Far Cry Primal Trailer First Impressions

(This blog is not for profit. All copyrighted images belong to their respective owners and are used for review. New to the blog? Start on the introduction.)

https://whendinosaursruledthemind.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/introduction-remember-dinosaurs-theyre-different-now/

 

 

I’m not much of a gamer. Like..at all.

Not that I have anything against video games, I just never grew up having them in the house.

Why, you may ask? Because my parents were the type that if I really wanted something like that, I should pay for it with my own money. And neither then nor now do I have the money to buy a $400 dollar game system and then buy a bunch of $60 dollar games for it.

The reason I bring this up is because I’m not an expert on gameplay mechanics or anything that true gamers would actually be interested in when a new AAA title is released, but I know what I think is cool.

And the Pleistocene is pretty freakin’ cool.

Now, some of you may be thinking “But if you don’t play video games, why on earth would you be interested in this?” Which is true, I’m never going to physically play this game. But there is another way I plan on experiencing this…

Have you ever wondered why Let’s Play channels are so popular? They allow people like me who can’t afford games to experience games that interest them with an entertaining personality all without having to buy the games themselves.

And I plan on watching as many let’s plays of this game as I possibly can!

Far Cry Primal cover art.jpg

Really, the main reason I’m really excited about this game is because I’ve always kind of wanted a big budget game set in the Pleistocene era. You may remember a while ago when I made a post here detailing a dream video game I would love set in the Ice Age, but with realistic environments and period accurate fauna. You can read the post again here.

https://whendinosaursruledthemind.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/when-dinosaurs-ruled-the-mind-33-pleistocene-original-game-idea/

So this game really is a dream come true for me, even if a couple of things I’ve seen about the game do raise an eyebrow.

The main complaints I’ve seen about Far Cry Primal (from actual gamers unlike myself) usually boil down to the game not looking especially innovative, with fears that the gameplay will feel to similar to previous installments despite the lack of guns and vehicles. Others say the game looks cheap, with the mammoth and sabretooth models looking like they just reskinned elephant and tiger models from the previous Far Cry game (although I think they do look different enough, even if they did reuse assets from Far Cry 4 to make the new creatures I wouldn’t blame them for being frugal). But for me, with my love of paleontology, I’m concerned most about the world they are creating and the kind of creatures that will inhabit said world.

The environment presented in the trailer seems surprisingly fertile, with green vegetation very abundant. Still, the whole world still looks like it’s dealing with the cold, with the grasp of the Ice Age still within reach. All the plants, although abundant, are still plants you would expect to see in the north. The official lore of the game states that the world takes place in a valley that was carved out by a glacier that has since melted leaving behind a fertile landscape. To me, the land brings to mind the woodlands and swamps of Scandinavia and other northern European locations as well as Alaskan wilderness and tundra. All in all, seems like a pretty good environment for the late Pleistocene.

So judging by the look of the valley, I can judge this land probably takes place in either Northern Europe, Asia, or Alaska at the end of the Ice Age, all classic environments for popular Pleistocene megafauna. But in order to narrow down where exactly this game takes place, I need to take a look at the fauna itself.

The creature that gets the most focus in the trailer is the woolly mammoth, which many consider to be the quintessential Ice Age animal. Once again, it looks like the mammoths are too big (real mammoths were actually smaller than modern day elephants) but I can forgive that.

Woolly mammoths are known to inhabit Alaska, the eastern United States (eastern Canada was completely covered in glacier at the time), much of Europe and northern Russia. So, unfortunately, their inclusion doesn’t really narrow things down.

In the behind the scenes video, we also see deer, dire wolves, and a bear that could either be a European cave bear or the American grizzly bear (doesn’t look like the famous Ice Age Short Faced Bear). Once again, they don’t really narrow things down. But the end of the first trailer does show another infamous Ice Age creature, whose inclusion should narrow down the location of this land.

The famous Smilodon, the sabre tooth tiger, is almost as synonymous with the Ice Age as the woolly mammoth. But thankfully, its range is not nearly as expansive. The Smilodon only lived in North and South America, and the only part of its range that would look anything like the games environment would be Alaska. So from that fact alone, you would think that this game has to take place in North America. Unfortunately, there is a little kink in that theory, and that comes with the inclusion of a specific creature…

 

…the woolly rhino.

Woolly rhinos are only found in Europe and Asia, and they would have never met the Sabretooth tiger. So this means the game is just a generic Ice Age land with creatures from different parts of the world living in one area.

