An adolescent male and a juvenile got separated from the main herd during an attack and have wandered off into the woods. The male is big enough to not worry much about his safety while he tries to find the herd again, but the young follows him around instinctively in search of protection.
A mounted Lambeosaurus at the Royal Ontario Museum. Lambeosaurus is a type of hadrosaurid dinosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous period (~75 million years ago) in North America. This bipedal/quadrupedal, plant-eating dinosaur is known for its distinctive hollow cranial crest, which in the best-known species resembled a hatchet. The most widely excepted theory about it’s hollow crest is that is aided in social noise making, amplifying sounds.
Before WALKING WITH DINOSAURS (1999, Dir. Tim Haines & Jasper James) there was…
DINOSAURS: THE TERRIBLE LIZARDS (1971, Dir. Wah Chang)
DINOSAURS: THE TERRIBLE LIZARDS is a 10-minute educational short film conceived and directed by special-effects artist Wah Chang (1917-2003). Chang’s first special-effects job was the ill-fated King Kong parody THE LOST ISLAND (1934, Dir. LeRoy Prinz) that was never finished - and is now tragically lost - due to the film going over budget.
In the late 1950s, Chang formed his own special-effects company, Project
Unlimited Inc., which he co-founded with Gene Warren and Tim Baar. Together these men went on to do the bulk of the special-effects work on both the
THE OUTER LIMITS (1963-1965) and STAR TREK (1966-1969) television series. Chang also worked for acclaimed science-fiction director George Pal on such films as THE TIME MACHINE (1960) and
7 FACES OF DR. LAO (1964) - the later of which I’ll have to post about at some point here as it features one of the finest Loch Ness Monsters ever committed to film.
Pal recommended Project Unlimited to the late great B-movie producer Jack H. Harris (1918-2017) who inquired about stop-motion dinosaur effects on a film, DINOSAURUS! (1960), that Harris was making for Universal-International with his directing partner Irvin Yeaworth. This experience in turn inspired Chang to make DINOSAURS: THE TERRIBLE LIZARDS nearly a decade later.
While technically a documentary what makes DINOSAURS: THE TERRIBLE LIZARDS notable as a precursor to WALKING WITH DINOSAURS is its decidedly cinematic quality. As Mark F. Berry notes in The Dinosaur Filmography (McFarland Press, 2002)…
“The Pteranodons, for instance, do not merely glide through blank sky, but are instead shown in the background of a dramatic up-angle shot of Lambeosaurus. When T. rex and the Styracosaurus are distracted by the volcanic eruption, Chang doesn’t just cut back and forth but offers some nifty composites of the stop-motion dinosaurs staring at the real volcano. Even the simplest shots demonstrate Chang’s artist eye.” (p. 84)
For DINOSAURS: THE TERRIBLE LIZARDS, Chang manufactured all the stop-motion puppets himself while the animation was executed by Doug Beswick. While not as dynamic or as polished as the animation of Ray Harryhausen or Jim Danforth, the strength of Chang’s work was his ability to do an awful lot with very little. A key example of this was Chang’s budget saving technique for manufacturing multiple ceratopsians for this short. In this case Chang produced a single body and then several interchangeable upper-jaws which could be swapped in and out allowing for Chang to produce a film which featured not only the classic Triceratops but also Chasmosaurus, Styracosaurus, and Monoclonius.
Chang’s ability to produce striking work with a meager budget proved to be an additional boon a few years later when he recycled many of the dinosaurs made here for Sid and Marty Krofft’s
LAND OF THE LOST (1974–1976).
Centrosaurus, Lambeosaurus, Pachycephalosaurus & Stegosaurus - An other experiment using photographic landscape backgrounds, possibly similar to the habitats these dinosaurs lived in. (These photographic backgrounds have been sourced from Google)