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A movie directed by Eric Leighton

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Dinosaurs is a techincal marvel...

  • Jun 15, 2000
Pros: Technical masterpiece...likeable Dinos

Cons: Thin plot line...

This past weekend I took my family (my spouse and two daughters) to see Dinosaurs, not really expecting that I myself would enjoy the movie as much as they would. I was wrong.

Although the plot really has been done before ala “The Land Before Time” (only here we switch the youngsters for an older set of wanders) and the Lion King, the movie was vintage Disney. There was the antagonist, heroic death, the hero/leader, the female love interest, and a lesson to be learned for all. The lesson being that survival of the fittest isn’t always the way to go, and we all, no matter what our age, have something to contribute to the group. If taken in a broader context, this could be a lesson for our society; one that often disregards our older citizens in business and privately, thinking them too old and infirm to contribute anything meaningful. The reverse is often true!

That being said I loved the movie for its technical mastery and likeable characters. The animators at Disney combined CGI computer graphics animation with live action shots for the first time on the large screen and the results were nothing short of breathtaking. The open sequence alone was worth the price of admission. It made me wonder if what I was looking at was real or brought to me courtesy of Silicon Graphics (the company that manufactures the computers most CGI animation is done on).

The story revolves around Aladar (hero/leader) and what is left of the family of monkey’s that raised him (Lion King), after the fabled meteorite strikes Earth and destroys the island along Aladar was living on along with a good portion of the habitable land around it. Aladar and company stumble into a large group on other dinosaurs heading for the traditional breeding grounds in the hope of finding food and water.

The leader of this pack is a dinosaur named Bruton (the antagonist), and Kron (heroic death) his second. Bruton’s sister Neera (the female love interest), at first dislikes Aladar, but then of course comes around after he proves himself a worthy suitor by displaying courage, bravery, and compassion, with a dose of intelligence thrown in for good measure. I will not go into a great deal of detail here for I do not want to give away too much of the plot line.

One thing I learned is that close attention needs to be paid to the youngsters, during the film. My youngest (5.5 year) hid her eyes more than a few times during the movie, mostly during the violent parts—and there are a lot of those in a film with the Disney stamp upon it.

All-n-all though the film was a great way to send 82 minutes of your time. Is it DVD material? Of course, the visuals alone cry out for DVD. And despite the fact that her hands covered her eyes through some of the rouge scenes my little one would see it again in a heartbeat. And that is the final test of any Disney movie!


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About the reviewer
Vincent Martin ()
Ranked #187
I am an IT Professional and have worked in the industry for over 20 years. I may be a computer geek, but I also like reading, writing, cooking, music, current events and regretfully, politics.
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About this movie


With DINOSAUR, Disney breaks a new stride in the technological revolution of computer animation: combining computer-animated characters with digitally enhanced live-action landscapes. The effect is literally unbelievable and the clarity, realness, and definition of the pictures easily make the once surprising effects of virtual reality seem like the dark ages. <br> <br> A dinosaur egg is stolen from its nest and passed along by various birds, animals and other predators each hoping to eat it. Fumbled into a community of kind and nurturing lemurs, it cracks open and Aladar, a baby dinosaur emerges. He lives happily and peacefully among the lemurs, who raise him into adolescence. However, when a natural disaster occurs, wiping out the beautiful rainforest that was their home, teenage Aladar joins a dinosaur pilgrimmage--and discovers his true ancestry--in order to bring his lemur family to safety. Far sweeter and much more realistic than recent dinosaur movies like JURASSIC PARK or even classics like THE ...
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Director: Eric Leighton
Release Date: 2000
MPAA Rating: PG
DVD Release Date: Buena Vista Home Entertainment (January 30, 2001)
Runtime: 1hr 22min
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