Walking with Dinosaurs - the Arena Spectacular

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 December, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 December, 2010, 12:00am

Walking with Dinosaurs - the Arena Spectacular
Creature Production
AsiaWorld-Arena
Reviewed: Dec 22

I'm not sure whether I should be going 'ooh' and 'ahh' over a Plateosaurus, or feeling sorry for these now extinct, scary looking giant reptiles, but the way Walking with Dinosaurs - the Arena Spectacular portrays these creatures, with adorable eyes, warms them to the audience. They make the Plateosaurus, the young Brachiosaurus and baby Tyrannosaurus rex (T-rex) look cute.

Inspired by the BBC television series Walking with Dinosaurs and staged by Creature Production, this show gives a brief history on these 'fearsome dragons' (as the Chinese call them) that ruled the earth for 200 million years. It's both science and fiction, educational and entertaining.

The 90-minute show begins with a paleontologist named Huxley taking the audience back to the Triassic period when the world was just one continent called Pangaea. A Liliensternus is seen eating one of the baby hatchlings, 'The story of dinosaurs is not always a pretty one,' he says. Next up is a benign-looking Plateosaurus protecting her offspring from the predators before we move forward to the Jurassic period as the dinosaurs, the habitat and planet continue to evolve and change.

The production features 20 species of dinosaurs brought to life by animatronics, puppetry and suits. The sequence in which an Ornithocheirus flies in front of a huge projection screen, giving the illusion that it is crossing different terrains and oceans, is impressive. But one or two dinosaur heads wobble a tad too much. There are dramatic moments, heightened by James Brett's score, which keep the show moving, although the cliffhanger before intermission - that the Cretaceous period 'will get a lot scarier' - could have been more effective.

When we are told a huge comet is about to hit the earth and wipe out 65 per cent of all life, including the dinosaurs, I cannot help feeling sorry for the mother and baby T-rex who are oblivious to their fate. But such is life and this show does well in presenting that knowledge to the audience in an entertaining way.

Until Jan 2, 2011. Tickets from HK$195. Inquiries: 3128 8288