Every summer Walt Disney releases a big family movie, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Mulan, but this year is a little different. Rather than a two-dimensional cartoon musical, Disney’s latest family flick is a $200 million dollar, three-dimensional computer animated adventure called Dinosaur.
Featuring one of the most spectacular opening sequences ever seen, we witness the journey of a dinosaur egg that falls into the hands of some hairy creatures. And then, after this breathtaking opening scene, the worst possible thing happens – the dinosaurs talk!
The egg hatches and out comes adorable Aladar who grows into a three-ton Iguanadon. He’s raised from birth by a tribe of monkey-like Lemurs. When flaming meteorites devastate the earth leaving the landscape ravaged, Aladar and the remaining Lemurs search for water. They join up with a herd of dinosaurs seeking the paradise of the nesting grounds. Kron, the stubborn leader of the herd drives them relentlessly onward to the detriment of the weaker group of cute misfit dinosaurs. The herd faces the dangers of the desert including starvation and being pursued by two meat-eating Carnotaurs.
While the animation is amazing and the scenery is beautiful, I could never get over the fact that the dinosaurs talk. D.B. Sweeny is the voice of Aladar and fresh off her stint on ER, Juliana Marguiles plays the voice of Aladar’s dinosaur love interest. It’s kind of bizarre seeing two dinosaurs right out of Jurassic Park, basically anatomically correct dinosaurs doing love scenes. Yeah, no joke, love scenes! Kids love dinosaurs, so the simple story combined with the spectacular effects make it a guaranteed huge hit for kids. Adults will notice that this spectacular-looking computer animated movie lacks the heart seen in the “Toy Story” movies. What we’re left with is a special-effects-packed adventure about as deep as the latest animated direct-to-video “Land Before Time” movie. Parents, you may enjoy the scenery but remember the dinosaurs talk, so bring your earplugs.