April 16th

1999 – Walking With Dinosaurs appears on TV in the USA

On this day in dinosaurs, the documentary series that many argue is the greatest ever dealing with dinosaurs first conquered the American airwaves. The BBC’s Walking With Dinosaurs series incorporated the computer generated animation that made Jurassic Park so captivating, along with the gripping storytelling of nature documentaries. This new vision of the dinosaur documentary changed the landscape for paleontological entertainment and paved the way for almost everything that has come along since.

Wikimedia Commons

It’s difficult to imagine just how gigantic a change WWD represented. Before the series swept the UK, the US, and the rest of the planet, dinosaur documentaries were plodding affairs that used a variety of storytelling devices including paleo-art, interviews with experts, animations, stock footage from classic films, puppetry, and a lot of fossil hall footage.

The series went on to spawn a variety of sequels, a feature film, and a theatrical stage spectacular.

Share your favorite moments from Walking With Dinosaurs with us on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #TDIDinos.