free debate

June 20, 2009

See a Live Dinosaur!

Ok, so you can't see a real live Ankylosaurus or Tyrannosaurus rex walking around. They're extinct, and there's no real life Jurassic Park. However, there is now a show touring the United States that takes you as close as you can get.

The producers of the BBC special, Walking with Dinosaurs, created a film that reconstructed the world as it may have been 65 to 250 million years ago. Recently, they have taken that film and created a theatrical production. "Walking with Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular" is a panoramic show, using life-sized puppets of the dinosaurs. These were created by a team of scientists, artistic designers, and others to make these puppets as life-like as possible. The entire plot of the show, in fact, was designed with scientists involved, to make it as accurate and up-to-date as possible.

I personally have not yet seen the show. Based on reviews, however, it sounds phenomenal. It is extremely difficult to flesh out the fossils in a 2-dimensional drawing. Then there are a multitude of options for coloration, skin patterning, ornaments, etc... And all of that is just on paper. It's amazing to consider then reconstructing a full-size, life-like dinosaur, with accurate movements, in 3 dimensions. And the people who designed the show didn't just create one or two of these marvels; there are 15 dinosaurs representing 10 species in the show. Kudos to the designers and operators of these dinosaurs, and to the whole crew of this theatrical Walking with dinosaurs. I hope to be able to see your show soon.

Credit: Walking With Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular
Read an interview with a cast member here