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Siskoid's avatar

Siskoid

A Czech dinosaur movie from 1955? Yes, please. Karel Zeman's Journey to the Beginning of Time is an all-ages adventure (so long as they can read subtitles, though I take it the American release is dubbed) in which four boys get into a small boat and go down river... into prehistory! Their ultimate goal, living trilobites in the Silurian Age, but we'll see them go through various episodes of the Walking With series before they get there. I love the fantasy of it. We don't need a rational explanation of how this is happening, it's fueled by childish imagination. Fantasy, but also researched (even if the research is dated in spots), Zeman recreating ancient creatures with a combination of traditional animation, stop motion, and practical effects, and the kids sometimes delivering educational exposition. It's not the fastest-moving film in history, but it has a real sense of wonder and just enough danger to keep things interesting on a Boy's Own Adventure level.
1 month 2 weeks ago
nymets138's avatar

nymets138

Watch it with English subtitles here: https://playmovies.cz/video/1508/cesta-do-praveku-1955-full-hd
2 years 3 months ago
xianjiro's avatar

xianjiro

The American re-edit isn't terrible, but the restored original version (available in the US via Criterion) is really good. Especially for adults, though probably not for the intended young audience who might not be prepared to read a movie for 88 minutes. I get why they chose to reshape it for the US market, but as an adult, it's a bit shameful to Zeman's artistry.

The only criticism I can level is the lack of a young adventuress. Granted, when/where it was made, that probably wasn't a desire, but women behind the Iron Curtain weren't as discouraged from entering the natural sciences as their western counterparts. Who knows, if I had adapted this for the US market, given the complete new dialogue and names for the voice over, I might have tried to make the youngest a huntress.

Still, really a great movie!
8 months 4 weeks ago
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