Monster Show Rocks America
The Walking with Dinosaurs inspired stage show is wowing young dinosaur fans as it starts the American leg of its world tour. The stage show that features realistic, life-size animatronic dinosaurs has opened in the US to rave reviews. The monsters, including a 45 foot tall Brachiosaurus and a slightly over sized T. rex and baby are operated by three controllers. One inside the armature and two others co-ordinating dinosaur movements using a special effects rig attached to their arms.
The show was devised by Australian investors and although employs 150 people and has cost something like £10 million to set up. It has already recouped all the initial investment during the tour of Australia where 300,000 people flocked to see the spectacular performance as a palaeontologist introduces the likes of Stegosaurus, Ankylosaurus and Allosaurus on stage.
The 90 minute show certainly thrills young and old alike, although much of the behaviour shown is based on speculation, as is the colouration and many of the skin patterns. However, it goes to show how far we have come in our understanding of these amazing creatures as well as how far we have advanced in dinosaur special effects. Not too many years ago if you wanted to create the impression of a dinosaur you hired a really tall guy in a monster suit.
The real winners in this venture are the BBC who own the rights to the Walking with Dinosaur franchise. When this six part series, the brainchild of Tim Haines was first aired it caused a sensation and sales of DVDs and other merchandise have almost single-handedly changed the fortunes of the British Broadcasting Company (BBC).
Walking with Dinosaurs Live hits Europe next year – expect an impact about the size of an asteroid… you have been warned!