Part of me is disappointed in this, cause I was hoping for an Ice Age game with period and geographically accurate fauna. Too many times have I seen Ice Age depictions using creatures from completely different continents and ecosystems from all over the Cenozoic living together in the same land.

As bad as this is, it’s still not nearly as bad as the brontotheres from the first movie. At least all these creatures lived in the Pleistocene.

Still, I guess I see why they decided to add a woolly rhino to the game. They’re cool and relatively famous, and they probably had the assets to make a rhino model pretty easy since rhinos were featured in the previous game. But it still shows that this game isn’t going to depict a scientifically accurate Ice Age landscape.

Heck, even the cave painting stuff that was shown in the promotional material brings to mind a more European setting, as cave paintings from prehistoric men are only known from places like Spain and France. This is the main reason why, despite how awesome the image would be, sabretooth tigers have never been found on cave paintings.

Um, whoops.

OK, so what animals do we have confirmed so far? Mammoths, sabre tooth cats, woolly rhinos, dire wolves, bears, and deer. Since specific accuracy is being thrown out the window, what other creatures would I like to see? Personally, I would be fine if they only use creatures from the classic Ice Age environments (North America, Europe, and Asia) that were around in the late Pleistocene. No brontotheres, no dodo birds, no terror birds, no entelodont, only creatures humans may have actually met in the northern hemisphere. Can you at least promise me that much?

From the cave paintings, it looks like the game may focus a lot on owls (perhaps they have religious significance?), which is completely fine with me. I also see what looks like a bison skeleton, but I may be wrong. Still, bison I think would be an excellent addition to the game.

I think I also see a hyena in the cave paintings, which was a creature that inhabited Ice Age environments but only in Europe. Kind of an odd choice, but they did have hyenas in the last game…

We do see some pretty normal looking deer in the game, but personally, I would like to see Megaloceros in the game. That deer species says ‘Ice Age’ to me more than any other I think.

On that note, let’s add some Ice Age lions to the mix. Smilodon can’t have all the big cat fun.

As far as more prey animals go, lets add some Ice Age wild horses to the mix. They need some love.

Boars I think would work too. They already appeared in the last Far Cry so implementing them into the game wouldn’t be much of a stretch.

But hey, let’s not have the Smilodon the only American representative in the game. If weirder Ice Age animals are what you’re looking for, how about a giant ground sloth?

And personally, I think this game needs some terrors from the sky. Add some teratorns while you’re at it!

If the game just sticks to creatures like that, I’ll be fine. Just please, not chalicotheres, no Gigantopithicus, and please for the love of God no dinosaurs!!!!!

Of course, another thing I’m really excited about in this game is how they’re going to depict the lives of prehistoric humans. In the behind the scenes video the game developers noted how hard it is to depict a culture of people when so little from their lives has survived to this day. So basically, they had to start from scratch. Hopefully they don’t do anything too crazy or outlandish, but I also hope they have fun with this creative freedom. It already sounds like they’ve created an entire language for the people, which shows just how much dedication they’re putting into this.

Personally, I am really freakin’ excited for this game. Sure, it may not be strictly accurate like I was kind of hoping for, but I’m OK with using artistic license it it means making a fun experience. Once this game comes out, you know I’ll be writing a review on it, and if I somehow forget you guys better remind me. This game interests me so much more than those indi dinosaur/prehistoric creature games that get big for a little bit but then disappear without a trace.

Sure, I wanted to review this game, but by the time I get to it nobody would care.

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The Good Dinosaur Official Trailer 2 Review

(This blog is not for profit. All copyrighted images belong to their respective owners and are used for review. New to the blog? Start on the introduction.)

https://whendinosaursruledthemind.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/introduction-remember-dinosaurs-theyre-different-now/

 

The time is inching closer and closer to the release date of Pixar’s latest and luckily for this blog dinosaur themed film The Good Dinosaur, and in anticipation of that fact a second full length trailer has been released. Now, if you’ve read my reactions to the previous trailers, you know that I am excited for this movie, but not just because it has dinosaurs in it (although that’s certainly a contributing factor). I was completely enamored by Pixar’s earlier release Inside Out, as it proved to me that this company still had what it takes to make great and unique films in this ever crowded movie market. Whether or not this film is another win for the company is yet to be seen, but until then I await this film with great anticipation. Anyway, let’s get into the trailer.

The trailer begins similarly to how the others before did, with them showing that the asteroid that destroyed the dinosaurs never hit the earth in this reality. After that, we get some new footage as well as some actual dialogue! Yep, the last two trailers were silent for the most part, but this is the first time we get to hear many of the characters talk. This includes a new character introduced in this trailer, Arlo’s dad voiced by Jeffrey Wright.

