Walking with Dinosaurs

My son, who is four and a half years old, is a dinosaur fanatic. So, it went without saying that we would have to go see Walking with Dinosaurs when it came to Singapore. At first he was hesistant to going as he realised they looked very realistic and they were life size. He was always a little afraid of the Rex that occupied space at the local Science Centre. After some coercion and encouragement he relented to going, in fact, he insisted on going.

Went down to SISTIC and booked for the Friday show and I didn’t really know what to expect of the show although I had watched the “Making of Walking with Dinosaurs” on one of the National Geographic or Discovery Channels. It didn’t give any hint of the story line only details of the mecha-tronics, materials, controls and how the dinosaurs were constructed and manned.

At the Singapore Indoor Stadium the layout was pretty plain and it looked like a mini-derby with some obstacles (looked like rocks) in the centre. We got to our seats with time to spare and heard the usual announcements about flash photography. In fact, I was kind of expecting draconian enforcement of photography or videography because they did have a bag check before all could enter. I setup my wife’s Sony TX-9 point and shoot to not flash and even disabled the focus assist light. I did the same with the Panasonic Lumix LX-5 I toted, in any case, the LX-5’s flash is a manual pop-up so I knew it would be popping when taking pics. An announcer came on a number of times reminding ‘NO’ photography and emphasised ‘NO FLASH’ photography.

The show started and immediately flashes where going off all around the stadium and most irritating right around me. It was so damn distracting that I couldn’t see for a second or two to quickly turn to see just who was popping the flash. I gave up trying to catch the person in action as I had paid good money to watch the show and not to be busy hunting down flashers.

I believe the Organiser could have done a better job of controlling or informing the audience to not use the flash setting. Announcements for no flash photography should have been made in as many languages as possible starting with those common to Singapore – English, Malay and Mandarin. If they really want to go all out, make the announcement in the various dialects. The stadium also features a large backdrop that was used for projected images so I do not see why they could not have projected the announcement or a iconic picture showing no flash or no photography period.

 

The dinosaurs are really amazing in their motion and realism. If you look past the extra legs for those manned by a real person and the small wheeled base of the larger dinosaurs you could swear that the dinosaurs got reincarnated. A couple of times the larger dinos got close and you could even see the glistening of slime from their saliva or snot. The opening sequence also had one of the dinosaurs pick up with its teeth a small hatchling to eat it. The sound effects like the snorting of the T-Rex with added effect of mist from the nostrils was awesome.

 

Some of the audience had a treat with a close up of the Brachiosaurus. Would have been extra realistic if it did drip some saliva or snot on them. :)

 

The variety of dinosaurs was interesting because it covered the various periods of the dinosaurs – Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous and then it all came to an abrupt end with the Tyrannosaurus rex and Baby T.rex being wiped out with a thundering flash. The T.Rex and Baby T.Rex was heart warming as they showed each other affection.

 

Don’t be fooled by the affection, the T.Rex is an awesome sight and I know I wouldn’t want to run into one in a dark jungle or forest. Just take a look at the picture below. You can see how well it must have done with camouflage. It certainly wouldn’t sneak up on anything but if it stood still and you were the one moving about and not paying attention you’d be dead meat.

 

So, if you get a chance to go to the show throw away any misconceptions of what you might see because it isn’t a Disney production or cartoon like Ice Age 3 or even that animated Dinosaur feature. You go because you want to learn a little more about dinosaurs and experience the spectacle. Take a look at the end where you can see and feel a little bit of cuteness with the Baby T.Rex. 

 

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