A WALK DOWN NOSTALGIA LANE REVIEW: “Dinosaur” is voiced by D.B. Sweeney (The Cutting Edge, Spawn), Samuel E. Wright (The Little Mermaid , Bird), Julianna Margulies (ER [TV series], Ghost Ship), Alfre Woodard (12 Years a Slave, Captain America: Civil War), Ossie Davis (Do the Right Thing, Bubba Ho-Tep), Max Casella (Jackie, Inside Llewyn Davis), Joan Plowright (The Spiderwick Chronicles, Dennis the Menace ), Della Reese (Touched by an Angel [TV series], Harlem Nights), Hayden Panettiere (Heroes [TV series], I Love You Beth Cooper), and Peter Siragusa (Home Alone, Cloudy with a Change of Meatballs). It is directed by Eric Leighton and Ralph Zondag (We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story), while the screenplay was written by John Harrison (Residue, Book of Blood) and Robert Nelson Jacobs (Chocolat, The Water Horse). When a meteor strike destroys their home, an orphaned dinosaur (Sweeney) and his lemur family take a journey to a nesting ground, encountering new friends and enemies along the way.
It’s “Ice Age” meets “Tarzan.” Except in this case, I am less interested. On the verge of extinction, dinosaurs make their way to a safe haven, battling foes and lack of food along the way. We all know how this thing goes; in fact, it’s a rather depressing concept. The dinosaurs die out, so am I really going to sit for an out and a half watching a flick on false hope? Not really. Because this is a kid’s movie, history is kind of glossed over. I should’ve expected that, but boy did I feel a bit let down that I didn’t see them die out. Call me what you will, I know it’s awful to think that, but… come on! This story goes the way a lot of films like it do. You’ve got the hero who puts others above himself, and the villain who has to learn that you can’t survive on your own. At least, if you really consider this movie to have a villain outside of the impeding death awaiting our characters. For the most part, “Dinosaur” focuses on the task at hand of our characters getting from point A to point B, with few simplistic plot devices along the way to make things interest. You’ve got the potential love interest, wacky sidekick, and predictable theme. But who am I to judge? This whole marathon centers around family films, so it’s not like they’re trying to be methodical pieces. It seems like the point of “Dinosaur” was to present a visual spectacle for the new millennium. The budget of this was well over a hundred million, and for what it’s worth, the animation was great for its time (when comparing it to the CGI pictures produced around its release). The filmmakers were smart in making the characters the only CGI elements, blending them with real-life backgrounds to make things seem more immersive. However, the animation certainly shows its age over the past twenty years since its release; it also didn’t help that I watched this on a VHS tape, but I made sure to look up HD clips of the film for a better analysis. In a nutshell, “Dinosaur” is a harmless picture that plays out the way you would expect it to. The lessons to learn from it are beneficial to children, and I’m sure it was a cool flick to watch for the family when it was still fresh. Because we are in a saturated market where every animated film is an advancement in CGI capabilities, there isn’t much now with the picture that can really draw in a crowd. It seems like the filmmakers enjoyed making it, and the voice actors were solid, but I found myself trying to keep busy while watching it. The funny thing is, I could be preoccupied for five minutes, look back at the screen, and not need to be explained what happened to understand. “Dinosaur” is an endearing movie, but it doesn’t do much to keep you in your seats. FINAL SCORE: 64%= Burnt Popcorn
Here is the trailer:
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