Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Imperial Swordsman
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
  Dinosaur Prehistoric peril
Year: 2000
Director: Ralph Zondag, Eric Leighton
Stars: D.B. Sweeney, Alfre Woodard, Ossie Davis, Max Casella, Hayden Panettiere, Samuel E. Wright, Juliana Margulies, Peter Siragusa, Joan Plowright, Della Reese
Genre: Animated, Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: In prehistoric times a stray iguanodon egg miraculously evades various perils and predators to be adopted by a family of friendly lemurs. Pilo (voiced by Alfre Woodard) christens her newly-hatched dinosaur baby Aladar (D.B. Sweeney). Despite some brief hesitance from clan patriarch Yar (Ossie Davis), Aladar is embraced by his mammalian brethren and grows up happily alongside precocious "kid sister" Suri (Hayden Panettiere). Alas, their idyllic life comes to an abrupt end when a meteor crashes into Earth creating a shockwave that destroys their island. The newly displaced family then join up with a band of dinosaur refugees, including female iguanodon Neera (Juliana Margulies) who takes a shine to kindly Aladar, in search of a safe stretch of land to call home. Leading the herd through a scarred wasteland Neera's brother, the uncompromising Kron (Samuel E. Wright) takes umbrage at Aladar's compassionate determination to help the weak and the sick survive the dangerous journey.

Disney's first computer animated feature not produced by their affiliates at Pixar began life in the mid-Eighties as a project developed by stop-motion animator Phil Tippett and future Robocop (1987) director Paul Verhoeven, later adapted into a screenplay by Walon Green, writer behind The Wild Bunch (1969)! As one might expect their take on the material was rather more sober, certainly darker than the family-friendly Disney product that eventually reached screens. On a technical level, while inevitably somewhat dated, Dinosaur's photo-realistic animation remains impressive. Its scope and ambition result in several remarkably immersive and lifelike sequences. While the characters' "cartoony" eyeballs do work against the film’s attempt at documentary realism given the dead-eyed zombie animals that lurched through The Lion King (2019) reboot, it is no big flaw.

Where Dinosaur truly scores is with its wordless opening sequence which tracks the little dinosaur egg as it floats along the river past grazing herbivores and carnivorous pursuers, through majestic valleys and over sweeping aerial vistas. These stunning visuals are set to a thunderous score by James Newton Howard and evoke the prehistoric segments in Disney's classic Fantasia (1940). Once the animals start talking however the spell is broken. The film lapses into more conventional Disney anthropomorphization. While the digital animation is more sophisticated the story is as cloying as The Land Before Time (1988). That is not to say events and characterization within the movie are not engaging, only less ambitious than the epic visuals suggest.

Once that pesky meteor wipes out poor Aladar's happy adopted home (a reminder that Disney animated movies are almost always about coping with death) and the focus shifts to dinosaur refugees and mammalian stowaways struggling to survive their deadly trek through the desert, the story evolves into a clash between Kron's brutal Darwinism and the more, dare one say, humanistic philosophy espoused by the compassionate Aladar. If that sounds unlikely and weird given we are dealing with cold blooded reptiles, well, it is. But it is a solid theme nonetheless and one that Dinosaur develops quite succinctly. Interestingly the Asian release featured a Cantopop theme song performed by Hong Kong superstar Jacky Cheung. Not faring so well was a song composed by iconoclastic British pop star Kate Bush which test audiences rejected outright.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


This review has been viewed 1405 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

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

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Darren Jones
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M


Last Updated: