Nominated for three Emmy Awards, this is the moving story of the life and death struggle of Big Al, the most complete Allosaurus skeleton ever found. This program also brings you behind the scenes with an additional 30-min... more »ute feature that explores how scientists have been able to trace this incredible life story.« less
The Top 100 Reasons We're Glad They're Extinct - The Special
TastyBabySyndrome | "Daddy Dagon's Daycare" - Proud Sponsor of the Lit | 07/15/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I was a little kid, I used to dream of a world teeming with dinosaurs. I used to imagine what it would have been like when those skeletons I saw on exhibit lived, and how someone needed to play tour guide to that realm and how I should twist the handle. Sadly, no matter how I tried that doorway, it always remained closed, my time machine not quite working the way I would have intended, and dinosaurs were left either in bone formation or in the movies as monsters.
There was never an in-between. With the creation of the Walking With Dinosaurs series, however, everything began to change and I, still that boy with an interest in that hobby, found myself addicted. The key that separated this series and made it "unique" - a word I try to use sparingly - is in the way the dinosaurs, our main actors and actresses, are portrayed. Instead of turning then into a depiction of a colossal, toothy menace or dryly discussing their lifespan in the way one discusses ancient relics, the series showcases dinosaurs by allowing one to walk with them through their terrain. From the flora and the fauna, the insect life and dinosaurs themselves, a depiction of CGI effects, prosthetics, and of "dinosaur knowing" comes to life. Here, you see the landscape the way it would have been, the animals roaming free and observed naturalistically, and the experience is incredible because it looks so vibrantly realistic. In Allosaurus: A Walking With Dinosaurs Special, the Allosaurus "Big Al" is showcased as he struggles from the cradle while trying to grow into something fearsome. In sixty minutes, the fifteen years from the egg to the eventual demise it faces are depicted, showing a person that going to the head of the class wasn't easy in that age. Here, other dinosaurs walk as well, and the efforts of one of the top predators of its age seem a tad on the hard side - making me rethink the allure of being the biggest kid on the block. Survival while growing, it is dramatic and enlightening experience, and its pretty interesting how harrowing an introduction can be and how brutal it can be. For anyone that has yet to watch this series, I'd recommend tuning in as soon as possible and catching up on all those moments you missed out on. I would recommend starting with Walking With Dinosaurs, however, and moving on from there. Still, that is far from being a bad thing. Besides this video that focuses on Big Al and a few of species, other DVDs house other forms of life that are entrancing. Wonderfully fast predators, Megladons swimming the high tides and eating enough to be interesting, and other strange species await you. And they, all the DVDs released thusfar in this series, simply look fantastic."
A big bite from the Jurassic
grrreg | 04/07/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A follow-up from BBC's wonderful 'Walking with Dinosaurs' series, this two part video looks at the life of Big Al, a fossil allosaurus from the Jurassic era. Here in Australia, this was called 'The Ballad of Big Al'.The first episode looks at the life of Big Al over his life of seven years - from birth to death. Al leads a full life, but it certainly isn't an easy one. You get to see all aspects of Al's life, both as predator and prey, eating, sleeping and trying to have sex. It was a little frustrating in that it doesn't run as long as I would have liked.The second episode details the science upon which Al's life was based. The fossil is described, and what it tells us about events in Al's life are pointed out. In addition from the specific evidence of Al's fossillised skeleton, some general assumptions about allosauruses and their lives are shown, with reference to the modern day descendants of dinosaurs. This episode explains why the previous didn't go as long as I would have liked - because they only showed what could be justified. If they'd made things up, there could have been more - but everything in the first episode is justified in this.The recreation of dinosaurs is better in this show is better than its predecessor - certainly in regard to their interaction. In the original series, we either had groups of dinosaurs carrying out similar activities or small number interacting. In this one, for example, the scene of several allosuruses attacking a herd of diplodicuses is wonderful, and I think better than could have been achieved in the original.If you like 'Walking with Dinosaurs', this may suit you - always provided, of course, that you are happy to deal with a smaller focus."
Walking with Dinasaurs special
grrreg | 03/23/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is up to the amazing standard of the first lot. It looks so good, that it could have been filmed in real life!Again the BBC had to make "best guesses" on several things, such as the colour of it's skin, how it hunted etc, but it is simply brillant!If you liked or loved Walking with Dinasaurs - you will love this as well."
Jurassic America's Greatest Predator
Archanubis80 | Alexandria, VA | 06/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The "seventh" episode of the spectacularly successful "Walking with Dinosaurs" series, "Allosaurus" - better known as "The Ballad of Big Al" outside the US - is a extraordinary follow-up to that series. It also served to whet many fans' appetite for the later "Prehistoric Beasts" series.In "Allosaurus", we followed the life of "Big Al" literally from birth to the grave. Life wasn't all "blood in tooth and claw" for the top predator in Jurassic America, as we're shown. As a baby, Al had to watch for predators, especially his own kind! He had to literally teach himself to hunt, and some prey was just too big to take on without help. And mating was no pinic either; Al needs more than flowers to win a female's heart. As a sequel of sorts to "Walking with Dinosaurs", "Allosaurus" does quite well. We're treated to the same CGI and animatronic effects seen in the previous series, and while the puppetry still needs a little work, IMHO, the CGI is top notch. All of the dinosaurs featured in the episode "Time of the Titans" - Diplodocus, Brachiosaurus, and Stegosaurus - return here. Three more dinosaurs are added to the cast; Dryosaurus, Othnelia, and the famous Apatosaurus. As with "Dinosaurs", there is a "Making of..." episode, included on the VHS, giving us insight into the research of what is one of the most recognizable predatory dinosaurs, second only to Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor. While "Allosaurus" is a wonderful series, I do have one little complaint. Surely the Framestore and BBC teams could have added a few more dinosaurs to the episode. They didn't need to have added more sauropods; three is enough. But what about Ceratosaurus, or Camptosaurus, both contemparies of Allosaurus? Surely both these dinosaurs could have been included, especially since its likely Ceratosaurus could have competed with Allosaurus for the same food source.Despite this "flaw", "Allosaurus" is a fine follow-up to "Dinosaurs". Part of the continuing "Walking with..." series, which now includes "Prehistoric Beasts", "Chased by Dinosaurs", and now "Walking with Cavemen", "Allosaurus" definately belongs in anyone's collection. And here's a message to the folks at the BBC: please, *please* do something about the time *before* the dinosaurs."
The Best of Walking With Dinosaurs.
Michael Valdivielso | Alexandria, VA | 01/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The reason I like this more than the others was because they gave us a lot of data on just one dinosaur - a Allosaurus named Big Al. Big Al's story is based on what information scientists were able to get from a almost complete skeleton found in Wyoming. The story is about his life, which was only 15 years long. 60 minutes, half of which is the story and half of which is about how they figured out what they did from the bones. I kind of feel sorry for Big Al. He had a REALLY tough life and we don't even know if he ever got to have offspring or not. Was he a father of dozens of Allosaurus babies or did his genes end with his death? Extras also include a photo gallery and storyboards."