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Top 10 Prehistoric-Set Movies

Dreamworks’ latest movie, The Croods, takes us back to the prehistoric age and the times of cavemen. To celebrate, we're looking back at some of best media set in the pre-historic period, filled with cavemen, large mammals, and dinosaurs.

10. Walking With Series
It is admittedly a cheat to put the Walking With series on this list, but it so good that it needed to be mention and BBC Films and 20th Century Fox are currently producing a 3D film adaptation. They are many different versions of the Walking With series, the most famous being Walking With Dinosaurs, Walking With Beasts and Walking With Monsters. Using top of the range CGI and animatronics the BBC series takes a unique approach to prehistoric history, they tell the lives of these creatures as a nature documentary. It is both an educational and entertaining series and it best of its type.

9. One Million Years B.C.

The 1966 version of One Million Years B.C.is seen as a classic piece of kitsch cinema and one of many movies showing the talents of slow-motion wizard Ray Harryhausen as two human tribespeople have to survive a wild landscape filled with dinosaurs. This is a movie that makes palaeontologists weep.

8. Brother Bear
Moving away from the time of the dinosaurs is Disney’s Brother Bear. Set in the post-ice age North America, Brother Bear follows a young Inuit man who after killing a bear is turned into a bear himself and forced into living in the wilds of the North American pine forests and mountains as he gets hunted by his own brother.

7. Fire and Ice
Animator Ralph Bakshi is most famous (or infamously) for making Lord of the Rings, Fritz the Cat and Cool World. In 1983 his fantasy movie Fire and Ice was released and it is now a cult classic. This movie focuses on Larn, a young warrior who sets out to avenge his village destroyed by the wizard Nekron and save a princess, all set in a world filled with pterosaurs, man-apes and loincloth clad warriors.

6. Tree of Life
Tree of Life is also a cheat because only a portion of the movie is set in a pre-historic era. In Terrance Malick’s ambition yet divisive movie we do get to see the birth of the universe, to the first forms life, leading to seeing the first moment of compassion during the time of the Dinosaurs.

5. Dinosaur
Also from the stable of Disney is the animated-live action Dinosaur. Using top of the range CGI and excellent locations, Dinosaur focuses on Aladar, a iguanodon who was raised by lemurs and has to lead his kept to safety as a mentor shower rains destroy on his home.

4. The Land Before Time
Don Bluth’s The Land Before Time is a childhood favorite to many and its legacy was besmirch by 12 straight-to-video sequels and a TV series. But that should not diminish the original movie that out Disneyed Disney as it follows a group of young dinosaurs having to survive the elements and deadly predators as they try and get to the legendary paradise known as the Great Valley and reunite with their families.

3. Ice Age
The Ice Age series is one of the most popular animated series around and the first was entertaining family film. As the title suggests set in the Ice Age as we follow a mammoth, a giant sloth and a sabre tooth cat somehow have to work together as they are stuck with a baby human and take him back to his family.

2. 2001: A Space Odyssey
The final cheat is 2001: A Space Odyssey where we spend the first third of the movie with group of pre-historic apes, on the fringes of survival. Set in a harsh barren desert this struggling group are the ones who discover the Monolith which leads to humanity to make one giant leap has the human race starts to learn, discover but also develop a need for destruction.

Dishonorable Mention: 10,000 BC
Roland Emmerich is often a cinematic punchbag for movie fans and many consider his worst movie is his adventure movie 10,000 BC. Starting in the Ural Mountains, 10,000 BC tells the story of a hunter-gatherer Yagahl, who has rescue his tribe and his love interest from evil slave traders who are making to Pyramids. The movie was criticised for its stiff acting, offending anyone who has basic knowledge of geography and seen as more than a downgraded version of Apocalypto.

1. Quest for Fire
Representing the art-house genre is the French movie Quest for Fire. Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud and based on a novel by Belgian brothers Joseph Henri Honoré Boex and Séraphin Justin François Boex, Quest for Fire is set in the Palaeolithic age (the Stone Age) telling how three warriors within a tribe have to find a new source of fire for their journey. One their journey in the pre-historic landscape of Europe they come across different tribes and species of humanity and have to get a fire from a cannibalistic tribe.


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