Ralph Zondag, Eric Leighton
Baker Bloodworth, Pam Marsden
D B Sweeney, Alfre Woodard, Julianna Margulies, Ossie Davis, Joan Plowright
· Synopsis:[Recommended Reading] The journey of a three-ton Iguanodon named Aladar, who is raised from the egg by a clan of lemurs and eventually reunited with his own kind. With flaming meteors devastating the landscape and water in diminishing supply, the dinosaurs find themselves in a race against time to reach the safety of their nesting grounds. When Aladar comes to the aid of a group of misfits unable to keep up with the breakneck pace of the herd, he makes an enemy of Kron, the stone-hearted leader of the group. Faced with such perils as treacherous rock slides and attacking Carnotaurs, Aladar and his new friends must overcome tremendous obstacles before they can settle into a new life in a beautiful valley.
would assume that by now our culture-rich, trendy society’s habit to make marketable consumer products in the likeness of anything from little green turtles that specialize in martial arts to infinite portrayals of little green men from the far reaches of our Universe (oh, and of course those that live in the ground under our homes) has made you aware of the existence of an ancient species of creature we call Dinosaurs. These fantastic beasts fill our store shelves as toys, grace our clothes in fashion, and fill our books as legend. And in recent times, they have walked our screens in the most realistic visual form known to man ... by the power of movies. While Dinosaurs once ruled as kings and queens of this very same land for millions upon millions of years in a different time, there was an era of suffering that is unlike anything any of us will ever know. One powerfully lingering blow from the heavens above reached down like the finger of God spelling out their fate and their demise. By the end of the cretaceous period, the Dinosaurs would be gone. But, it is in films
like Dinosaur that we are given an creative and imaginative glimpse back to a period that is otherwise just science, fossils, dirt, and a whole lot of speculation.
Disney’s Dinosaur dwells on the period after a mighty asteroid falls to Earth leaving a wake of disaster, death, and inevitable extinction of a an entire species. A group of lemurs and there adopted three-ton ‘Iguanodon’, a dinosaur named Aladar [D.B. Sweeney, Fire in the Sky, Spawn] separated from his family while still in his egg, make up a family of survivors that is forced to leave their ravished home in hopes of finding a means of staying alive elsewhere. Along their journey, they come head to head with a traveling herd that has a similar goal in mind - to arrive safely at their nesting grounds. Being re-united with his own kind for the first time and being threatened by the imposing environment, Aladar and his family easily entertain the idea of traveling along with the group for added protection from the strange surrounding elements. With no water or food and a searing climate, they embark on a journey afloat on a wallowing current of hope while being torn between the helplessness of others and their own need to survive.
The story here is complete in its necessary elements by adding the combinations of flavors being desirable characters, romance, courage, the good and the bad, and the ultimate goal. But, in this same essence, the film does exactly what all Disney titles have always done. It’s almost as if you were to take a collection of Disney films and wipe away the glossy exterior, you would be left with the same old rickety structure that has been tried and tried again. Dinosaur is no different, but in all fairness - this pattern applies to a lot more than just Disney films, although their dominance in this area can not be argued. The writing is pleasing enough to carry the viewer along this expedition and the voice acting of those involved is both convincing and talented, but it is the directing of the onscreen visuals that really makes this film lumber to a new level. With a mixture of live-action scenery, virtual environments, and completely computer rendered characters, the eye heartily devours its candy while the storytelling takes us on a ride worthy of telling. The music adds a glorified presence to the film, but does little in the way of enhancing the experience. Again - in one way or another, it’s always interesting to see the unimaginable, and the asteroid’s impact is not only visually captivating, but coupled with an array of dizzying explosions intermingled with a layer of utter chaos that gives you a diligent sound effects track.
Dinosaur is a colorful marvel of imagery inclined to please the eye of any curious viewer. The story told here has but a few intentions beyond its surface level entertainment purposes ... and that is to teach the obvious and not so obvious benefits of survival when united with teamwork, courage, and a will to find a way. This film will make a great title release on DVD.