Allosaurus: A Walking with Dinosaurs Special 1 Season 2000

Amazon Instant Video

Season 1

1. The Ballad of Big Al

The first half of this special is a recreation of Al's life, from birth through his death in adolescence.

Kenneth Branagh, Avery Brooks
30 minutes
Original air date:
December 25, 2000

The Ballad of Big Al

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Starring Kenneth Branagh, Avery Brooks
Season year 2000
Network BBC Earth
Producers Tim Haines, Mick Kaczorowski
Rental rights 7-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

I would recomend this movie to anyone who loves dinosaurs.
Pamela Mace
If you enjoyed Walking with Dinosaurs, this is an extension of it, all about the life of one Allosaurus.
And they, all the DVDs released thusfar in this series, simply look fantastic.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By TorridlyBoredShopper VINE VOICE on July 14, 2003
Format: DVD
When I was a little kid, I used to dream of a world teeming with dinosaurs. I used to imagine what it would have been like when those skeletons I saw on exhibit lived, and how someone needed to play tour guide to that realm and how I should twist the handle. Sadly, no matter how I tried that doorway, it always remained closed, my time machine not quite working the way I would have intended, and dinosaurs were left either in bone formation or in the movies as monsters.
There was never an in-between.
With the creation of the Walking With Dinosaurs series, however, everything began to change and I, still that boy with an interest in that hobby, found myself addicted. The key that separated this series and made it "unique" - a word I try to use sparingly - is in the way the dinosaurs, our main actors and actresses, are portrayed. Instead of turning then into a depiction of a colossal, toothy menace or dryly discussing their lifespan in the way one discusses ancient relics, the series showcases dinosaurs by allowing one to walk with them through their terrain. From the flora and the fauna, the insect life and dinosaurs themselves, a depiction of CGI effects, prosthetics, and of "dinosaur knowing" comes to life. Here, you see the landscape the way it would have been, the animals roaming free and observed naturalistically, and the experience is incredible because it looks so vibrantly realistic.
In Allosaurus: A Walking With Dinosaurs Special, the Allosaurus "Big Al" is showcased as he struggles from the cradle while trying to grow into something fearsome. In sixty minutes, the fifteen years from the egg to the eventual demise it faces are depicted, showing a person that going to the head of the class wasn't easy in that age.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 7, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
A follow-up from BBC's wonderful 'Walking with Dinosaurs' series, this two part video looks at the life of Big Al, a fossil allosaurus from the Jurassic era. Here in Australia, this was called 'The Ballad of Big Al'.
The first episode looks at the life of Big Al over his life of seven years - from birth to death. Al leads a full life, but it certainly isn't an easy one. You get to see all aspects of Al's life, both as predator and prey, eating, sleeping and trying to have sex. It was a little frustrating in that it doesn't run as long as I would have liked.
The second episode details the science upon which Al's life was based. The fossil is described, and what it tells us about events in Al's life are pointed out. In addition from the specific evidence of Al's fossillised skeleton, some general assumptions about allosauruses and their lives are shown, with reference to the modern day descendants of dinosaurs. This episode explains why the previous didn't go as long as I would have liked - because they only showed what could be justified. If they'd made things up, there could have been more - but everything in the first episode is justified in this.
The recreation of dinosaurs is better in this show is better than its predecessor - certainly in regard to their interaction. In the original series, we either had groups of dinosaurs carrying out similar activities or small number interacting. In this one, for example, the scene of several allosuruses attacking a herd of diplodicuses is wonderful, and I think better than could have been achieved in the original.
If you like 'Walking with Dinosaurs', this may suit you - always provided, of course, that you are happy to deal with a smaller focus.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Archanubis80 on June 19, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
The "seventh" episode of the spectacularly successful "Walking with Dinosaurs" series, "Allosaurus" - better known as "The Ballad of Big Al" outside the US - is a extraordinary follow-up to that series. It also served to whet many fans' appetite for the later "Prehistoric Beasts" series.
In "Allosaurus", we followed the life of "Big Al" literally from birth to the grave. Life wasn't all "blood in tooth and claw" for the top predator in Jurassic America, as we're shown. As a baby, Al had to watch for predators, especially his own kind! He had to literally teach himself to hunt, and some prey was just too big to take on without help. And mating was no pinic either; Al needs more than flowers to win a female's heart.
As a sequel of sorts to "Walking with Dinosaurs", "Allosaurus" does quite well. We're treated to the same CGI and animatronic effects seen in the previous series, and while the puppetry still needs a little work, IMHO, the CGI is top notch. All of the dinosaurs featured in the episode "Time of the Titans" - Diplodocus, Brachiosaurus, and Stegosaurus - return here. Three more dinosaurs are added to the cast; Dryosaurus, Othnelia, and the famous Apatosaurus. As with "Dinosaurs", there is a "Making of..." episode, included on the VHS, giving us insight into the research of what is one of the most recognizable predatory dinosaurs, second only to Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor.
While "Allosaurus" is a wonderful series, I do have one little complaint. Surely the Framestore and BBC teams could have added a few more dinosaurs to the episode. They didn't need to have added more sauropods; three is enough.
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