Directed by Ralph Zondag and Eric Leighton
Starring the voices of D.B. Sweeney, Julianna Margulies, Samuel E. Wright, Ozzie Davis, Alfrie Woodard, Della Reese, Max Cassela, and Joan Plowright.
You’ve got to hand it to Disney. Not content to let Pixar make animated movies for them, they had to go and make their own 100% computer animated film. What’s confused me though is, is Dinosaur really an animated film? I mean, the dinosaurs are animated, but all the backgrounds are real. So, is it animated, or special effects? I let you debate that while you read the review.
A long, long, time ago, the egg of a baby iguanadon was taken from its nest, and this baby was raised by a family of lemurs (voices of Woodard, Davis, and Cassela). This baby grows up to become Aladar (voice of Sweeney), a happy, laid back iguanadon. But soon, tragedy strikes. The first of those planet killers strikes, and the island that Aladar and the lemurs call home is wiped out. After treking through the mainland desert, they soon encounter a herd of dinosaurs of all kinds. It’s rumored that the breeding grounds are still untouched, and that they may find refuge there. Aladar and the lemurs soon befriend Eesa (Reese), a triceratops, and Baylene (Plowright), a brachiosaur. They are old, and bringing up the rear. Kron (Wright) who’s leading the herd, is a vicious dictator. His word is law, and if the weak can’t keep up, then their bones will feed the predators stalking them. Aladar’s work-together mentality doesn’t mesh with Kron’s survival-of-the- strongest, and they don’t like each other. Things even get more complicated when Aladar falls in love with Neera (Margulies), Kron’s sister. Can the herd outrun the carnotaurs to the breeding grounds? Will Kron’s attitude kill them all? Or will Aladar be able to save them all?
One thing’s for sure, the animated dinosaurs are good. I wouldn’t say “10 times better than the ones in Jurassic Park“, but just a smidge better. And at least they didn’t go with the Jurassic Park standard villains: velaciraptors and t-rexes. No, here we get carnotaurs. Think a smaller T-Rex with horns. At first, the mesh of real backgrounds and animated dinosaurs is a bit distracting, but it becomes less noticable as the movie goes on. The characters are good, if a little typical of Disney. And the story’s familiar, if you’ve ever seen The Land Before Time or read the Bible. But all in all, it’s a fairly entertaining film. Check it out.