 

In this scene we see how Arlo is separated from his family, in what looks like a huge storm of some kind. I will admit, although I am interested to see how this plays out, I’m starting to get quite a few Land Before Time vibes out of this. Arlo, once he is by himself, really reminds me of Littlefoot from the first movie, and I know I won’t be the only one making comparisons between the two. That was one of the risks when they decided to age Arlo down to a young kid (in case you forgot, Arlo was originally supposed to be much older before the whole film went through a major rewrite).

Man, they’re almost unrecognizable.

Whether the change works out in the end is yet to be seen. But until then, I hope Pixar is prepared for the Land Before Time comparisons people will be spewing out.

From there we see Arlo meeting Spot the human boy, much like in the first trailer. We see them embark in some cute antics, such as Spot defending Arlo from that creepy snake creature, which we do get a better look at…

Holy crap!

The boy growls at the Tetrapodophis (look it up), only to return to a calm and adorable panting, further reinforcing the idea that this human kid is supposed to be like a dog.

One scene that did give me a good laugh was the moment where Spot blows into a hole in the ground in order to push out a small gopher-like creature. When Arlo does the same, dozens of gophers fly out of their holes at once, and then slowly begin to attack Arlo. His slow yet dramatic realization was perfect comic timing in my opinion.

Immediately afterwards, we see Arlo fearful of another storm, this time with Spot present. Perhaps this will a a recurring theme in the film; Arlo will be deathly afraid of storms since that was the reason he got separated from his family, and as the film progresses he not only has to confront that fear but also all the other dangers the world around him harbors. Seems like a very Pixar-ian message, wouldn’t you agree?

To me, personally, the most interesting part of the trailer is when they introduce the Tyrannosaur characters, whom I think we all assumed to be somewhat antagonistic. But to my surprise, it looks like they’re going to be full fledged good guys! They seem to be cattle ranchers, who drives herds of those long horned buffalo around. And of course, being ranchers, they have thick Southwest American accents. Anna Paquin voices the daughter tyrannosaur, obviously channeling her performance as Rogue. The father is voiced by the king of gravely voiced Southern drawl actors Sam Elliot, and just from that casting I already have a good idea of what kind of character this T. rex is going to be. Sam seems to always be cast as the rough and tumble hard working guy with a tough exterior but once you get to know him he offers sound advice and common wisdom. This goes double if he’s playing an animated character….

If you guys remember this character, I’m sorry.

Still, I think it’s really interesting that they’re going against the ever present cliche of having the tyrannosaurs as bad guys in a dinosaur film for kids. Heck, most of the time the carnivores don’t even talk! Five year old me would have loved this!

By the look of the trailer, it seems like the tyrannosaurs for some reason or another need Arlo to help them protect their herd of bison from cattle wranglers, who in this universe seem to be….raptors?

And look, we even have feathers!

Barely, but we have feathers!

Hey, it’s more effort than Jurassic World gave!

Until raptors look like barely threatening chickens, it’s never enough.

Filmmakers will never get the memo, will they?

We also get a good look at the ceratopsian character we got a glimpse of in the last trailer, and instead of being the wise eccentric like I predicted him to be, it looks like he’s just going to be eccentric. He carries a variety of animals on his horns, and I have a theory that he believes they give him protection, which is why he’s so adamant about acquiring this strange human creature Arlo hangs around with. The ceratopsian makes a deal that if he names the boy he keeps it, and the two start spouting out random names until the kid finally responds to Spot….for some reason.

The last scene of the trailer shows Arlo reminiscing about his family, frustrated that Spot wouldn’t be able to understand, only for Spot to nuzzle up to him like an adorable little puppy. At this point, it seems like Spot won’t be able to talk or communicate with Arlo at all, and it will all be conveyed with facial expressions and body language. They truly are portraying him like an animal, which I think is an interesting choice but certainly the right one for this movie.

‘As for my overall thoughts on the trailer, this one didn’t floor me like the last one, but it didn’t discourage me from watching the movie either. I’m really quite excited to see this, and I really hope it turns out good. I have a feeling it’s not going to be the giant crowd pleaser that Inside Out was, but it’ll probably be one of those films that holds a special place in the hearts of those who did enjoy it (ala Ratatouille). Looks like we’ll just have to wait and see…

Trailer reviews aren’t over yet. Another interesting preview dropped only yesterday that I feel deserves my attention. Although the franchise hasn’t pulled me in before, this new installment doesn’t seem like a far cry from the things I look at here….

