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Disney's DINOSAUR review

I’ve taken a while in reviewing Disney’s DINOSAUR because I wanted to check out the recent DVD release of WALKING WITH DINOSAURS, so I could make the mental comparison between the two.

When I talked to Paul Verhoeven at the screening I saw of THE HOLLOW MAN, I asked what he thought of DINOSAURS finally hitting screens this summer with talking dinosaurs?

Verhoeven then began shaking his head. He said that very little was the same. He liked it that the asteroid was going to hit the earth, but that other than that... his movie... the one he was going to make with Phil Tippett and Dennis Muren was going to be about as different as you could imagine.

There was to be no talking. It was to be Paul Verhoeven’s Nature Epic. You would see the dinosaurs pissing and shitting and fucking and eating and killing. Because.... that’s what dinosaurs did. And at the end, the asteroid would come and they would all die. This magnificent vision of gigantic titans roaming the earth would come to a fiery death. The smallest of dinosaurs that survived the impact would be preyed upon by those creatures from the air, and in the end.... it would be the end for Dinosaurs.

It would have been bloody and violent. An epic told in pantomime, with no human expressions or lips. It would simply be Paul Verhoeven’s reality of pre-history. To Phil Tippett it would have marked a dream come true. At the time it was to cost $45 million, of course that was not the film Disney wanted to make.

And really, as reasonable people I think we can understand why that movie was not made. I mourn it, I would have loved to of seen it. But Disney, at no point in it’s history, would have made that movie. In fact, I dare say there is not one studio on the planet today that would have the out and out vision to make that movie.

And... this is sad. Instead, the closest we’ll see is the recent BBC/DISCOVERY CHANNEL program, WALKING WITH DINOSAURS. It’s basically a Natural Geographic presentation of the history of dinosaurs with stunning special effects computer animation. In it, Dinosaurs piss and shit and fuck and eat and kill. And depending on which version you see, you’ll hear Avery Brooks or Kenneth Branagh go on about what it is you are seeing. Personally, I wish there was an alternative soundtrack that would give you just the sounds in their world and the score.... with no narration. But that’s probably just me.

Now, going into Walt Disney’s DINOSAUR it is unfair to Disney and the filmmakers to take the preceding baggage with you. The above is not the film Disney set out to make. It was an abandoned direction.

But you know, when I went to see this film a couple of weeks back, I sat there in a hall filled with children that didn’t know about anything other than the film in front of them.

They knew the dinosaurs would talk. They knew there would be cute little lemurs. And we all knew there would have to be a happy ending.

Instead, as I sat there and began to see what this was... I realized that it is the biggest departure yet for the Walt Disney company within the realm of their Feature Animation department.

In DINOSAURS there is absolutely zero songs or singing. Death is very real in the movie, and when they are going for their very intense dinosaur action moments... they rock pretty hard. The cinematography and animation is amazing. The team at Disney should not be being fired, but rather... they should instantly be put to work on the next amazing animated film from their department. I still have hopes to see an EXPEDITION film.

As an entertainment for the under 15 crowd, this movie is amazing. The children in the room were very much excited by every moment of this film.

The smartest decision they made was to not give that big mean as hell dinosaur a voice. He is pure flesh ripping horror.

When the lemurs were doing their schtick... the children were laughing and enjoying themselves, and as much as I would roll my eyes at ‘the love monkey’, I couldn’t help but notice that his lame jokes worked really well on the kids.

However, I do have an idea for what Disney could do on the DVD if they really wanted to rule the earth.

If you look on the recent GALAXY QUEST dvd, they have an alternative Thermian (I believe that’s spelled right) track, that dubs the whole film into this alien language.

On DINOSAURS, an alternative full digital sound track that did nothing but replace dialogue with dinosaur noises and lemur noises.... well, I would love it. And I believe so would just about all of the detractors out there.

The biggest problem with the film though is something that just can’t be ignored... and this is what truly keeps the film from being as great as it could be... and that is that... quite frankly, Disney has gone to the well too many times with this story.

It’s the prototypical Disney story. Orphan finds his place in the world and becomes an adult! Sigh. Yeah, I get it. And if every frame of this film wasn’t frame-able... well, I could get very very angry.

However, if you do not see this film on the big screen you are cheating yourselves out of what is quite honestly one of the most visually breathtaking spectacles I have seen recorded to film. You must see this on the biggest screen you can find. Go to a matinee, and just gawk at it.

It’s not a great film, it is a pretty good kids’ flick, that geeks will just stare in awe at. Nothing is as flat out perfect as the opening 14 minutes or so, which is just pure spectacle.

However, if after the film you are hungering for more, go buy the DVD of WALKING WITH DINOSAURS, which is the vastly superior creation. And while the Dinosaurs don’t talk... Kenneth Branagh does... so each has its inanities...

Readers Talkback
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  • May 29, 2000, 7:34 p.m. CST

    my thoughts exactly

    by omarthesnake

    well, nearly exactly. Cool but flawed flick.

