Dinosaurs of Antarctica tells the story of a changing environment at the bottom of the world. In ancient times, dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures roamed freely in a lush landscape. Over millions of years, geologic forces caused massive changes, completely altering the terrain. Today, the continent of Antarctica holds the evidence of that ancient world, frozen beneath its ice and snow. As the climate changes again, melting Antarctic ice is allowing scientists to discover the remains of the past—including the fossils of those distinctive dinosaurs like Cryolophosaurus and Glacialisaurus.
Viewers of all ages will enjoy meeting the newest dinosaurs and other creatures in the film. Beyond presenting the reassembled skeletal structures on the giant screen, the film uses computer graphics to recreate the spectacular appearance and movement of the newly-discovered species.
The backdrop of the story, however, goes beyond the dinosaurs to showcase the powerful forces of geologic change over time. Concepts like plate tectonics and continental drift come vividly to life as dynamic animations reveal the breakup of Pangaea into pieces including the southern landmass of Gondwana from which the continent known today as Antarctica will later emerge.
The film also offers a glimpse into the world of scientific field research. A diverse team of archaeologists and paleobotanists travels to Antarctica in search of new evidence of the past. Their journey has many legs—first to New Zealand, then to McMurdo Station on the Antarctic icefield, and finally to Shackleton Glacier camp, their home for the season. From there, they venture even further by helicopter to remote sites for short stays of exploration. It’s rough and risky work, but their methods are careful and deliberate, designed to increase their odds of success.
In the end, while memories of the film’s fascinating creatures will linger, it is perhaps the images of the continent itself, with its magnificent and breathtaking vistas, and its powerful story of transformation over time, that will leave the deepest impression.