My Top Ten Favorite Posts On ‘When Dinosaurs Ruled The Mind’

(This blog is not for profit. All copyrighted images belong to their respective owners and are used for review. New to the blog? Start on the introduction.)

https://whendinosaursruledthemind.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/introduction-remember-dinosaurs-theyre-different-now/

Sometimes, I like to look back at my old posts just to see how my writing style has change during my time on this blog. And when I read my old stuff, a couple things usually cross my mind.

“Wow, this is terrible.”

“Did I write this?”

“Is that another spelling error?”

“Where the hell are the pictures?!”

But every once and a while, I look back at an old post and don’t immediately cringe. Heck, sometimes I find myself enjoying the words I have written as if I were reading the work of someone more talented than I. This feeling pleases me. So here is a comprehensive list of my Top 10 Favorite Posts On When Dinosaurs Ruled The Mind. If you have just stumbled across this site and like what you see but aren’t sure where to start, these are the posts I recommend reading first.

Hope this doesn’t come off as conceited or something.

10. When Dinosaurs Ruled The Mind #1: Jurassic Park

https://whendinosaursruledthemind.wordpress.com/2014/08/19/when-dinosaurs-ruled-the-mind-1-jurassic-park/

Let’s start off the list by talking about my very first review on this site, and as far as first attempts go, it really isn’t all that bad. In fact, I’m actually quite proud of it. I was really afraid that my older posts would suffer from a case of ‘early installment weirdness’, but thankfully that isn’t the case. It’s a really good introduction to the kind of stuff this blog is about, and it reads and flows surprisingly well. I’m actually impressed in how informative the review turned out despite it’s somewhat short length, even though a lot of what I said can be found on similar posts throughout the web. But really, it was only the beginning of things that were to come.

On a side not, this post also marks the first appearance of Philosoraptor!

This was before the plastic surgery.

9. When Dinosaurs Ruled The Mind #16: The Art of Charles R Knight

https://whendinosaursruledthemind.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/when-dinosaurs-ruled-the-mind-16-the-art-of-charles-r-knight/

Strangely, this post has more likes and views than any of my other posts, probably because my website is one of the first to pop up when you type in the name Charles R Knight. But strangely, it has no comments. Interesting….

I wrote this post in response to the all the negative things I have written in the blog before about what I would call Knightian depictions of dinosaurs. Yes, they are inaccurate by today’s standards, and people today really should know better, but I didn’t want to give off the impression I was hating on the guy. On the contrary, Charles Knight is one of my favorite paleo-artists, and his skill with a paintbrush is unmatched even today. So that review was my little love letter to the guy.

8. When Dinosaurs Ruled The Mind #14: The Lost World

https://whendinosaursruledthemind.wordpress.com/2014/09/18/when-dinosaurs-ruled-the-mind-14-the-lost-world/

Yep, I knew it would only be a matter of time before I talked about the first big dinosaur anything in popular culture, and I’m glad I got this one out of the way early. Sure, I knew I would be treading similar ground when I reviewed the art of Charles Knight only a couple posts later, but I feel like I made them distinct enough to work. I wanted to write this review to show that even though the designs for the dinosaurs would now be considered inaccurate, that didn’t mean I hated them all together. I wanted to show my appreciation for what this film accomplished. And in reality, for the time these dinosaurs couldn’t have been better.

7. When Dinosaurs Ruled The Mind #10: Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis

https://whendinosaursruledthemind.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/when-dinosaurs-ruled-the-mind-10-jurassic-park-operation-genesis/

I remember this post being one of the first ones to get a lot of views, and really it was the first sign that people actually started to care about what I wrote. It was a pretty cool feeling, I must admit.

This review did present a couple of unique challenges as I wrote it. It was the longest one at the time, and in it I talked about more dinosaurs than I did before. I also had to review dinosaur from the Jurassic Park movies, which I had already went over at that point, as well as completely new dinosaurs. It was a challenge to write for only my tenth post, but I’m satisfied with how it turned out.

6. When Dinosaurs Ruled The Mind #47: Walking With Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular

https://whendinosaursruledthemind.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/when-dinosaurs-ruled-the-mind-47-walking-with-dinosaurs-the-arena-spectacular/

I remember having a lot of fun writing this one. By this point I have written about movies and cartoons and stuff like that, but nothing like a live show. Thankfully, this particular show gave me a lot to talk about, and I find the post infinitely more entertaining and informative than my Walking With Dinosaurs mini series review (I’m not very fond of my work on that one). But personally, I just really like the visual aesthetic of this particular post. It doesn’t look jumbled or cluttered; it’s nice, clean, and professional looking.

