A new giant screen documentary will transport audiences to prehistoric Antarctica these school holidays, as the fearsome and fascinating creatures come alive in DINOSAURS OF ANTARCTICA 3D.

The documentary spans 250 million years from the Permian Ice Age through the Age of Dinosaurs to today, and joins a group of renowned palaeontologists on a dig in the Shackleton Glacier region in Antarctica as they uncover new fossils.

Featuring a cast of new-to-science dinosaurs including the Cryolophosaurus and Glacialisaurus, the documentary draws on themes of evolution and climate change, as it showcases the continent’s transformation from the bio-diverse Mesozoic to the frozen desert we know today.

DINOSAURS OF ANTARCTICA 3D’s striking visual effects were developed by BUF studio, whose other film credits include AvatarBlade Runner 2049 and Life of Pi, and took more than seven months to complete.

Juxtaposing the stunningly realistic and scientifically accurate CGI animals with footage from the southern continent as it appears now, the film is as truthful as it can be when recreating this ancient world.

Palaeontologist and Curator of the Dinosaur Institute at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Dr. Nathan Smith, features in the film and worked closely with the post-production crew to bring the prehistoric reptiles to life.

Smith was heavily involved in the 2003 and 2010 Cryolophosaurus excavations and was also responsible for naming the new Antarctic dinosaur species Glacialisaurus. Both vertebrates feature in the documentary.

“Reimagining these reptiles in CGI was a big responsibility, and I wanted to ensure their physical attributes and movements drew from the latest fossil evidence. The finished product is spectacular and will give audiences the chance to experience Antarctica as it once was,” says Smith.

“It was a hugely rewarding process and brings the work full circle to see Glacialisaurus and Cryolophosaurus realised in the immersive IMAX 3D format.”

New technology and expanding access to Antarctica has unearthed a treasure trove of new fossils and dinosaur species in the last 30 years, and Smith is confident there will be more discoveries in the coming decades.

The work by palaeo teams in Antarctica featured in the documentary also enhances our knowledge of climate change and how the world could respond to another major warming event.

“Our research is vital in helping to inform the response to climate change and filling in the gaps of our past. Antarctica was a very different place in the past and it’s still changing today. The fossils and new information we’re gathering help provide a deep-time perspective on how life on earth could change in a warming world,” says Smith.

DINOSAURS OF ANTARCTICA 3D will screen exclusively at IMAX Melbourne these school holidays. Tickets are on sale now. Please visit imaxmelbourne.com.au for information about the theatre’s current COVIDSafe measures.