a little east of reality

Thursday, August 10, 2006

jurassic january

I just paid a little too much to get great tickets to the "Walking With Dinosaurs" show coming to Sydney in January. I only just found out about it the other day and I can't believe I had to buy tickets in August to be able to see a show in January. Crazy.

When the 6m-tall snorting, roaring Torosaurus stalked up alongside David Moore, the six-year-old could hardly hide his awe.

"It was freaky. It scared me a bit when it roared," David said after coming face to face in Sydney with one of the stars of the Walking with Dinosaurs Live Experience.

The Utahraptor, a 5m-long, 2m-tall carnivore lizard that lived 132 million years ago, also had young onlookers in its thrall.

"It actually came up and sniffed us. You could see the blood on its teeth," nine-year-old Nick Thorowgood said...

The creator of the original BBC Walking with Dinosaurs television documentary series, Tim Haines, said the mechanical monsters were so believable, people will feel as though they are standing beside a living and breathing prehistoric animal.

"They are good enough for you to suspend disbelief," Mr Haines said.

And that's all I want. Ever since that scene in Jurassic Park where I sat just as awe-struck as the people on the screen in front of me in the cinema when the herd of brachiosauri first appeared, I have wanted to see life-sized dinosaurs. It's okay that they are not real. I just need them real enough for my imagination to take hold.

The ones in the Jurassic Park ride at Universal Studios Japan were okay, but hardly real looking once you got close enough. The small display last year at Questacon was even less believeable, mainly because you got so much time to examine them close up, and I still enjoyed seeing it. So I'm thinking that maybe $12 million dollars worth of puppetry and mechanics, each of the sixteen dinosaurs having more than 40 movements and over 20 distinct sounds) will be enough to let me suspend disbelief for a little while and imagine Sydney's gone a little prehistoric. Can't wait!