5. When Dinosaurs Ruled The Mind #41: The Magic School Bus: The Busasaurus

 

https://whendinosaursruledthemind.wordpress.com/2015/01/07/when-dinosaurs-ruled-the-mind-41-the-magic-school-bus-episode-the-busasaurus/

This post as well was just a lot of fun to write. Not only did I love writing about one of my personal favorite childhood cartoons, I also like how small yet intimate this post feels. It’s not big and expansive like some of my other reviews, but still has just the right amount of personality. Heck, I actually feel this is one of my funniest reviews yet, probably because there are just so many easy jokes you can make about the ridiculousness of this show.

4. When Dinosaurs Ruled The Mind #60: 10,000 BC

https://whendinosaursruledthemind.wordpress.com/2015/04/29/when-dinosaurs-ruled-the-mind-60-10000-bc-mini-review/

I’m actually really surprised in how much I like this particular review. Once again, it’s short and to the point, but the writing is just so full of personality. Not only did this movie give me a chance to talk about creatures other than dinosaurs, but it also gave me a chance to vent my frustrations with one of the strangest strangest and most ridiculous movies I have ever seen. Mammoths being used to build pyramids, my god.

3. When Dinosaurs Ruled The Mind #56: You Are Umasou

https://whendinosaursruledthemind.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/when-dinosaurs-ruled-the-mind-56-you-are-umasou-movie-review/

This is one of the longest and most detailed reviews I have ever written, but I think it turned out fantastic. In this post I didn’t review the accuracy of the dinosaurs, but instead reviewed the film itself, which I had only done a few times before. But I didn’t want to complain about the cartoony proportions the dinosaurs in this movie had, that may have given off the wrong idea. I wanted to talk about how much I loved this movie, despite the fact that I don’t watch anime. And to this day, I whole heartily recommend this movie.

2. When Dinosaurs Ruled The Mind #44: Jurassic Park (Novel)

 

https://whendinosaursruledthemind.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/when-dinosaurs-ruled-the-mind-44-jurassic-park-novel/

When I started this blog, I knew I eventually wanted to talk about the original Jurassic Park novel, but I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do it. It had been so long since I’ve read the book through, and I like whatever I’m reviewing to be fresh in my mind whenever I write about it. But then a miracle happened. My college library happened to carry the book, and in only a couple days I read the whole thing again. Immediately afterwards I began to work on the review. And I’m so glad I did.

1. When Dinosaurs Ruled The Mind #25: Walking With Dinosaurs 3D

https://whendinosaursruledthemind.wordpress.com/2014/11/16/when-dinosaurs-ruled-the-mind-25-walking-with-dinosaurs-3d/

Who knew one of the worst movies I have ever seen would help create one of the bests reviews I have ever written. I just love the way this one turned out. My boiling hatred for this movie really shines through, yet I still make it clear whenever the movie does something right or something I like. Personally, I think this is probably the funniest review I have ever written, and whenever I read over it I tend to forget that it was actually me who wrote down the words. I feel like I’m reading the work of someone much more talented than me. And whenever my own writing can create that feeling, I know I’ve written something good.

This particular review has all those characters I used at that point as well, all wrapped up in this big and complicated plot that I’ve seem to have forgotten about. Something about the Time Traveling Cynodont and Mr. Conductor working together to sabotage my reviews, and Cynodont holding Mr. Conductor’s mother hostage.

You guys remember all that right?

Right?

It will be important later.

So, those are the best reviews I have ever written in my humble opinion. But what are your favorite reviews? Which ones made you laugh or think the most? Please feed my ego, I get antsy without positive feedback….

Soon I’ll be talking about the common cliche of dinosaurs roaring loudly and discover why the Time Traveling Cynodont wants me to talk about more dinosaur toys, but a couple of trailers have recently dropped that I feel warrant my attention….

Major Changes….

Um guys, you still there?

Guys?

Hello..?

tumbleweed animated GIF

Well, this is unsettling.

