I remember my aunt taking me to see Dinosaur in the movie theater as a reward for getting good grades on my report card (I was twelve at the time). I enjoyed it at the time and I recently went back and re-watched it. I actually still enjoyed it. The soundtrack is also AMAZING. If you like epic classical scores from movies, seriously check out Dinosaur on itunes.
The main character of the movie is an Iguanodon named Aladar. As an egg, Aladar was separated from the nest, got washed down a river (Moses dinosaur!) and somehow ended up on an island where the biggest creatures were lemurs (Sifakas to be exact I believe). No, lemurs didn't exist back then but hey, lemurs were trendy during the early 2000s. Just like penguins were a thing later on. Now everyone seems to be obsessed with sloths and foxes (thanks internet!). So this family of lemurs adopts the baby Iguanodon and raises him as one of their own. Years later a meteor shower blows up the island except for Aladar and his immediate lemur family who rode on his back as he swam away. Then they meet a whole crap-ton of other dinosaurs in the process of migrating, including other Iguanodons. There is a cute girl Iguanodon (duh) and a douchy alpha male Iguanodon (of course). Aladar makes friends with a rag-tag team of misfit dinosaurs, including an old Brachiosaurus, old Styracosaurus, and an Ankylosaur who acts like a dog. Long story short, they almost get killed by natural disasters and some inaccurately over-sized Carnotaurus, the douchy Iguanodon gets killed because he is a douche, and Aladar gets the cute girl and makes babies with her.
I intend to review this in the same way I did the others from last week. Some commented on how the letter grading system I whipped up was weird but I feel it works well by laying everything out clearly.
Visual Accuracy- This is tricky. The dinosaurs themselves in general are really good. The main characters are stylized a tad. Unlike Walking with Dinosaurs 3D, in which the dinosaurs don't really show expression because they talk...telapathically, the characters in Dinosaur actually move their mouths and show emotion. The Iguanodons, for example, which had beaks in real life, were given expressive lips over the beaks (which then look like teeth) to emote more clearly. The Iguanodons also run on all fours in an almost mammal-like fashion which would probably break the animal's spine in real life.
|Okay, Aladar. Give me...scared!|
The Carnotaurus villains are bigger than they were in life so they could be scarier for the sake of the movie. I am glad they included them, however, instead of just another Tyrannosaurus. In fact, I'd say it was thanks to Dinosaur that Carnotaurus was put on the map as a more mainstream dinosaur. (They WERE really scary in the movie!) Also, the Velociraptors are actually really spot on except for the fact that they don't have feathers (which was officially confirmed thanks to a fossil discovery made after the movie came out.) Other than the no feathers their heads are just like the actual skulls and they are the correct size! I even like their behavior in the movie as small prey hunters/aggressive scavengers instead of the all-too-popular tactical genius pack hunters portrayal. Like in Walking with Dinosaurs 3D, I like how the predators, although portrayed as villains, are not unrealistically violent. They kill to eat, not to kill. They also back off when in risk of being hurt, themselves, like actual predators do.
|Dramatic Carnotaurus is dramatic.|
The setting is all wrong time-wise. The dinosaurs showcased are from varying time periods and continents PLUS modern lemurs which didn't exist at all during the Mesozoic. I read somewhere (I can't remember now where exactly) that the creators didn't want to use actual Mesozoic mammals because they were "too ugly". Really, Disney? You can make ANYTHING cute. Come on.
Like i said, this is tough because certain aspects of the movie have great accuracy, but others are just horribly wrong. I'd say the most accurate parts are the background characters with no lines! C+
Education- Education is sort of lacking here other than the fact that the dinosaurs look good. Like I said above, the Velociraptors are portrayed well and Carnotaurus was made very popular. Unfortunately, actual names of animals are never mentioned except for the Carnotaurus, which is referred to as a "Carnotaur" one time in the film. There are actually plenty of other interesting animals featured not previously seen in pop culture like Pachyrhinosaurus, Pteranodon steinbergi, Koolasuchus, Oviraptor, Stygimoloch, Struthiomimus, and Icarosaurus, but the average person wouldn't be able to identify them just by watching the film. D
|That is a lemur holding a baby Iguanodon as if it were a human infant. It's Disney, baby!|
Take Home Message- This movie's plot and message are VERY similar to Walking with Dinosaurs 3D. Outcast main character gets by not with brute strength, but by using his smarts and being a genuinely nice individual. Never leave anyone behind. Work together as a team to overcome big obstacles. They also throw in the nice "loving families can come in all shapes and sizes" too. B+
This is another movie that a lot of folks love to bash because it wasn't accurate and not 100% on par with every fanboy and girl's personal vision. I still enjoyed it even though I wouldn't consider it an educational experience. Visually it is beautiful, and did I mention the soundtrack is awesome? It's amongst the best epic soundtracks in my honest opinion. Seriously, go download it.
So those are my thoughts on Dinosaur. Hope you enjoyed it! What did you think of the movie? How does it compare to Walking with Dinosaurs 3D or any other children's dinosaur movie? We would love to know your thoughts!