Walking with Giant Puppets | The Institute for Creation Research
Walking with Giant Puppets

Steven Spielberg’s 1993 blockbuster Jurassic Park used Hollywood magic to turn supposedly “65 million-year-old” dinosaurs into pop culture icons. Since the movie raked in over $900 million worldwide,1 it’s no wonder other media companies wanted to tap into the success. So, the BBC and Discovery Channel teamed up to create Walking with Dinosaurs, a television program that later evolved into a traveling live-action exhibition.

“The idea for Walking with Dinosaurs started in 1996,” the show’s creator and series producer wrote. “BBC…[was] looking for a big series about paleontology.….This was only a couple years after Jurassic Park had come out which set a new bench mark in dinosaur imagery.”2

The television show mixed computer animation with live footage from modern-day landscapes around the globe. The six-part series was first broadcast in October 1999 on BBC1 and later aired on the Discovery Channel in 2000. The films sparked additional productions, including Walking with Beasts (2001), Walking with Cavemen (2003), and Walking with Monsters (2005).

In 2007, a live adaptation of the series emerged from Australia called Walking with Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular. It toured in North America from 2007 to 2009 and hopped over to Europe for about a year. The show is now back in North America and for the most part avoids states in the “Bible Belt.”

But as with many big budget productions aimed at entertaining rather than teaching, the show is filled with obvious scientific flaws.3,4

For example, one of the animatronic dinosaurs is Liliensternus, which is “known from two incomplete specimens found in the Dueper formation” in Germany (unlike Plateosaurus, which is known from “over one hundred partial to complete skeletons”).5 How they were able to make a recreation of a flesh and blood dinosaur with only two partial fossil skeletons as a model raises some questions.

Nor can researchers be certain how dinosaurs behaved, since behavioral science largely depends on real-time observations. Since no eyewitnesses were around “65 million years ago,” the dinosaur behaviors depicted in the show are pure speculation.

The show also assumes, like Jurassic Park did, that dinosaurs died out about 65 million years ago. This figure is impossible in light of a host of scientific evidence, including the recent discovery of soft tissues found in dinosaur bones. Laboratory tests confirm that organic materials like these can perhaps last thousands, but not millions, of years.6

Walking with Dinosaurs promises to be not much more than a large puppet show in a similar vein to the Jurassic Park River Adventure ride at the Universal Studios theme park in Orlando, Florida—entertaining, but not exactly scientifically accurate.


  1. Jurassic Park earnings. Box Office Mojo. Accessed from boxofficemojo.com April 7, 2010.
  2. About the Show. Walking with Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular. Accessed from dinosaurlive.com April 7, 2010.
  3. O’Neill, I. Wake Up and Smell the Science, Hollywood! Discovery News. Posted on news.discovery.com February 23, 2010, accessed April 7, 2010.
  4. Wanjek, C. TV Medical Dramas Mishandle Seizures. LiveScience. Posted on livescience.com February 26, 2010, accessed April 7, 2010.
  5. Meet the Dinos – Liliensternus, Plateosaurus. Walking with Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular. Accessed from dinosaurlive.com April 7, 2010.
  6. Thomas, B. Dinosaur Soft Tissue Finally Makes News. ICR News. Posted on icr.org December 2, 2009, accessed April 7, 2010.

* Ms. Dao is Assistant Editor at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted April 19, 2010.

The Latest
ICR's New In-Depth Science Book: Chimps and Humans
Evolutionists frequently claim that human and chimp DNA are over 98% similar. They need this percentage to support their hypothesis that humans and...

Fossil Chromatin Looks Young
What are the odds that a buried animal would still have intact DNA after 125 million years? Researchers publishing in the journal Communications Biology...

Inside October 2021 Acts & Facts
How is the Lord’s handiwork on display at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park? Does the universe look old? What can we learn about science and...

Two-Volume Series: Restoring the Truth about Origins
The subject of origins continues to attract interest from the public and the scientific establishment. Understanding our origins informs us of who we are...

Creation Kids: Floods Form Fossils Fast
Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with...

A Battle for Hearts
Since the ICR Discovery Center for Science & Earth History opened in fall of 2019, tens of thousands of people have walked through our doors. They...

Eating Bugs Isn't Always So Simple
The Lord Jesus Christ deserves glory for why He made Earth’s diverse creatures, and He also deserves glory for the complicated details of how...

Does the Universe Look Old?
Since distant galaxies are billions of light-years away, some understandably assume that distant starlight must have taken billions of years to reach...

Hawaii Behind the Scenes
ICR Research Scientist Dr. Brian Thomas and ICR Video Producer Clint Loveness, with help from friends and family, recently shot footage in Maui, Hawaii,...

Mutation, Design, and Faith
Any alteration in a cell’s DNA sequence is a mutation. These changes can come from copying errors, exposure to chemicals or radiation, or from...