Walking with Dinosaurs : Would it have been better with no narrator?

Would it have been better with no narrator?

I was rewatching this series recently, and got to wondering if the program would have been more enjoyable without a narrator. The stories seemed pretty straight forward. I think the experience would have been even more engrossing if the narrator wasn't present, elevating the sense of actually being in this prehistoric world. I found that the narrator tended to hold me back from lossing myself in the world it was trying to portray. What do you think?

Re: Would it have been better with no narrator?

The narrator's work wasn't exactly the same as a storyteller's, though. He also talked about changes in Earth's geology, plantlife, the relationships between several types of animals, and tons of other stuff that otherwise wouldn't have been apparent by the visuals alone.

The stories may be easy to follow without him, but I think many scenes would have to be cut or re-animated to allow for a cleaner narrative flow if we were to mute out the narration. Similar to how they wanted to make Dinosaur Revolution before the Discovery Channel botched that show up. (but without the cartoon comedy, of course).

But if I am not mistaken, there actually exists a version that did away with both the narrator and the music. Sadly these are not full-length episodes, just shorter, individual clips. I don't know where they're from either -- the Ballade of Big Al DVD has a demo with them, but it doesn't have all the clips.

Thankfully someone put a bunch of 'em on YouTube some time ago. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFF016929DD7FCA2C&feature=pl cp

Re: Would it have been better with no narrator?

Thanks for posting those clips. That's something like what I was talking about. I considered the problem of how they would convey information about geography and the evolutionary history of the animals. I think that the episodes would have to be remade a bit, but I believe that it could still work, especially after seeing the clips you linked to. I guess it's just a matter of opinion, but I think it would be very surreal and escapist to actually watch full episodes without the human element.

Re: Would it have been better with no narrator?

Yeah... you know, this is actually a very heavily discussed topic of dino films. It's been attempted tons of times before, but in the end, they always chose to go with a narrator or make the animals themselves talk, so that audiences would understand the story better. The Land Before Time, Disney's Dinosaur and Discovery's Dinosaur Revolution were all originally planned to be silent, but the execs considered the idea too risky. And I have heard of other dino movies that were meant to be told purely through the visuals, but these sadly never got produced (apart from Phil Tippet's awesome short film, Prehistoric Beast).

I would love to see a movie or TV show like this, though. I have even tried fiddling around with the audio settings of my DVD player to mute out the voice-over, but I couldn't.

Maybe for the upcoming WWD movie, they will finally take this route? I doubt it, but it would be an interesting experiment. If done well, it could be a smash hit, and many other narrator-less dino docus could follow. Discovery is also working on a recut of Dinosaur Revolution, which will hopefully do away with most of, if not the entire narration. So we will have that, at least.

EDIT: Oh, and welcome for the link.

Re: Would it have been better with no narrator?

From what I remember WWD was unusual because it was made to look like a nature documentary rather than a dramatic dinosaur show. I think having a narrator added to the "David Attenborough effect", it presented dinosaurs as real animals rather than just fantastic monsters.