search of food, but the journey often proves dangerous. Patchi and Scowler lose their father who dies protecting them from other dinosaurs out hunting for food. They also find themselves often running away from larger and intimidating species such as the Gorgosaurus.

Scowler eventually fights to become leader of the pack and take control of the herd, exiling Patchi and claiming Juniper as his own. Patchi, defeated and despondent after losing everything he cares about, nearly allows other dinosaurs to kill him for food. But his friend Alex steps in and inspires him to continue fighting for the love of his life. Patchi scares off the other dinosaurs and goes after Juniper, so he can tell her how he truly feels. When he catches up with the herd, he sees that they are being hunted by some Gorgosaurus. It looks like his brother Scowler will be killed. Patchi tells the entire herd to come to his brother’s aid, and together they fight off the hunters. Patchi finally becomes the head of the pack, living happily ever after with Juniper, and they ultimately have children of their own.

Themes

Prehistoric times; family and relationships; self-sacrifice

Violence

There is some animated violence in this movie. For example:

  • At several points, the movie shows dinosaurs of different species fighting with each other.
  • Patchi is disfigured when he is attacked as a young dinosaur.
  • Patchi’s father is killed in a battle with another dinosaur.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5

In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. In fact, children in this age group could be scared by the dinosaurs in the movie, particularly in the 3D version. 

From 5-8

Children in this age group might also find some of the scenes and creatures scary. 

From 8-13

Some younger children in this age group might also be scared by some of the scenes in this movie. 

Over 13

Nothing of concern 

Sexual references

Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie has some mild sexual references. For example, when Patchi falls in love with Juniper, the scene includes romantic music. When Scowler takes over as herd leader, he sees it as his right to claim Juniper as his mate. 

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

None of concern 

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern 

Product placement

None of concern 

Coarse language

Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie has some mild insults and name-calling. 

Ideas to discuss with your children

Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie is an animation about one dinosaur’s journey to becoming a responsible and capable adult.

Patchi begins as a love-struck young dinosaur who yearns to explore his surroundings and spend as much time as possible with Juniper. But he learns to protect his friends and other members of his herd and is ultimately prepared to sacrifice himself to save his brother. Patchi steps into the role of leader of the pack, showing himself and others that he can achieve anything he sets his mind to.

Children under eight years are likely to find some of the scenes and creatures scary, particularly in the 3D version. Children with a real interest in dinosaurs might be annoyed or confused by the fictionalised aspects of this movie, particularly the romance between Patchi and Juniper.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include:

  • not letting your limitations, or what others think of you, define you or what you might be capable of
  • knowing when to follow the rules and when to break them
  • understanding the importance of friends and letting them help you when you need it.

You could also talk with your children about the fictionalised aspects of the movie and what we really know about dinosaurs.