HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lego Batman Movie, The
Stockholm My Love
Sizzle Beach, U.S.A.
Moulin Rouge
Morgan
Deathstalker
Harmonium
Alice
Pop Pirates
Sully
Tsunambee
Aftermath
Satan's Blood
John Wick: Chapter 2
Death in the Garden
Autopsy of Jane Doe, The
Tatie Danielle
Toni Erdmann
Massacre in Dinosaur Valley
Minute Bodies: The Intimate World of F. Percy Smith
Ironmaster
Interplanetary Surplus Male and Amazon Women of Outer Space, The
Disorderlies
Vision, The
Tall Guy, The
Stunt Squad
Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World
In the Doghouse
Gold
Serpico
   
 
Newest Articles
And Then? 6 Hollywood Films That Should Have Had Sequels But Didn't
Approaching Menace: The Frighteners on DVD
Oz Factor: Strange Australia on the Cusp of the 80s
Dynamic Dozen: 80s Action in 12 Movies Part 2
Dynamic Dozen: 80s Action in 12 Movies Part 1
Manor On Movies: The Unguarded Moment (1956)
Manor On Movies: Curse Of The Dead (1961)
Q & A with San Francisco Silent Film Festival artistic director Anita Monga
Put Your Bigfoot In It: Bigfoot on Film
Maulin' the Jack: The Jack the Ripper Story Bastardized
   
 
  Age of the Great Dinosaurs Prehistoric PerilsBuy this film here.
Year: 1979
Director: Shotaro Ishinomori, Hideki Takayama
Stars: Chikao Otsuka, Hiroko Suzuki, Ichiro Nagai, Mitsuko Horie, Noriko Ohara, Noriko Tsukase, Shotaro Ishinomori, Toru Ohira, Yosuke Kondo
Genre: Drama, Animated, Science Fiction, Adventure
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: An ecologically themed anime, Age of the Great Dinosaurs opens with live action footage of Tokyo’s crowded, pollution clogged streets intercut with cartoon dinosaurs rampaging through the prehistoric past. Our young hero Jun (voiced by Chikao Otsuka) is horrified to see a construction crew lay waste to flowers and trees. A sensitive lad, he muses on the damage being done to the environment. Strange lights in the sky lead Jun to the beach where he meets pretty Remi (Hiroko Suzuki) and her bratty brother Chobi (Ichiro Nagai). A huge, talking UFO - whose spectacular entrance is modelled on that of the mothership from Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) - transports the inquisitive kids back to the Cretaceous Period to learn some harsh lessons about humanity’s past, present and possible future.

Manga giant Shotaro Ishinomori is best known for the plethora of live-action superhero movies based on his work. His creative stamp marked Kamen Rider (1971), Message from Space (1978) and his most internationally recognised creation, the long-running Zyu Ranger franchise, which you’ll probably know as the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. Like his contemporaries Osamu Tezuka and Hayao Miyazaki, Ishinomori also lent his skill to anime, with sci-fi adventures like the Cyborg 009 movies (1967-1980), Flying Phantom Ship (1969), 30,000 Miles Under the Sea (1970) and Harmageddon (1983), aimed at children but with socially conscious themes.

Age of the Great Dinosaurs is just such a movie. A tad preachy at times, but sincere and endowed with striking, near-psychedelic visuals that make remarkable use of light and colour, alongside Ishinomori’s appealing character designs. Rock band Shogun contribute a fine score that goes from haunting melodies to awesome disco-funk. Intended as an educational movie, this is remarkable honest about the harsh realities of nature and features impressively gory dinosaur battles. Our child heroes discover a batch of friendly, newly-hatched triceratops and flee a scary, red-eyed tyrannosaurus rex dubbed with Godzilla’s roar. In a gruesome touch you won’t find in American cartoons, he gobbles all the babies save for one, before being gorily speared in the eye by plucky, little Chobi.

Aside from one humorous vignette where dinosaurs goof around with glowing fireflies, this takes an almost docu-drama approach. A range of dinosaurs are shown in action and each given a mini bio or list of factoids. Caught in a time warp, as their baby triceratops rapidly grows to adulthood, the kids journey forward to see tectonic plates shift, volcanoes explode, icecaps melt and mankind evolve from tiny mammals into Cro-Magnon cavemen. The script makes a slight gaffe by having a lone T-Rex hang around to plague mankind (“That’s impossible!” says dino-expert Jun, and he’s right), but this twist does have a point.

Chobi falls in love with a little cave girl and intervenes when her mother is offered in sacrifice to the monster by a crazy skull-masked midget priest. But when Chobi throws his spear, Ishinomori cuts to a montage of war, atomic bombs and contemporary violence, which hints this little boy embodies not just mankind’s indomitable spirit, but also its appetite for self-destruction. The monster’s death is not triumphant, but mournful. It ends on a warning for mankind’s future, leaving poor Jun even more worried than before, and a then-trendy English language theme song (“Love is the waaaaaaaaayyyyy!!!”).

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 9191 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Bernard Cribbins
Tom Cruise
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Shrimpton
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Rachel Franke
  Desbris M
Stately Wayne Manor
Keith Rockmael
   

 

Last Updated: