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Apple TV’s Pprehistoric Planet Looks So Good it Feels Like a Real Nature Documentary

From the moment the first Tyrannosaurus swam onto the screen in Prehistoric Planet I was a lost cause — I giggled in delight. My thoughts instantly devolved from “I’m a science editor taking a serious look at this nature show” to “Holy crap, that’s a dinosaur.”

Apple TV+ Watch Guide | Prehistoric Planet

Prehistoric Planet is Apple’s attempt at answering the question: what if we made Planet Earth but 66 million years ago? The result is shockingly good-looking, especially since the producers have not, in fact, managed to invent time travel, nor have they pulled a Jurassic Park and brought dinosaurs back to life.

It’s a whole lot of movie magic that makes the five-episode series actually seem like a nature documentary, even though its main subjects haven’t been swimming the seas, soaring the skies, or stalking through forests since the end of the Cretaceous period. It’s not perfect — some heads looked animatronic, and some of the herds had a decidedly animated feel. But those few visual misses were drowned out by the film’s meticulous attention to detail. Snowflakes falling off a Nanuqsaurus after a blizzard or dappled sunlight hitting the cobalt feathers of a Corythoraptor in a forest make the dinosaurs seem real, even if every movement, every shadow, is engineered. This kind of leap forward in dino-realism was last achieved 29 years ago when the first Jurassic Park movie came out.

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