  • May 29, 2000, 7:41 p.m. CST

    holy hand grenade of antioch...

    by omarthesnake

    I was first, and i didn't even cry out "First!!" what a proud, proud day. Seriously, though, I saw Dinosaur with a saturday matinee audience, which was largely filled with kids, who laughed and screamed and had a grand time, so my complaints about predictable plotting and goofball humor were inconsequential. And, ever since i was a little kid, the Iguanodon has been my favorite breed of dinosaur (and i was a full-on so-obsessed-that-in-fourth-grade-a-teacher-let-ME-teach-the-second-graders-about dinosaurs nut on the subject), so i was jazzed that a movie was being made with one as the star. "Walking With Dinosaurs" is a more impressive production, and stole much of Disney's thunder when it came to the impressive vision of the ancient world. I just wish the DVD had both Avery and Branagh audio tracks on it.

  • May 29, 2000, 7:50 p.m. CST

    My spoiler review of 'Dinosaur'

    by bkendig

    'Dinosaur' is, or at least should have been, a twenty-minute special-effects demo about a heroic disneysaur named Kron who, having learned about the 'needs of the many' from _Star Trek II_, bravely leads his herd on a long, dangerous trek across the barren wilderness to reach some paradise-on-earth which they all keep leaving every year for some reason. (Hey, it's not my fault they all have brains the size of walnuts.) Unfortunately, a gang of mutant Ewoks got their paws on the film and added another hour's worth to show their blatant disregard for hair-care products. With them they bring a young dinosaur who was separated from his parents as a baby and then raised by monkeys; this dinosaur is named Aladar, which translates to 'Tarzan' in the language of lemurs. Aladar rescues his foster family when a giant meteor crashes to earth and sets off a Disneyland fireworks show, resulting in the cataclysmic and apocalyptic destruction of a very small island. It isn't long before Tarzan -- er, Aladar -- finds other members of his species for the first time. He immediately decides he's smarter than they are (his brain must be the size of *two* walnuts), and in several frequent lapses of survival instinct, Aladar repeatedly tries to get Kron to understand that they should *all* slow down and either succumb to thirst or sacrifice themselves to the vicious Tyrannosaurus Rexes-- er, that is, 'Carnotaurs,' rather than risking the loss of a couple of stragglers for the good of the herd. Kron's refusal to let an idealistic, inexperienced whelp take over such a dangerous journey naturally brands Kron as the Bad Guy (tm), and so Aladar hangs back to defend a small group of slow-movers who are made out of Jello and who can't deliver a line without jiggling every muscle in their bodies. One of the group is a huge brachiosaur who keeps getting smaller and smaller every time she appears throughout the movie. Aladar teaches the unfortunately-named Bruton, a savage iguanodon, the true meaning of teamwork, which Bruton puts to good use by immediately getting killed. Aladar then leads a Carnotaur back to the herd so it can kill off Kron after it gets confused by having so many tasty-looking dinosaurs wander up to it and ask to be eaten; Lebo M's music score makes everyone start thinking they're in The 'Lion King,' and a climactic battle ensues on a rock cliff. Meanwhile Aladar brings the herd to paradise, everybody good survives, and anybody who did anything bad dies. Finally, Tarzan -- er, Aladar -- marries the first and only female member of his species he's ever seen (easily identifiable because she swings her hips when she walks), and in a flurry of expensive computer graphics, everyone launches into a rousing reprise of the last few minutes of 'Lion King,' reaffirming that life goes on, at least until the following year when The Big One hits and all the dinosaurs die of starvation.

  • May 29, 2000, 7:58 p.m. CST

    What a waste of $200 million dollars

    by Dirty_Bird

    (sigh), why oh why do animals always have to talk in disney movies. I liked this movie the last time I saw it, when it was called The Land Before Time I, II, II, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV, XVI, XVII, XVIII, XIX and XX. Nuff said. Long live Vanilla Ice and The Dirty Bird.

  • May 29, 2000, 8 p.m. CST

    I want to see this and I don't

    by All Thumbs

    I want to see it because I know it's going to take my breath away visually and I don't want to see it because I can rent The Land Before Time and watch my Tarzan DVD and get the story from that. I'll go, but I'll be doing a Cameron thing in the car..."I'll go...I'll go...Shhhit."

  • May 29, 2000, 8:18 p.m. CST

    Long live Land Before Time!

    by Soheil

    This movie's story is a DIRECT rip off of Land Before Time. Let's see, a baby dinosaur egg strays from the family and goes on a trip with a herd of dinosaurs to a promised land while on the way a (or two) giant carnivores are after them. (remember Big Tooth?) Straight rip...

  • May 29, 2000, 8:18 p.m. CST

    This is NOT The Land Before Time

    by SpoilerMan

    I went to see Disney's Dino-flick at a matinee, expecting the worst. Instead, I was knocked out by the realistic textures and movements of all the different dinosaurs onscreen. It's quite an accomplishment only 6 years after the goundbreaking work on JURASSIC PARK to have a movie where Dinosaurs are onscreen for the length of the feature and look GREAT. For any kid who grew up loving dinosaurs or dino-movies, you owe it to yourself to check this one out, if only for the beautiful visuals. As for those who complain about modern pop-culture references ("love monkey") coming from the mouths of pre-historic characters, NEWSFLASH: dinos and primates couldn't talk to begin with! Anything they would say takes suspension of disbelief, so just go for it. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to re-read my copy of Greg Bear's excellent DINOSAUR SUMMER.

  • May 29, 2000, 8:33 p.m. CST

    Heh!I remember that Galxy Quest DVD...

    by user id indeed!

    ...after about 10 seconds of the Thermian track,I quickly switched it back to English.It's a cute idea,but as Sarris said, "I grew weary of the noises they made!!"The rest was good,though-loved the Chicken Run trailer(What does it take to be a leader of men?"How should I know?I'm a chicken!").Mark my words,this damned movie is gonna be fantastic( oh,please let this be successful!! Let Aardman be as saught after as Pixar!!!).As for Dinosaur,it was a well-made movie generally,and the detail was great,but as in most Disney flicks, I ended up rooting for the badass villians.Must they ALWAYS make the villians more interesting than the hero?Not just in Disney movies-the villian always kicks more ass than the hero.Terminator, Terminator 2, Silence of the Lambs, Seven, Sleepy Hollow,Batman,Batman Returns, Beetlejuice, The Abyss, Face Off, Alien, Aliens, Alien3, any movie with vampires, any movie with superheroes, any movie with mass murderers,etc.!And they always end up dying!Why?Good morals?Screw that!I want a Disney flick that features a villian doing mayhem!And ONLY that!As long as their getting rid of songs,why not get rid of heroes?Darn it!!I wanna see Carnotaur:the Motion Picture!!This has been a Hunger Bad,Peanut Good Moment w/User ID Indeed!

  • May 29, 2000, 8:47 p.m. CST

    Avery Brooks for US version

    by viola145

    Harry, I agree that "Walking with Dinosaurs" was a wonderful mini-series. Though I have not heard the UK version with Branagh narrating, I am surprised that he did not do a better job. He has a very nice voice. As for the US version with Avery Brooks, I felt that he was a very effective choice. He was not overly dramatic, letting the story tell itself. "Dinosaur" -- my greatest lament is that the characters talk. It smacks the realism right out the window; Disney was certainly confused, creating such beauty and then reducing it to this through their errant choice.

  • May 29, 2000, 9:20 p.m. CST

    I certainly appreciated the lack of songs

    by rjtapper

    But the story wasn't very good. It was just boring, and even though its a different film than Jurassic Park it felt like a retread. Titan AE will surely be better.

  • May 29, 2000, 9:25 p.m. CST


    by shropshirslasher

    i don't remember any interesting villans in batman returns.

  • May 29, 2000, 9:37 p.m. CST

    Why the Hell do the Dinosaurs talk?

    by gilmour

    This film would have been WAY better if they didn't talk and weren't given cute personalities like humans. When I first saw the trailer, I thought it would be like first envisioned, with NO TALKING! As soon as I heard them talk I hated the damn film. Why does disney always have to have actors giving cute voices to their characters. They clearly chickened out because they were afraid kids would be bored with no talking.

  • May 29, 2000, 10:26 p.m. CST

    No interesting villians in Batman Returns?

    by user id indeed!

    Hmm...I dig where you're coming from.I was thinking more of Walken's character than Catwoman and the Penguin,but the Penguin was cool enough in my opinion. Weelll...not exactly the character so much as the penguins he controlled.I fell in love with the shot of the penguins with the metal hairwear and stripey torpedos on their backs...hee hee.So yeah,I rooted for Walken and the penguins.Penguins good.Walken good.Pfeiffer BAD.This has been a Keaton VERY VERY BAD Moment w/User ID Indeed!

  • May 29, 2000, 10:30 p.m. CST

    Suspension of Reality...

    by danhelm

    As another post said, I walked into DINOSAUR expecting the very worst...and came out relieved. Yes, the dinosaurs talked, but as this is a work of FICTION, I easily put myself at ease (did every other Disney movie bother the fanboys in this way?). And yes, the plot was simple and trite, but the writers put in enough orginality to make sure that I was not completely bored. As for the Verhoeven idea, I am glad his "vision" did not come about; as he himself admitted, his DINOSAUR would not have been entertaining. Instead, it would have been serious and so lacking of story that it would have made DINOSAUR look like CITIZEN KANE. As it stands, the movie is indeed entertaining and well made, visual effects wise, but this movie is ultimately forgettable, and probably will rank in the bottom half of the Disney animated films list.

  • May 29, 2000, 10:54 p.m. CST

    Amazing Larry...

    by user id indeed!

    I mentioned in an above post how in this and many other cases,I end up rooting for the villian,and I made a quick list of some off the top of my head-including Batman.Then a fellow TalkBacker-I'll call him "s",cuz I know it starts with an "S"-said he didn't think Batman Returns has very good villians,and I told him I though Walken and the penguins were cool,then I realized "Wuh?Hey,dis is fer duh Dinosaur moobie!". Yup.I guess I should thank Steven for making me some kind of weird celeb or something.WEE LOOOVE YOUUU STEEVEEEN! This has been a Moment w/The Real User ID Indeed!All the women love User ID Indeed/ chica chica chica that User ID Indeed,I'm sicka him/ Lookit him...

  • May 29, 2000, 11:20 p.m. CST

    so thats what all you Dinosaur detractors want

    by mmm_free_wig

    Verhoven style CG SHIT!! you want CG piss on screen? you want Dr.Dolittle piss and fart jokes in a real life silent dino fuck fest? You want CG dino cock ramming CG dino pussy? IS THAT WHAT YOU FREAKS WANT!!!? If thats the case, you can go lick out Macy Grey. I'll keep the Dinosaur Disney has given me, and I'll be a child while i'm watching it, because it is a child's movie. If people can't alter their mind state to compliment a movie they are about to see, I have deep pity for them.

