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The Future Is Wild & Giants: personal Comments (LONG)

Recently caught The Future Is Wild & Giants on my local Discovery Channel & Animal Planet recently, & I thought I'd give a couple of comments... Note: Do not proceed if you cannot tolerate some of my most infantile whining & complaining ever :)

The Future Is Wild was overall okay, althought there were some moments when I wanted to bury my head in my hands... Especially when they stated the ancestor of the Carakiller as a dinosaur (zoom to shot of _Quetzalcoatlus_ flying from When Dinosaurs Roamed America) And the commentary goes "150 million years ago, a winged dinosaur takes off, possibly giving rise to all modern-day birds..." Yeah, & now I suppose thousands worldwide will now have the idea that pterosaurs ARE flying dinosaurs imprinted in their minds... (I've seen terms used such as "flying dinosaur", "bird-dinosaur", "dinosaur-bird" etc etc all used by my friends to describe pterosaurs. Sigh...)

Another point of contention was the animation, which somehow doesn't give that feel of realism. And perhaps maybe they should have stated that the animals & environments were purely conjecture. It seems plenty of people think that scientists have actually accurately predicted what will happen in future...

Rating : 6 1/2 stars out of 10

To be frank, Giants s#$@ed. I don't understand what made me stay 2 hours just to watch half-baked CG animation, an annoying host, & too much ongoing commentary on modern-day animals (I thought this was a docu about prehistoric giants!!! Could you PLEASE stop dragging in bald eagles, Komodo Dragons, collared lizards, tarantulas, alligators, 2-toed sloths & Florida panthers etc etc into this show???) All these creatures are just as fascinating, but I'm sure most of us don't really want to hear again & again about the toxic saliva of Komodo Dragons, the bipedal stance of collared lizards, or how Texas cougars were introduced into Florida, or how tree sloths take a crap only once a week... I thought this show should have focused a whole lot more on the prehistoric giants.

And the animation was bad. _Tyrannosaurus_ , _Quetzalcoatlus_, _Megalania_ & _Megatherium_ were pretty alright, but somehow the _Megarachne_ & _Smilodon_ didn't sit well with me. And I don't know which was worse, the CG _Sarcosuchus_ Nat Geo did for their Supercroc special, or Giants' _Sarcosuchus_. And the _Megalania_ seemed way out of scale for a 6-meter lizards. Seemed even bigger than the _Tyrannosaurus_.

Comparing T-rex to a collared lizard (just because both run bipedally) was a little disturbing. I've always felt that a secretary bird, caracara, emu or even a chicken would have been a better comparision. (Maybe a roadrunner could have been the closest comparision.) And perhaps an albatross, stork, pelican, even a vulture might have been a better comparision to pterosaurs (but hey, bald eagles soar as well, so I ain't really got a problem with that.)

2 hours & they didn't call _Smilodon_ a saber-tooth once??? And did _Smilodon_ really inhabit Florida? I thought it was a cat more of the Great Plains & South-Western US. I cringed when Jeff Corwin asked us to imagine herds of _Megatherium_ roaming across NORTH AMERICA (I believe he should have referred to _Eremotherium_, _Glossotherium_, or _Megalonyx_) And did they do that scene of a scavenging ground sloth just to ape WWPB?

In the end, I just kept wishing one of the giants would finally catch & eat Jeff Corwin... Seriously if forced to choose between that Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin & Jeff Corwin, I'd rather that Jeff be chomped up by a _Sarcosuchus_. (A horde of giant spiders, a _Sarcosuchus_, a ground sloth & a giant squid & they still couldn't kill Jeff Corwin??? Well, at least I got to get some satisfaction when the _Quetzalcoatlus_ crapped on him :P)

I just keep wondering why they didn't do many other giant beasts??? What about _Meganeura_, that giant dragonfly? Or any of those giant Pennsylvanian cockroaches? Or trilobites? Or nautiloids? Any of the sauropods would do, not to mention the largest of the hadrosaurs, ankylosaurs, ceratopsians etc. Or a _Giganotosaurus_, _Carcharodontosaurus_, _Saurophaganax_, _Edmarka_, _Spinosaurus_. What about comparing good ol' _Sarcosuchus_ with a _Deinosuchus_ & _Rhamphosuchus_? And what about the indricotheres like_Paraceratherium_? Or the Columbian mammoth _Mammuthus columbi_? Maybe they should have added in _Megalania_'s dinner, _Procoptodon_ & _Diprotodon_? An _Arctodus_, cave lion or American lion or _Smilodon populator_ to spice things up a little? Maybe Jeff should have gone scuba diving & come face to face with a shonisaur, kronosaur, elasmosaur, mosasaur, basilosaur or megalodon. Somehow I just feel a little short-changed by Animal Planet. Rating: 2 1/2 stars out of 10.

By the way, is it me, or does every CGI animal seem to make WAY too much noise lately? It seems every time an animal appears, it has to roar, bellow, snarl, honk, hiss etc etc just for added effect. It was noticeable in WWPB, in Giants it got taken way out of scale.

Boy and they say documentaries should be educational as well as entertaining. Somehow I think in this age entertainment value seems to have taken precedence... Whatever happened to the good ol' documentaries the way the BBC & other media companies used to make them?

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