Flying Monsters 3D

Flying Monsters 3D

Static Mass Rating: 4/5
Atlantic Productions 

Release date: 6th May 2011
Certificate (UK): U
Running time: 40 min

Directors: Matthew Dyas

Cast: David Attenborough

For anyone that’s grown up watching the Jurassic Park movies, read the books by Michael Crichton, collected the trading cards and can tell a Velociraptor from a Triceratops, then this is perhaps something you should see.

I admit I’m a dinosaur fan. I drew the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex for one of my art projects, made a clay Brachiosaurus in pottery class and bought the wooden parts each week that came with those silly magazines so I could build a Pterodactyl. Yet what always fascinated me was the idea of a winged reptile and how they made that evolutionary jump from land to air…

Flying Monsters 3D

Produced by Anthony Geffen at Atlantic Productions and directed by Matthew Dyas, this fascinating 40 minute 3D documentary jumps 220 million years back in time, when dinosaurs first began their rule on Earth, to look at the pterosaurs. They were a group of reptiles that made an extraordinary leap in evolution that would see them taking to the skies where they became rulers.

Narrated by the world’s leading naturalist, Sir David Attenborough, he explains much of the science of what the planet was like back in these early times, together with the biology these amazing creatures’ during the key steps in their evolution.

But it’s not all classroom talk. Flying Monsters takes full advantage of 3D technology with the SGO Mistika, the most powerful stereoscopic 3D toolset in the industry, to create some incredible visualisations of how these creatures might have looked, walked and flown.

Flying Monsters 3D

The dense landscape with towering trees, exotics plants and bizarre insect life, which all seem alien to us, is nothing compared to the sight and sheer size of the wingspan of a Quetzalcoatlus. The equivalent to the size of a fully grown giraffe, its wingspan could stretch over 15 metres. The Quetzalcoatlus ruled during the Late Cretaceous period.

Other species we learn about along the way are the Dimorphodon and the beautiful red crested Darwinopterus. Admittedly, some of these creatures do look like they flew  out of Avatar (2009), but that only goes to show that Cameron really did his research!

Flying Monsters 3D

There are a few hooky moments such as when Attenborough gleefully watches an animated creature leap out from the computer and onto a coat rack. My 8 year nephew was not too impressed, he was waiting to see more of the flying sequences and attacks on unsuspecting land creatures.

We would have loved for Flying Monsters to have been a bit longer. At 40 minutes it just feels too short to cover such a thrilling topic. The information and names of the pterosaurs might be too much for younger audiences to remember but they won’t forget how big and impressive they were.

I’m now being asked by nephew when I’m going to take him to the Jurassic Coast of Lyme Regis to help him dig for fossils. Just as soon as he helps me finishing writing this, I tell him.

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