  • May 29, 2000, 11:25 p.m. CST

    I've seen worse.

    by Sith Lord Jesus

    I mainly went to see it for the eye candy--the CGI dinosaurs. the story was strictly been-there-done-that, but it was nice to see what the current state of the art is for CGI. Imagine where things will be in 5 years! And in 10 I'll wager they won't even need human actors except for the voice-overs.

  • May 29, 2000, 11:27 p.m. CST

    It's been said before but...

    by Acid_Rain327

    Honestly, having really loved "The Land Before Time as a kid", I was able to predict the film scene-for-scene. The concept was essentially the same, but the film lacked the heart and emotion of the original "Land Before Time"; it was one-dimensional. There was one scene which seemed to almost grasp that emotion, namely the scene directly after the main characters' escape from their ravaged island. Next, the animation and meticulous attention to detail in this film was breath-taking. The way the muscles visibly flexed as the dinos roared, the fir of the lemurs, everything was incredible. The super-imposition of the dinosaurs/lemurs, however, was not. While there were scenes in which the dinosaurs looked astonishingly real (especially during the slo-mo sequences, oddly enough), the scenes in which the characters were so obviously placed on a seperate background were too far out-weighing. At one point, I could easily make out the blurred edges of the animation cells, believe it or not. And, after talking to my younger sister about the film after having seen it together, she stated that she too had noticed the odd lining around the dinosaurs at certain points. So, yes, the characters themselves are truly a benchmark in computer animation, but (commense the flames) Jar Jar Binks more seemlessly interacted with his environment, and more smoothly blended in as well.

  • May 29, 2000, 11:40 p.m. CST

    What makes a great Dinosaur movie?

    by not_a_jedi_yet

    Anybody else notice that this review seems to imply that the elements that make a great dinosaur movie are 1) pissing, 2) shitting, 3) fucking, 4) eating, and 5) killing? If that's the case, maybe Madonna, the Farrelly brothers, and O.J. should make a dinosaur film together. It would rock!

  • May 29, 2000, 11:44 p.m. CST

    Haven't seen it yet, but...

    by Dave_F

    ...I may give it a chance. I pretty much lost what little enthusiasm I had for it after watching the mind-blowing "Walking With Dinosaurs" series, but the one unique thing "Dinosaur" offers is spectacle. "Walking With Dinosaurs" had many dramatic moments, even narrative threads, but it didn't traffic in spectacle. This being Summer, I could go for a little spectacle. The only thing really holding me back now is the knowledge that story is *so* paint-by-numbers. Still, Disney's committee-style writing always manages to turn up some memorable and emotional scenes, even when they're rehashing old stories. So I'll probably see it. I think. Probably.

  • May 30, 2000, 12:02 a.m. CST

    Anybody else notice...

    by Sardonicus

    ..that the fight between Kron and Aladar toward the end was straight out of "On The Waterfront"? It's Marlon Brando and Lee J. Cobb duking it out dino-style! The story may be familiar, but the production of "Dinosaur" is perfect. Great flick.

  • May 30, 2000, 12:05 a.m. CST

    nice review

    by Ambrose Chappell

    too bad Tippet didn't get to make his Dinosaur vision...sounds like it would have rocked pretty damn hard. I haven't seen this film yet, but I'm actually kind of looking forward to it. By the way, nice Dr. Strangelove cartoon.

  • May 30, 2000, 12:56 a.m. CST

    Hey, _I_ liked it...

    by tbrosz

    I took my two kids to DINOSAUR and we all had a great time. Yeah, I saw some of the gimmicks in LAND BEFORE TIME (the first one, which was the only decent one) which stole some of the gimmicks from BAMBI and so on, and so on. Using an archtypical story line is not bad in itself. I suggest Harry look at a bookshelf of classics and discover just how many fall into the category "Orphan finds his place in the world and becomes an adult" A few hints: Jungle Books, Tarzan, much of Heinlein, most fairy tales, myths, and legends, etc. They don't call it archtypical for nothing.

  • May 30, 2000, 1:43 a.m. CST

    it was ok

    by BogdanStanei

    the animation was really amaizing. thats the thing i remember most about it. i didnt notice it at first but by the time the comet hit the earth my mouth was really dry. id been staring at the screen with my mouth wide open at what i was seeing. cheers to the animation team. the story could have used some work though. if they only had a better script this would have turned out to be the biggest money maker this year. it was an ok movie with some nice moments and jaw dropping animation.

  • May 30, 2000, 3:48 a.m. CST

    ITS Inanities!!! Not "it's inanities"!!

    by Lord Bullingdon

    Harry, you're going to learn proper use of an apostrophe if it kills me. It's means "it is." Its means "belonging to something." You essentially wrote "it is inanities." Otherwise a splendid review.

  • May 30, 2000, 6:20 a.m. CST

    land before time?

    by MrGinseng

    have you seen the animated "land before time" recently? because i think that the folks over at disney must have. dinosaurs roaming across the desert looking for a valley with an endless supply of vegetation? now you tell me, which movie am i talking about?

  • May 30, 2000, 8:39 a.m. CST

    Re: Bullingdon

    by pedant

    Thank you for shouldering some of my burden. I am the pedant.