  As you may have noticed, I haven’t been posting all that much recently, and there are many contributing factors to that. Work, school, homework, the death of my dog, and just plain old writers block have all kept me from constantly posting like I used to. But actually, the greatest contributing factor to the reason this blog isn’t updating that much anymore is because I’ve been putting a lot of effort into my other blog, Ink & Paint Zoology. For the past few weeks, I’ve been clamoring to create a review for the animated film The Prince of Egypt for I&PZ, but everything from my job, college, and procrastination has kept me from finishing it. I’m not even halfway done! And it’s been like four weeks since I’ve put out anything substantial on either of my sites. And that’s when I realized something, Ink & Paint Zoology posts eat up so much of my writing time and energy. Each one is like a full on essay, and they just zap all my writing enthusiasm out.

  There were a couple of reasons I created that blog in the first place. First off, I wanted a place to post the book I’ve been writing, but thought that people would only see it if I reviewed more popular stuff on the side. But I also started it because I wanted a place to talk about animated films, cartoons, animals, and other stuff that interests me that I felt didn’t really have a place here. But lastly, I was kinda getting burned out talking about dinosaurs, and wanted something new to talk about so I wouldn’t loose interest on this blog. But writing posts for Ink & Paint is so time consuming. I can spend half a month writing a draft for a movie review there, and by then I’m just glad to be finished with the darn thing. It has gotten to the point that I really miss talking about dinosaur, since it feels like I barely do that anymore.

But the biggest problem I’m having with Ink & Paint isn’t the length of the posts (or the lack of views in return), but actually the fact that I don’t feel like I can give Ink & Paint Zoology a definitive voice. My personality is obviously seen within the texts of When Dinosaurs Ruled The Mind, but I’ve formatted the posts in such a way that I can’t really show any distinct writing style in them. No quirks, no insights, no definitive voice or personality, just straight up reviews. And that’s boring! They have no distinction! Nothing that helps them stand out from the crowd, nothing that would intrigue people who just stumbled across it to stay. No, my voice is here. This blog is distinct, this blog is my own. This blog is so much more me than anything I could write over there. I’ve created something here, and I don’t want to neglect it.

So for those reasons, I have decided to stop writing for Ink & Paint Zoology and will now focus all my efforts on When Dinosaurs Ruled The Mind. As much as I would love to refine my writing over there and try to make it better than it is now, I feel that this blog has suffered from me trying to juggle the two. This is the blog with the followers, the comments, the clicks, and the clear vision; I’d much rather save it than the other. Thankfully, judging by Ink & Paint’s minuscule page views, few people will be distraught by this change, if any. As for Masai Mara, my book I was trying to promote, I think I may just post it here from time to time. Thanks so much for your patience and I hope to produce more semi regular content for you to enjoy. When Dinosaurs Ruled The Mind once again has my full attention.

RIP Bardot (1999-2015)

(Note: not actually a picture of my dog, but this image bares an uncanny resemblance to mine)

Today, September 20th 2015, at around 5:30 A.M., my Yorkshire Terrier Bardot died at the age of 16. I’ve had her since 2003, and she was four years old at the time. She lived an unusually long life for a dog like herself, but her later years were very hard. She lost a lot of her fur, her eyesight and hearing dwindled, and she started walking with a hunched back. Past few weeks have been worse. She could barely move out of her bed, and in the last few days of her life she stopped eating and drinking altogether. She cried a lot, it sounded like she was in constant pain. I’m glad she’s finally at peace.

RIP Bardot, you will be missed.

EDIT: Thank you guys for all the support. I did need some time to process all this, which explains the lack of content recently. But I should be back on my feet soon. Thanks for the patience.

Well, this is happening (The Land Before Time 14: Journey of the Brave Trailer Review).

(This blog is not for profit. All copyrighted images belong to their respective owners and are used for review. New to the blog? Start on the introduction.)

https://whendinosaursruledthemind.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/introduction-remember-dinosaurs-theyre-different-now/

 

Guys, I’m speechless.

Seriously, I’m at a loss for words.

I don’t even know how to properly start this thing. I’ll try my best, but I don’t know.

Well, OK.

Yep, we’re getting another Land Before Time movie.

I’m not even sure how to react to this. Heck, for the longest time I didn’t even believe it. I thought the reason they stopped making Land Before Time movies was because Universal shut down their animation studios. So whenever I heard rumors or saw videos that reported that a new sequel was being made, I just chalked it up to some people getting faulty information from some Wikipedia or IMDB article. I didn’t think in a million years we would get another one of these films, and only a trailer would make me think otherwise.

And then I saw the trailer.

Oh crap. This….is actually happening.

In actuality, this is kind of old news, as the trailer came out a little more than a month ago, but I’ve only recently seen it and I’m willing to bet this is your first time hearing about it too. I am absolutely dumbfounded!

