Every time Walt Disney puts out an animated feature, it’s hard not to get excited. The previews for Dinosaur looked amazing. The first few minutes of the film were fast and lived up to the hype, but the rest of the film seemed to fall a bit flat.
The animation was marvelous. The mixture of cartoon animation atop a real life canvas was spectacular. The best part of the film was trying to distinguish between what was real and what was man-made.
Dinosaur rotates around an Iguanodon named Aladar who is raised out of his species by a cluster of Lemurs, which looked like early evolution monkeys. But just as all seems well, it instantly changes when meteors bombard their world, devastating the countryside for miles and miles. My problem started before most of the story unfolded. Right from the beginning, there is death. After the meteor shower, there is mass extinction, causing many children in the theater to ask, ‘Are they dead?’ This wasn’t the first time either. It wouldn’t have bothered me had this movie not been geared toward kids. Sure, this is what happens in real life, but what happened to innocence in these films? Nothing is worse than dozens of children crying at a film and parents taking them out into the waiting area trying to explain what happened.
Aside from the film’s death and destruction, there is a story line. It had a lot to give, but ends up pretty weak. The main purpose of the film was to show the importance of being kind and helping others. This was provided by Aladar and his giant sized heart. It’s his heart that inspires and carries the film; it’s just too bad it could only carry it so far. For a Disney movie, this was a huge letdown. As a parent, you may want to wait until it comes out on video so you can fast forward through the parts your kids may not find so fun.
+ charlie craine