  • May 30, 2000, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Oh BloodyHell

    by Fjacky33

    Im i hereing things or is everything that comes out of england{walking with dinosaurs} allways have the stupied fucking dr who music at the begining,it makes me NUTS!

  • May 30, 2000, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Not a fair comparison

    by Renzella

    Walking With Dinosaurs is not a standard by which Disney's Dinosaur should be judged. They are two completely seperate pieces of entertainment with entirely different purposes. Personally I enjoyed the hell out of both of them, but WWD was basically a nature documentary while Dinosaur was a larger than life STORY.

  • May 30, 2000, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Well, what did you expect? It's Disney.

    by superninja

    Sure, all of us gore-mongering adults who love to see lots of dino violence -- but what about the kiddies and their fwagile wittle minds?

  • May 30, 2000, 2:18 p.m. CST

    I'm gonna say this every time a kids film is mentioned...

    by mephisto666

    ...The Flight of Dragons and Little Nisha and the Dragon King. You want death, you got death. You want a scary villain, you got a scary villain. You want adventure, you got adventure. You want a lack of the cute and cudley, you got a lack of cute and cudley. You want sex, that's your problem...

  • LOL - One of the funniest things I 've ever read on this site. The silent violent dino idea is FANTASTIC, but don't we see enough dog-humping in movies to forget about dinos ramming each other up the ass and whatnot.

  • May 30, 2000, 2:27 p.m. CST

    lord bullington : apostrophes

    by Andy_Christ

    Making a SINGLE (and only one) exception to the rule for possessives is idiotic. But not as idiotic as getting your panties in a bunch when someone ignores it.

  • May 30, 2000, 2:36 p.m. CST

    Dinosaur and its shortcomings

    by darius25

    Like everyone else, I too agree that if the dinos hadn't talked, the film would have kicked ass!! Also, the story was pretty much boring. Dino and lemurs leave, join a herd, walk and talk, fight ONE bad guy, the end. Some scenes were good - the meteors, the fight scene in the cave, and thats all I could think of. Given the hard work that Disney put into this movie - The graphics were AMAZING - but they should have thought of a story along the way. I mean,Antz and esp. A Bug's Life were MUCH better than this, and I don't even want to mention a certain sequel that was released last year. Anyway, looking forward to Chicken Run for some REAL entertainment. Have you guys seen the Chicken Impossible trailer yet. Fucking hillarious. CR-1. This egg will explode in 5 seconds :)

  • May 30, 2000, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Works for the kids

    by Ally_Kat

    And really that is what counts for this movie, it is ultimately the target audience and if the parents like it, that's a postive side effect. I took a dinosaur crazy 5 year old boy to see it and he was glued to the screen. He loved it and he wants his auntie to take him again. As for me, the action movie Junkie who thinks Gladiator is the best, I loved it, too. I definitly wasn't looking at my watch wondering when it'd end. The comet scene was one of the most intense animated scenes I've ever witnessed. And give thanks for the absence of any stupid singing and dancing.

  • May 30, 2000, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Hey Harry......

    by ooglyboogly

    The 3d art and animation in this movie were incredable. I was lucky and got to see this movie in a digital projection theater which made the visuals even more amazing. I did like the movie, although it was very much like The Land Before Time. I too wish they would put a special feature on the DVD so those of us who want to see the movie the way it was intended can. I was dissapointed when the suits got a hold of it.It would have been even greater as a pure art film.

  • May 30, 2000, 3 p.m. CST

    To Allycat re: singing in the movies

    by darius25

    I love indian movies so I can't say that I ming songs in movies. However, in English movies, the songs are usually boring and seem out of place, and like you said, very stupid. But when the songs are done right and they have good tunes, then they are very entertaining and enjoyable - for example all the songs in The Lion King and Aladdin were really good.

  • May 30, 2000, 5:26 p.m. CST

    It only worked...

    by Sagitta

    When they actually let the dinosaurs be animals instead of funny looking humans. The sad part is that they could have easily made "Raptor Red", but instead settled for "The Land Before Time", a movie that wasn't crying out for a remake. I did find an interview with the directors at <> that was pretty interesting, but also made me realize that there was never any hope for this film. They even discussed comparisons to "L'Ours" (or "The Bear" to you non-francophones) a wonderful movie that kids loved with no talking animals. Oh, and my 6 year old son made me take him to it twice, so it does hit the target audience dead-on, which it was calculated to do from day one.

  • May 30, 2000, 7 p.m. CST


    by GEEKBASHER 3.0

    yawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwnnnnn is how I felt while watching this was like The LION KING MEETS LAND BEFORE TIME MEETS TARZAN MEETS Jurrasic PARK, it was just boring! I wanted to see the Dinosaurs fuck each other bareback style!

  • May 30, 2000, 8:58 p.m. CST

    I've tasted censorship!

    by Wham

    Thanks for deleting my post, when all I said was that the review seemed more like a dear diary entry than a movie review, and was plainly too boring to read. I said it without cussing, or anything mean. Jerk.

  • May 30, 2000, 9:10 p.m. CST


    by Easy.E

    It's "Lion King: 2000" without the warm-and-fuzzy Elton John music. However, you've got to hand it to the computer boyze, they earned their bread making the special effects.