OK, so after fourteen movies spanning a period of nearly three decades, what could this movie possibly be about. Well, the basic formula for a Land Before Time sequel is for the main gang to come up with some reason to lead them out of the Great Valley into the Mysterious Beyond to have an adventure and probably get chased by Sharpteeth. Sure, different plot points and characters may mix things up a bit, but there will always be a moment where they go into the Mysterious Beyond and get chased by theropods. Always.

Except in the Seventh one, but that one had aliens or something so it kind of gets a pass.

So, judging by the trailer, it would seem that this movie is probably going to take a similar path. Although this time, the motivation seems to have something to do Littlefoot’s dad, who seems to be in trouble.

In case you don’t remember (or grew out of watching The Land Before Time before I did) Littlefoot was revealed to have a surviving father named  Bron (voiced surprisingly well by Keifer Sutherland) in the tenth installment (yes, tenth!) of the franchise. This was all the way back in 2003! 

It also seems like we’ll be getting an appearance from Chomper, who has been a recurring character from the franchise since all the way back to the second sequel, and Ruby the Oviraptor, who along with Chomper became a regular character in The Land Before Time TV series (which was also a thing in case you forgot). That show ended back in 2007.

So, with all the recurring characters from earlier installments of the franchise, this all got me thinking, who is this movie for? I mean, seriously! This movie is coming out nearly 10 years after the last installment of this franchise. Little kids today aren’t going to remember these characters from films that came out before they were born. People who grew up with the first movie have long lost interest, people who grew up with the sequels are too old as well, even kids who grew up with the TV series and where little kids then are now in no way in the intended age bracket.

Is this for the fans? I know The Land Before Time has a thriving online fan community who appreciates all the films as well as the TV show, but is that fanbase really big enough to make a movie for? Sure, they’re a sizable group, but they’re no bronies.

Any kid watching this with no knowledge of the other movies or TV series is going to go through continuity lockout, and I shouldn’t be saying that about a series of films for preschoolers, but that’s what happens when you make FOURTEEN goddamn films! The only way I can see this working is if Universal pushes the previous films and the TV  show on DVD by advertising them or putting them in the very front of DVD sections and then hoping that kids will beg their parents to by all thirteen of the previous movies or at the very least the parents who grew up with these films decided they want to share them with their kids.

You know what, that might actually work.

Anyway, what else is there to see in this trailer? Well, looks like we’ll be getting a new celebrity voiced guest character, this time in the form of a Pteranodon voiced by Reba McEntire.

And of course, she has a song.

To me, it’s just so jarring to hear such a recognizable voice come out of this character, even though I normally don’t have that much of a problem of celebrities doing voice over work (although I do greatly prefer professional VA’s). Heck, and her overbearingly Southern accent also just sounds funny to me as the voice of a prehistoric creature.

And strangely enough, Reba has voiced and sang as an anthropomorphic character in a Direct to DVD sequel of a much better animated movie before.

Dixie from The Fox and the Hound 2. I’ve seen way too many mediocre DTV kids films.

However, I think one of the more interesting things about the trailer is the moment they show off the Sharptooth of the film. These movies always like to mix up what kind of predators will be chasing the Gang of Five, and this time they appear to be Yutyrannus.

Woah, are these feathers on a large theropod dinosaur that I see?

I actually find this pretty exciting. I’ve waited for so long to see large fluffy theropods in mainstream media, and I’m glad The Land Before Time decided to step it up. I’ve noticed a lot of the newer LBT movies would add more recent discoveries when they portray the dinosaurs, but you also remember that these films have been made in an almost 30 year period, and that is thirty years of many major paleontology discoveries, some of which changed literally everything we thought we knew about dinosaurs. This leads to a world that has Charles Knight/Dinosaur Renaissance dinos from the 80’s, more realistically proportioned dinosaurs from the 90’s, and even feathered dinosaurs from the 2000’s. Sure, we may have a fully feathered carcharodontosaur, but in this universe the raptors still look like this…

…and the Triceratops still look like this.

What a strange hodgepodge mess of a world they created.

So, in the end, what do I think of this movie? Well first off I do believe it is completely unnecessary to make a new one. The kids who grew up with these movies are far too old now to enjoy them, and I think they’re going to have a hard time finding any current 4 year old who has seen all thirteen of the previous films and the TV series. But it doesn’t matter. They’re making it, it’s happening. The movie will probably be mediocre at best, and I think it’s better to just leave it at that.

Although it does bring up one good question, how ticked off do you think Don Bluth is that Universal is still making money off of a movie he made 30 years ago?

