National Geographic
Dolichorhynchops explore an inland sea that divided North America in half 80 million years ago.

LEHI — There's no better way to get an honest opinion of a movie than taking a couple of grandkids to see it.

In this case, the 4-year-old and his 8-year-old brother deemed "Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure" a success.

They sat wide-eyed throughout the story — as "Dolly" and her brother Dolichorhynchops swam through the dangerous prehistoric ocean waters of 82 million years ago.

They kept their 3-D glasses on the whole time even though the little one said he hates wearing "those weird glasses."

They ducked from the snouts of sea creatures coming straight at them and reached to touch the rocks and seashells that seemed to be showering on their heads.

Then they recited the story almost blow-by-blow to their dad.

This is a story that's told well enough that adults can come away educated and as entertained as the children, and it doesn't try to be silly or Disneylike.

It's clear from the beginning that this is a serious story based on treasures archaeologists and paleontologists have unearthed the world over.

You see the fossils dug up and the bones refleshed.

You meet huge creatures and long creatures and creatures that live in large shells. Most are dinosaur cousins and go a long way to supporting the Loch Ness monster theory.

There's plenty of drama in the underwater world, too, as big fish eat little fish and get eaten by the bigger and biggest fish. (One even chokes on a fish he tries to swallow that's a third his size. Another bites into a rival fish that's as big as he is.)

The natural fittest-survival cycle is played down enough that it doesn't traumatize, and the scene where the mother Dolichorhynchops dies is off screen.

This documentary is interesting and visual.

Take the family.

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