  • May 30, 2000, 11:57 p.m. CST

    My kids enjoyed, but forgot about it by the next morning

    by CK Dexter Haven

    We went Saturday before last, and the kids (2yo and 4yo) really seemed to enjoy it. Mom and Dad found it visually impressive, but it left us pretty cold overall. What I found interesting, though, was that the kids just haven't even mentioned it since then. It wasn't like Iron Giant or Toy Story, or such movies, where the kids replay scenes and talk endlessly (and I do mean endlessly) about the characters, as if they are as real as any moving, breathing people would be. My 4yo saw a character from Dinosaur at the Disney Store a few days ago, and he just said, "Oh, there's that Dinosaur from that movie we saw." Then he ran off to look at Mickey Mouse t-shirts. So, while he was entertained by the movie, it certainly didn't capture his imagination or take up permanent residence in his psyche the way The Lion King or The Little Mermaid did. It was just too weak on character and story to do so. But it was marvelous to behold, and, for that reason, it should be seen on the big screen.

  • May 31, 2000, 12:50 a.m. CST


    by Octagon Fess

    Just wanted to give all who are interested some info on the "Walking with Dinosaurs" program that aired on Discovery Channel. GO BUY THE DVD VERSION!! It's a 2 disc set that includes the original narration by Kenneth Branagh. I think Avery Brooks did a fantastic job when I originally watched the program, but Kenneth Branaghs narration gives more information that the US release. Also the Dvd contains about 15 minutes of extra footage, which is basically alot of gory shots of Dinosaurs chowing down. "Walking with Dinosaurs" was originally aired in London by the BBC in six half hour long episodes...when it came here they crammed it all together and edited out all the "scary" parts because Discovery Channel knew alot of young children would be tuning in and essentially didn't want to give them nightmares. other words GO BUY THE DVD!! You will not be dissapointed, in fact you'll find that the BBC version is far superior.Plus the DVD is alot can really see how beatiful the CG really is. Anyway, hope this helps anybody who's interested.....

  • May 31, 2000, 10:29 a.m. CST

    Michael Eisner must think ALL four year olds are as stupid as he

    by Metatron

    Dinosaur? Dinoshit! Thumbs up to BKENDIG's assessment of this piece of crap. Disney once again tries to ride on the tails of its innovative beginnings...which weren't all that innovative... Mickey and Minnie were ripoffs of Warner Bros' Foxy and Roxy who showed up at LEAST five years earlier. (also see: Lion King aka Kimba the White Lion and every story the Brothers Grimm ever wrote)... The cigar chomping execs at Disney who want you to believe they are all family minded, and not the moneygrubbing bastards who purchased a major network ("no no...we wont interfere in their programming agenda... we PROMISE")... Instead they decided to directly rip off their own defector, Don Bluth, and his film Land Before Time... which was no great history lesson itself... but at least the characters had soul...something the folks at Disney sold to Satan long ago (probably not long after Aladdin...) The same thing happened when Anastasia, another Don Bluth creation, was released. No, Disney couldn't stand that someone was releasing an animated feature without their permission... so they re-released The Little Mermaid (didn't she die in the fairytale? guess Disney sold out on that too) just in a lame, rather obvious attempt to circumvent 20th Century Fox from making any footing in animation whatsoever. Maybe Disney should partner with fellow Bill Gates, who for nearly 20 years has ripped us all off with a product that hasn't changed except it has more bugs now...they could call it MicroDisney...and have a big Mickey head with Bill Gates' face. Nevermind the fact that the shrinking brontosaurus seems to go without food for days... a feat impossible for Roseanne Barr...what to talk of a gigantic brontosaur...let's see... how many TONS of foliage do Brontos need daily to live? Anyone? Anyone? But then again... Disney has never been known to portray anything realistically...after all,the big "bad" herbivores are evil because they adhere to Darwinian principle? Who the hell does Disney think they are? They want us to believe that even four-year olds will buy the same piece of shit more than twice. The early concepts had no english dialogue at all... which suggests either Disney chickened out later and HAD to make everyone talk (to make up for the "risk" they took in making their first film in a loooong time that didn't include faggy broadway showtunes) or that they KNEW the dialogue made this film shit and wanted to lure people in before we'd know what happened. Like that ass Eisner can't afford to refund us our seven bucks for making us all sit through just over an hour of CG crap. I hate to say it, but I got more enjoyment out of that bastard CG idiot creation we all know and hate... at least it was something to make jokes at. To sit through this piece of shit not only took effort, but left me too disgusted to come up with anything funny to say about it. At least Warner Bros. never professed that Bugs Bunny was family entertainment,or even bothered to cater to every ridiculous P.C. whim that has thrown the ingenuity and humor of this diverse nation down the toilet. No, instead, WB set out on a mission to piss off every possible group they could with wit, sarcasm and falling coyotes... thoroughly more entertaining than a botched history lesson already outdone by a low-budget production on the Discovery channel (THINK what they could have done with Disney's Dinosaur budget...or Michael Eisner's annual residential upkeep expenses). THIS is precisely why Americans more readily identify with Bugs Bunny than that stupid mouse, or those ludicrous Darwinian herbivores (how dare they attempt to survive!)... it's because Bugs Bunny doesn't take any shit...and neither should we. Send this reel back up the asshole of the plagiarist who thought it up, thanks. I think I'll go watch Jurassic Park... which wasn't all that intelligent either, but at least scared the living shit out of me once or twice (and had a sense of dark humor and poetic justice... after all, the lawyer gets eaten)... I think that T.Rex should pay a visit to Disney corporate HQ and do us all a favor...don't you?