 

My baby! What are you doing to my baby?!

When Dinosaurs Ruled The Mind #68: Dino’s That Need More Love: Shunosaurus

(This blog is not for profit. All copyrighted images belong to their respective owners and are used for review. New to the blog? Start on the introduction.)

https://whendinosaursruledthemind.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/introduction-remember-dinosaurs-theyre-different-now/

 

Man, look at that old school looking fossil!

And I’m not just saying that cause it’s a dinosaur.

………….

Do you get that…does that make sense?

Oh, I get it. You’re calling it  fossil because it looks old, as in the illustration is out of date. But it’s funny because it’s also a dinosaur.

Thanks Ghost in a Jar, you always were good at pointing out potentially obscure comedy.

I’m a Rick and Morty reference.

 Shunosaurus is one of those dinosaurs that seems to be a staple in children’s educational dinosaur books, but doesn’t really appear all that much outside of that. It’s pretty easy to see why Shunosaurus would be featured in a lot of kids books; for one it’s a sauropod, which everyone knows are the coolest kinds of dinosaurs. But after a while to a kid all those hundreds of sauropod genus’ tend to look alike, especially in poorly illustrated kids book art. So, what makes Shunosaurus so special?

It has a club tail!

Yep, I remember as a kid seeing this dinosaur in a book for the first time, my mind was blown. To me it was like someone mixed a sauropod and an ankylosaur and made the resulting creature a real thing. I thought the idea of a sauropod with a club tail to be insanely awesome, which may be one of the reasons this particular genus is seen a lot in children’s dinosaur books.

But, why hasn’t this creature really appeared all that much in pop culture? It seems like just the kind of dinosaur cartoons and movies would love to sensationalize. I can hear it now…

MEET SHUNOSAURUS!! IT’S LIKE A BRONTOSAURUS AND AN ANKYLOSAURUS HAD A BABY!!! WATCH IT BASH THE BRAINS OUT OF PREDATORS WITH IT’S LETHAL CLUB TAIL!!!!

ONLY AT JURASSIC WORLD!!!

So, why hasn’t the media latched onto this awesome animal? Well, I could come up with a few reasons.

I think this dinosaurs biggest problem is that the creature comes from a somewhat obscure time and place when it comes to dinosaur time periods….Middle Jurassic China.

You see, to dinosaur popular culture; all dinosaurs either lived at the same time or place, or came from one of two eras:

Late Jurassic America…

….or Late Cretaceous America.

If the dinosaur can’t fight Allosaurus or T. rex, than what’s the point? The creatures of Middle Jurassic Asia are mostly unknown to the general public, and the ones who do vaguely know about them from the dinosaur books they read as a kid just see them as less cool versions of their favorite dinosaurs from more famous time periods and regions.

Sinraptor? That’s just Allosaurus lite!

Yep, Shunosaurus just doesn’t appear a lot in media because most people just wouldn’t know how to use him. The most hope we have of seeing this guy is in educational/edutainment shows, like Dinosaur Revolution.

Shunosaurus does make a pretty substantial appearance in said show. The creature is featured in it’s own segment displaying how dinosaurs may have had the ability to distinguish plants that are edible and plants that are poisonous apart from each other. However, this thinly veiled attempt at an educational angle was merely an excuse to show a Shunosaurus tripping balls after eating a hallucinogenic mushroom.

Yes, this really happens.

 

One of these days I really need to talk about this show.

Shunosaurus also appears in the anime/card game Dinosaur King as well as the IOS game Jurassic Park Builder, but really, these particular properties show off so many species of dinosaurs that really it would be surprising of this particular genus didn’t make and appearance.

Yep sadly Shunosaurus doesn’t really have a lot of onscreen credits, which I think is a shame since I think this is a dinosaur that the general populace would eat up if given the chance. But strangely enough, Shunosaurus wasn’t the only sauropod with a tail club. A close relative of this dinosaur also sported this feature, is seen much more in popular culture, yet rarely depicted with the club.

It was Mamenchisaurus.

You’d be surprised how hard it is to find an image of this dinosaur with it’s coolest feature.

So is say this: Shunosaurus should be in more movies and TV shows, and Mamenchisaurus should be depicted with the tail club a lot more than it is! Dinosaur Revolution has my back!

Ugh, I can’t believe I said that.

My next post on When Dinosaurs Ruled The Mind will be the return of another long lost series, Trope-osaurus. In it, we will answer the long pondered question: did dinosaurs roar?