Vintage Dinosaur Art – Stories from Fantasia

Vintage Dinosaur Art

Over the years, we (OK, I) have been taken to task on several occasions for sticking the Vintage label on books that aren’t that old and, more to the point, often quite mediocre (or even bad). And as I say every time, it’s because the name of the series stuck. However, here we have one of the oldest things that I’ve covered in quite some time – Stories from Walt Disney’s Fantasia, published in 1940 by Random House. Yes, it’s…

Continue Reading

The Dinosaurs of Silesia

Attraction Review Vintage Dinosaur Art

Zoo Chorzów, or the Silesian Zoological Park, is located a stone’s throw from the centre of Katowice in the Upper Silesia region of southern Poland. The zoo was founded on its current location in 1954, as part of the Socialist-era post-mining development of a big city park also including an amusement park, a planetarium, a sports centre and an art gallery. And there’s dinosaurs. The Dinosaur Valley section of the zoo, or the Kotlina Dinozaurów, was finished in 1974. Originally,…

Continue Reading

Vintage Dinosaur Art: Amazing World of Dinosaurs

Vintage Dinosaur Art

Now here’s something I haven’t covered in a while – a so-so 1980s kids’ book about dinosaurs! And one that rather fails to live up to its title! Amazing World of Dinosaurs, written by Judith Granger and illustrated by Pamela Baldwin Ford, was published back in 1982 (by Troll Associates) but, even for its time, it’s very retrograde. The dinosaurs featured within are very much of the pea-brained, swamp-dwelling variety, and there’s a peculiar emphasis on their low cranial capacity…

Continue Reading

Prehistoric Planet – A Modern Vision of the Past

TV review Uncategorized

I was only a year old when BBC’s landmark series Walking with Dinosaurs first aired, but I have to imagine watching it in 1999 must have felt similar to the way I felt watching Prehistoric Planet this week. Not since then has the age of dinosaurs ever been portrayed so believably. For the first time in a big-budget media project we’re getting depictions of Mesozoic life that isn’t plagued by concessions and strange design choices. Feathers are commonplace. Multi-ton behemoths…

Continue Reading

Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs: The Podcast promotional graphic featuring a chasmosaurus skull with a microphone

Podcast Show Notes: Episode 17

Podcast Show Notes

Due to illness, we missed an episode of the podcast, but we are back on track with the episode recorded in April! This time, Dr. Mark Witton takes us back to what might be the first large-scale expression of palaeoart in 3D: The dinosaurs at the Geological Court at Crystal Palace Park! Tying in with his new book with Ellinor Michel, he tells us all about their history, their surprising influence and their uncertain future. Also, a lot of unashamed…

Continue Reading

Dino Weeks at Dierenrijk

Attraction Review

So, you might imagine we’ve all been spoiled a bit lately, what with Prehistoric Planet and all. It’s easy to develop high expectations, and to expect everything to be subject to the same sublime standards of visual quality and scientific accuracy. Lest we get too comfortable, I think it prudent to take a stroll among some good old fashioned ugly Chinese dinosaur animatronics. It’s good to be reminded that dinosaurs in public spaces can still be rubbish, too. Take it…

Continue Reading

Prehistoric Planet – Azhdarchids Stride Again

TV review

And so Prehistoric Planet comes to an end, although thankfully not with the extinction of the (non-avian) dinosaurs as some had feared. Instead, we’re treated to glimpses of Late Cretaceous life in woodland environments, and although the show remains dominated by dinosaurs, plants do get their due this time. Starting with a herd of Austroposeidon clearing trees in the South American forest (and a look at how plants aggressively colonise the space created), the episode then shifts north, following a…

Continue Reading

Prehistoric Planet: Long Hot Polar Summer

TV review

Prehistoric Planet’s third installment takes us to the Late Cretaceous poles, an environment that seems to have featured surprisingly often in palaeo-media. It opens in North America with some Arctic dromaeosaurs, drawn to migratory edmontosaurs fording a river. There are much stronger shades of the old ‘pack hunting dromaeosaurs’ trope here, with the animals seeming to co-ordinate their efforts, although they are clearly after juveniles and, in the end, scavenge the remains of an individual killed by the currents of…

Continue Reading

Prehistoric Planet: Take Me To The River

TV review

The third episode of Prehistoric Planet provides reassurance that at least some of our favourite stars will return. Velociraptor is the first animal to make a re-appearance, this time depicted hunting roosting pterosaurs on a cliff face around a waterfall. Not content with just sticking fantastic-looking feathers on their maniraptors and calling it a day, the Prehistoric Planet team want to show us exactly how the creatures make use of their plumage. In this case, Velociraptor utilises its ‘wings’ and…

Continue Reading

Prehistoric Planet: I Bless The Rains Down In Mongolia

TV review

Our second trip to the Prehistoric Planet takes us to a series of desert landscapes, including the Gobi, North Africa and South America (twice). And in contrast with the first episode, it’s rather heavy on dinosaurs – as one might expect, given that a marine reptile flopping around in the sands wouldn’t look very dignified. Other creatures do significantly feature – pterosaurs, of course, and a little anonymous lizard chasing flies around the faces of sleeping Tarbosaurus. However, the dinosaurs…

Continue Reading