  • May 31, 2000, 10:56 a.m. CST

    The kids liked it... Nothing else matters.

    by SamIAm

    Read the above subject title. Repeat it until you achieve complete enlightenment.

  • May 31, 2000, 11:49 a.m. CST

    But, why lemurs?

    by Just Dad

    Ok, it's just a cartoon. I can accept that the dinos can talk. But why insert lemurs into the Jurassic age? Even my 4-year old daughter knows that the mammals didn't come along until long after the big dinos were gone. The little hairballs didn't even get a significant role in the film, except as comic relief. I suppose I was hoping that the egg was dropped through a time warp into the future (hey, Disney did it to an entire aircraft carrier; why not a tiny little egg?) where he would hang with the monkeys until Michael J. Fox showed up in his Delorean to rescue him.

  • May 31, 2000, 2:58 p.m. CST

    Shame on Disney

    by Small One

    I am easily charmed by animation. Saturday Morning cartoons are still my favorite tv time (I won't write how old I am). But I find myself increasingly disappointed with Disney Corp. The computer animation in Dinosaur had beautiful detail. At times, in extreme close-up shots, it looked like a live action film. If realism equals good animation (although I don't think it does) then this movie can be considered good animation. So why do the dinosaurs that talk have anthropomorphized faces? Why were they TALKING in the first place?! Dinosaurs were not People. What's with the foreward facing eyes and the strong jaw of our hero? And why, oh Why, are there lemurs? Now I understand that to tell a story about an animal is to anthropomorphize it. We use animals as metaphors to explore ourselves. Just tell me, why does it have to be so cheap in Dinosaur? Must everything look good as a toy?!

  • May 31, 2000, 6:57 p.m. CST

    I'm with Bullington

    by Dierdorf

    Andy_Christ said: > "Making a SINGLE (and only one) exception to the rule for possessives is idiotic." < I'm afraid there are many more than one: its ours theirs hers his mine None of these require an apostrophe (there are others I've omitted). The rule is the same for any possessive PRONOUN. No movie comment, haven't seen it yet, sorry.

  • May 31, 2000, 9:13 p.m. CST

    Um sorry Just Dad

    by Musca_domestica

    "Even my 4-year old daughter knows that the mammals didn't come along until long after the big dinos were gone." Mammels evolved about the same time as the Dinos, during the Mesozaic they never got bigger then cats. The only primates were at the very end of the Cretatious and were like mice. Lemurs didn't evolve untill after Dinos were extinct. Dinosaur is still wrong with almost everything almost all of the Dinosaurs in the movie lived in different places and times.

  • June 1, 2000, 2:31 a.m. CST

    expedition, anyone?

    by lego

    harry drops the name "expedition" without a second thought...what's up with what could be the most incredible film ever? you know, that film that shows what has never previously existed or been imagined? we're all familiar with dinosaurs, we all know what they look like and what they do. bring on the tippett-powered liquivores! or not?

  • June 1, 2000, 3:39 p.m. CST


    by flanner

    That's Henry the Fifth you're talking about there, buddy. Don't sass him off, or he'll get Emma to REALLY claw you up with her "Le n-a-i-l-s-!" routine.You'll wish you had a Carnotaurus on your case instead of that.Okay, so he did come off as a Crypto-Commie,Artsy-Fartsy, Pinko Whiner in CNN'S "THE COLD WAR" but that's no reason to condemn him. Seriously,I wish Verhoeven had taken a crack at this- the thought of breathless dinosaurs sweatingly sliding around Redwood trees like stripper poles would be long remembered.And at the end the Starship Troopers could land and blow the whole place to Kingdom Come (sans power suits and tanks,of course. We do want to give their opponents SOME chance.) Come to think of it, how do we know that those damn Bugs weren't involved in all this? After all, that was a asteroid that clobbered the dinosaurs,just like the ones in the movie that the Bugs could fire-fart around the universe with the precision of spitballs.No the time has come to make the REAL dino movie- 3 straight hours of things being shredded in 3D and Smellovision!We want the children in the audience to require years of therapy afterwords, and won't settle for anything less than 90 percent of the audience to projectile vomit at LEAST once during the showing! HELL- WE WON'T EVEN NEED SMELLOVISION! YOU WILL BE IN THE JURRASIC!!

  • June 1, 2000, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Amazing graphics?

    by Genamarie

    Did we see the same movie? Hello? It was awful! First of all, if you're going to be mixing live backgrounds with CG, make sure that the background isn't completely in focus. Camera lenses subtlely focus between different objects, and so do our eyes naturally. They've done it in animation before (the branch of ants in The Lion King, remember?) and I happen to know there are computer graphics programs that will do this automatically, or at the very least they could have just blurred the backgronds slightly. Having everything in focus at once gave me a headache at once. Second of all, did anyone else notice this, or was it just me because I grew up with this movie, but the entire plot was a COMPLETE rip-off of The Land Before Time. I mean, the members of the herd who get left behind, the search for the nesting ground, the big mean dinosaur. Even the whole traveling egg thing in the begining was ripped off. Yeesh. They think that if they change the brontosaur to a different type of dinosaur and throw in some lemurs that no one will notice? I feel cheated.

