Disney+ also includes various documentaries from National Geographic, and a particular one that immediately caught my attention was ‘Bizarre Dinosaurs’.
I have been fascinated with dinosaurs ever since I was little. Summers would be spent visiting the Natural History Museum in London, and the dinosaur exhibit was my favourite area. I had tons of books on dinosaurs and watched BBC’s ‘Walking with Dinosaurs’ religiously. This interest has never left me so, when I saw that Disney+ had a documentary on dinosaurs, I obviously decided to watch it.
‘Bizarre Dinosaurs’ is a 45-minute documentary looking at different, and strange, appearances of some dinosaurs and what the purpose for their appearance might have been.
This program is a good introduction for people who want to learn about some of the lesser-known dinosaurs. It’s accessible to audiences of a young age and older, by using simple and understandable narration/ interviews from various palaeontologists. Through these interviews, we are introduced to a variety of strange-looking dinosaurs and given different opinions on why some were given a specific appearance and what they think some of the features were used for.
Since I’ve held onto a certain amount of knowledge of some dinosaurs, it was interesting to see that some of what I had been taught as a child was now proven wrong. For example, it is now believed that the dome-shaped heads of the Pachycephalosaurus was not used for fighting, as the head is made of thin and fragile bone, but was actually used to attract a mate.
New creatures have also been discovered, e.g.: the Raptorex, a smaller version of the T-Rex that lived during the same time as T-Rex; the Saurapoda, a disproportionate version of the Diplodocus with an even longer neck, and the Dracorex Hogwartzia, which looked similar to a dragon, hence the Harry Potter-influenced name. These species were all new to me, and it’s fascinating to learn about these unique-looking creatures that I hadn’t heard of until now.
The program uses CGI to show us what the specific dinosaurs’ appearance, movements and behaviour would’ve looked like in its environment, and this CGI unfortunately resembles that of Playstation 2 graphics. The animation is the only aspect of the program that felt out of place because of this. While National Geographic documentaries are known for this style, it would’ve looked better if hand-drawn animation was used instead. It would’ve also made the actual dinosaurs stand out from their backgrounds; in some animated scenes, the foreground blends into the background and it’s difficult to see what the dinosaur truly looks like.
‘Bizarre Dinosaurs’ is a fascinating documentary that gives its audiences some new information and arguments on the dinosaurs we thought we knew so well. If you have an interest in these prehistoric creatures, then I would recommend it. I would also suggest Disney+ add more dinosaur documentaries as they’re an interesting species to learn about.
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