David Attenborough has a bang on them new-fangled 3D glasses
Dinosaurs! David Attenborough! Dinosaurs flying while David Attenborough stands close by! And all of it in 3D!
Flying Monsters 3D is a documentary-style flick written by everyone’s favourite naturalist. It focuses on the Pterosaurs, monsters of the prehistoric skies, and charts their evolution over twenty million years (just to put that into perspective, it’s one million eight hundred thousand more than us mere mortals have been around for). David explains that the idea of huge monsters taking to the skies and flying around is virtually inconceivable to us, and aims to explain the leap they took from being land-dwelling things to massive, scaly bird-types. There are a huge variety of beasts on show to amaze, including the Quetzalcoatlus, which was as big as a plane and could glide hundreds of miles with just one flap of its wings and one that was named after Darwin, due to its link between ground dwelling and flying species. Present day relatives of these creatures, such as gannets, are also displayed by Attenborough, charting their links to the beasts of yore.
Attenborough is thoroughly engaging the whole way through, with that famous voice that is both soothing and easy to listen to. The dinosaurs themselves had the little ones in the audience turn both bright-eyed and silent and grabbing their parents whilst whispering questions to them. Flying Monsters 3D also use additional tricks to ensure that the film captures kids’ attention (as if they’d ever lose interest in flying lizards) all the way through, my favourite part being a lab scene with a very special monster. Attenborough helps both kids and adults alike envision these creatures by using comparisons, like gliders, to highlight how the dinosaurs would fly.
The footage shot from around the globe, courtesy of director Matthew Dyas, is stunning. David travels all over (kind of) to show us fossils found in Germany, France and New Mexico. It’s amazing how well preserved some of these bones are. The graphics do look a little on the lower side of the budget, but for a film that runs for only seventy minutes and without the big money of a Hollywood blockbuster, you can forgive it for that.
Flying Monsters 3D was the first stereoscopic three dimensional tv programme to win a BAFTA (Best Specialist Factual Programme). It was originally shown last Christmas on Sky 3D and it’s easy to understand why it caused such a stir. Totally enthralling, whilst at the same time hugely educational – an excellent choice for a Saturday afternoon.