Disney's latest animated feature, 'Dinosaur' tells the story of Aladar, an orphaned iguanodon, raised by a comical family of lemurs. In the aftermath of catastrophic meteor strike, Aladar and the surviving lemurs find themselves joining up with a despondent, rag-tag collection of dinosaurs in a journey through adversity to the fabled Nesting Grounds. The brutish Kron and his second-in-command Bruton lead the struggling survivors. Kron's credo "only the strongest survive" sees him immediately at odds with the sensitive Aladar, who hangs back to help and encourage the herd stragglers.
Not your traditional dinosaur movie, Dinosaur is sometimes funny, often quite poignant, but follows the traditional Disney formula: superbly animated, technically flawless, well scripted and with the obligatory, eye-popping "set scenes" that Disney perfected along time ago. Disney have chosen (quite rightly) to not let facts get in the way of good story, and backed by a stirring orchestral score, it rumbles agreeably along to a triumphant (if not somewhat predictable) happy ending.
The Dinosaur film phenomenon has, I feel, been "done to death" in the last few years. The technology required to bring these cretaceous creatures realistically to life has long been proven, and to paraphrase the mother of all modern dinosaur films, "The scientists are so busy asking 'Can we?' they never stop to think 'Should we?'" The Disney 'scientists' pull it off this time with their engaging story and good mix of stock characters, but I for one would rather see their already proven skills on something a little more original.
I took my 7-year-old daughter, Lorna, with me to see Dinosaurs at the Sheffield UGC to see how the film would match up to her exacting standards. Although she spent most of the "scary bits" with her head buried in her hands, what she saw, she enjoyed (especially the ending) and would watch it again. Second time around, on a small screen, she would probably watch it all.
I give it 7 out of 10
UGC Sheffield. Valley Centre,