Review by Susan Granger
3 stars out of 4
Cinematic dinosaurs have always captured our
imagination. Back in 1905, an early film called "Prehistoric Man" is
believed to have featured the first animated dinosaur. Then animation
pioneer Winsor McCay made "Gertie the Dinosaur" and Willis O'Brian did
"The Lost World." Others followed. Disney showed a battle between a
Tyrannosaurus Rex and a Stegosaur in the original "Fantasia" and, in
1993, "Jurassic Park" introduced the first computer-generated
dinosaurs. IMAX then did a 3-D version with "T-Rex: Back to the
Cretaceous." So this visually thrilling, technical marvel, "Dinosaur"
continues the legacy, ingeniously depicting these giant reptiles with
expressive, distinctive personalities in a wondrous "photorealistic"
world, blending digitally enhanced live-action photography, special
effects, and computer-animated characters.
This story revolves around Alador, an orphaned Iguanodon,
who is raised from an egg by a lively clan of lemurs and, eventually,
reunited with other herbivores in the midst of a desperate
migration. Perils abound - from natural disasters, like a devastating
meteor storm, to brutal attacks by voracious carnivores. Problem is:
there's no whimsy, no light-heartedness. "Dinosaur" is heavy-going
serious in the scripting department, utilizing many of the same
"misfit" plot points as "The Jungle Book," "Tarzan" and "The Lion
King" - extolling kindness, generosity, perseverance and hope - but
with no real villain, no emotional involvement, and no colorful,
amusing characters. Rated PG, it might scare the tiny tots so judge
accordingly. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Dinosaur" is an
amazing, spectacular 7, filled with striking visual excitement. But
it's great splendor in need of some fun.
Copyright © 2000 Susan Granger