  • June 4, 2000, 4:05 p.m. CST

    re: sound

    by junior mints

    It was mentioned in the review that it would have been a better all around film without narration or talking dinosaurs. For those of you who would like to see a true version of this may I suggest going back to the original 1939 version of FANTASIA where the dinosaurs are gradually moving towards extinction to the music of Stravinsky's RITE OF SPRING.(about 20 minutes) In my opinion, this shows a more vulnerable and striking depiction of the dinosaurs, their dominance and their ultimate death.

  • June 5, 2000, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Just You Wait, Enry Iggins

    by Steele Cutter

    Whether Disney has "returned" to it or not, the ingenuity, innovativeness, creativity, and soul displayed in its upcoming feature film will blow you away. I do not work for Disney and am no regular "Disney cheerleader," but it has been a very long time since I have been this excited about an animated film. "Lilo and Stitch" has humor, warmth, creativity, beauty, compassion, and -- most importantly -- *depth and *soul. The (main) characters are quirky, lovable, and real. Believe it or not, in this 'cartoon' the characters have pathos. And that's an exceptionally wonderful and beautiful thing. I wish I could say so much more. This film is the biggest departure for Disney, and while promises to deliver some of the usual kiddie delights (but not all), satisfies every 'departure desire' the hardest of Talk Back Curmudgeons could ever have wished for. Mark my words, this film will not only revitalize the animation studio, but the industry: look for another 'Mermaid' revolution -- only this time the formula won't rely on cheese, but the often overlooked wine that goes with it.

  • June 8, 2000, 9:05 a.m. CST

    Whaddahelldayamean "waste of money"?

    by Andymation

    Whoever says that this film is a waste of money don't know what movies are all about. This movie is a delight for both kids and grown-ups and everyone between, pure and simple........

  • June 22, 2000, 1 a.m. CST

    the KIDS loved it....

    by wookiee

    Your review was right on Harry,but my 2 & 4 year olds ADORED this film.And to me that is who it was for.

  • July 28, 2000, 3:32 p.m. CST

    The Bland Before Time...

    by PonsonbyBritt

    Admittedly, I'd already formed an opinion of this film prior to actually seeing it. Though I was impressed with the opening scenes that were featured in the first trailer, the dinosaurs displaying their vocal skills in the second trailer really made me cringe. The problem, as I see it, is with the visual approach. Had the dinosaurs been designed with a degree of cartooniness, like the stars of "A Bug's Life", I would have no qualms about them talking. However, since Disney was so intent on making this resemble a prehistoric "True-life Adventure", it would have been wiser to let it play out without dialogue. Talking animals are a staple of Disney's traditional animation, and rightly so. The artistic sensibilities of Walt and his animators of the golden era dictated that in order for dialogue to be plausible coming out of an animal, the animal's anatomy, and particularly it's facial structure, had to be adapted to accomodate the necessary lip synch and jaw movement. The natural solution was to "caricature" the animal, imbuing it with more human characteristics, allowing for more acting and expression. In short, "cartooning" it. Whether you employ drawn animation or CGI, the same rules apply. John Lasseter understands this. So does Nick Park. That's why "A Bug's Life" and "Chicken Run" work so well. Personally, I wish Disney had used caricature in this film to some degree. The female lead would have been more feminine and appealing, and the old Triceratops and Brontosaurus characters could have been richer personalities. One last comment regarding the story. Considering how long dinosaurs walked the earth, why was the story set at the time of their demise? Though they succeed in finding the lushly forested nesting ground at the film's conclusion, is it really a happy ending when you know that they'll probably all be dead in a few weeks? Just asking...

  • July 28, 2000, 7:42 p.m. CST

    Kathy's Fantasia 2000 Review!

    by KHN

    I saw Fantasia 2000 a while back in its IMAX form (I live in North Carolina where the only IMAX theater was not playing it, so I had to see it in Florida), and I just thought I'd give my thoughts on it, piece by piece: First of all, before the film, the only pieces that I had actually heard before where Pomp & Circumstance (though only the "graduation" march), Beethoven's 5th, and the Sorcerer's Apprentice. Nor was I familiar at all with James Levine and his style of conducting. So, aside from all of the rumors that I had heard, the film was pretty much cold turkey for me. When I went to see F2K, I was not aware that I would have to sit through about ten minutes of the "IMAX Experience" intro, wherein they show you where all of the speakers are in the theater and just about make you deaf with various SFX. So that ticked me off a little. But then the MOVIE STARTED.

  • July 28, 2000, 7:46 p.m. CST

    OOPS (sound of forehead slap)

    by KHN

    Well, crud nuggets. I posted my F2K review to the WRONG PAGE. Oh, well. I liked Fantasia 2000 more than Dinosaur anyway. Read my review, then start bugging Disney to release F2K on DVD IMMEDIATELY!

  • Jan. 4, 2010, 8:58 p.m. CST

    Avatar was better

    by glenn_the_frog

    I was just looking back at an old, DIFFERENT highly anticipated cgi movie that should have taken the chance to break a few more preconceptions with its graphics, and accidentally found this. <p> And now I'm curious what happens when you post into a 10 year old thread.