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Overall Rating

Awesome: 12.5%
Worth A Look: 23.75%
Pretty Bad: 2.5%
Total Crap: 8.75%

7 reviews, 38 user ratings

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by EricDSnider

"Forgettable. In fact, I've already forgotten it."
3 stars

"Dinosaur" is a technical triumph, the most seamless blending of live-action scenery with computer-animated characters ever seen on film. Unfortunately, what the film lacks is a good story, good characters, and good humor.

No one is a greater fan than I am of Disney's recent animated films ("Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin" and the "Toy Story" pictures are among the best movies ever made, animated or otherwise), so it pains me to say that "Dinosaur" is a disappointment.

The miniature plot has a dinosaur egg winding up, through happenstance, on an island inhabited by lemurs. When it hatches, gentle mother lemur Plio (voice of Alfre Woodard) takes the baby iguanadon into her care, though her father, Yar (Ossie Davis), who runs the tribe, is wary of allowing a dinosaur into their midst.

Except for the absence of Phil Collins songs (and I'm not saying that's a bad thing), so far this movie is pretty much last year's "Tarzan" all over again. The dinosaur, Aladar (D.B. Sweeney), grows up amidst the lemurs, and is particularly friends with young Zini (Max Casella). But he longs to find one of his own species, especially after seeing the lemurs all hook up on the annual mating-ritual day.

Then come fireballs from the sky -- meteors, chasing Aladar and the lemurs off the island, across the water, and back to where Aladar's egg originally came from. They meet up with a group of various vegetarian dinosaurs, all migrating to the fertile nesting grounds under the leadership of the relentlessly hard-nosed Kron (Samuel E. Wright, best known as Sebastian the crab in "The Little Mermaid").

Aladar soon runs afoul of Kron by suggesting a more gentle pace of travel, one that will accommodate aged brontosaurus Baylene (Joan Plowright) and triceratops Eema (Della Reese). Kron is a "survival of the fittest" kind of guy, and he doesn't like having his leadership questioned. He also doesn't like Aladar hitting on his sister, Neera (Julianna Margulies); frankly, I don't care much for it either, since it seems like a tacked-on romance put there just because these things are always supposed to have romance in them.

The best word to describe "Dinosaur" is "forgettable." Where Disney films usually have some amount of humor, there is practically none here. There are no funny characters, or even characters that particularly stand out. The voice work from Sweeney as Aladar is passable, but nothing more; only Plowright and Reese, as the two old dinosaurs, really stand out as memorable, and that's far from being enough to carry the whole movie.

The film is not boring, but neither is it especially engaging. The characters are not annoying or stupid, but neither are they very real or special. In short, "Dinosaur" is an insignificant little film that makes you kind of shrug your shoulders and say, "Eh. Whatever."

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originally posted: 07/03/03 17:41:31
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User Comments

6/14/19 Homo habilis I'd rather be ground to dust by an Argentinosaurus than see the uncanny valley faces again 1 stars
3/23/12 Quigley Painfully unfunny and a very tired story. The visuals and animation are incredible, though. 3 stars
8/30/09 CTT Too close to "The Land Before Time," but still good stuff 4 stars
8/29/08 Shaun Wallner My daughter loves this movie! 5 stars
8/10/06 Dragon The Artist Yet another mushfest, moral laced Disney flick,but Iliked it as a child. 3 stars
7/12/06 Matthew Sutton Hey Joe you suck, Dinosaur is the greatest 5 stars
6/28/06 joe koski BOO you stink!!! 1 stars
11/11/05 Mark Radburn I love Disney Dinosaur better than Finding Nemo. 5 stars
8/17/05 ES Good, the whole 'Dinosaurs as humanitarians' thing was a stretch but the kids love it 4 stars
7/05/05 Ben Farmillo Extremely Well-made movie. A masterpiece 5 stars
2/27/05 Dr. Lecter rescued by its wondrous JNH music 3 stars
1/09/05 Luke Blackadder Dinosaur is more, more more fun than Boring Ice Age 5 stars
11/27/04 Steven Brady Totally Awesome one of Disney's Greatest 5 stars
11/01/04 Mark This is The World's Greatest Disney Movie ever 5 stars
10/25/04 DM Boring, overwrought and preachy - some good bits, though 2 stars
4/25/04 Alex A normal film 3 stars
2/03/03 Turtle Don't gimme that crap about the CGI. See it for what it is: A big pile of dino droppings. 1 stars
1/01/02 Andrew Carden Boring and Badly Worked Cartoon. 1 stars
10/16/01 Connoisseur pathetically boring and uninvolving! perhaps the flattest characters ever in a movie! 1 stars
4/09/01 Gary Looks real, but I have to agree that Disney is dead. Very boring. 3 stars
2/08/01 Mario Rodgers Anybody who grades this higher than Land Before Time needs his brain retooled. 3 stars
12/28/00 Turtle Disney is dead. 1 stars
9/09/00 Jed Over-simplistic storyline is a tiny complaint. A great movie for this year. 5 stars
7/05/00 Mic "JP" meets "TLK" meets "Tarzan". Ordinary, formulaic plot, but awesome animation! 3 stars
6/25/00 Purple Monster "Jurassic Park" meets "The Lion King" !!!! 3 stars
6/05/00 Jed So it has a simple story. SO WHAT! THIS MOVIE IS GREAT! 5 stars
5/27/00 PhilmPhreak See it for the animation - NOT the story! 4 stars
5/26/00 Maclay01 They shouldn't have stared talking - Walt would've done it that way 3 stars
5/24/00 grunter "Land Before Time" done on an eMac - at least they didn't sing this time 3 stars
5/23/00 ladislau masterpiece! dreamworks should hide for a while... 5 stars
5/22/00 k.tomkowski Dumb plot, too naive and predictable even for kids! A wasted chance. 4 stars
5/22/00 The Bomb 69 visuals were the best ever, writing was simplistic 4 stars
5/21/00 Cinesuerte Land Before Time 2000 if only there was a version with no talking that would be a HIT 4 stars
5/21/00 Captain Highcrime I hear in the sequel, the dinosaurs on going to appear on "Millioniare." 4 stars
5/21/00 Blackbird Great CG, but couldn't balance realism with family fare. Gave me mixed feelings 3 stars
5/19/00 John The best movie ever 1 stars
5/17/00 The Rock Mesa thinks the Love Monkey was Jar-Jar Binks II 2 stars
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  19-May-2000 (PG)


  15-Jun-2000 (PG)

Directed by
  Eric Leighton
  Ralph Zondag

Written by

  D.B. Sweeney
  Kiefer Sutherland
  Joan Plowright
  Alfre Woodard
  Samuel E. Wright
  Juliana Maguiles

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