Dino King is a quasi-documentary about the competitive life of dinosaurs in the Cretaceous Era.
Speckles is a Tarbosaurus living happily with his mother and siblings. As a baby he is learning to hunt with his family when they encounter One-Eye the Tyrannosaurus who is mean and persistent. Speckles is left without a family and is fighting for survival but encounters another lonely Tarbosaurus called Blue Eyes. They become close companions as they grow up and, eventually, build a family of their own.
It’s difficult to understand who the target audience of Dino King is. For young and sensitive children it seems too violent and emotionally taxing – the majority of the film comprises dinosaurs fighting and killing each other or being chased over cliff edges. On the other hand it could be too childish for an older audience as the narration from Speckles is babyish when attempting to be educational and telling a fictional story.
The dinosaurs are portrayed in CGI and are incredibly detailed, layered over location footage of the stunning New Zealand landscape. This however doesn’t save this film as it drags through the plot.
There are also concerns that a number of aspects are scientifically unsound despite the use of research by palaeontologist. If you’re a dinosaur fanatic, take this film with a grain of salt.
Reviewed by Adriana Allman
Rating out of 10: 3
Dino King will be released on Blu-ray, DVD and Video On Demand on 9 December 2015.