Review Date: May 19, 2000
Director: Eric Leighton, Ralph Zondag
Writer: Walon Green, John Harrison, Robert Nelson Jacobs, Ralph Zondag
Producers: Pam Marsden
Set in the prehistoric times, this story tells the tale of a baby dinosaur brought up by monkeys (lemurs, to be exact). But when a meteor shower sends them wailing onto another island full of sorted dinos, the family must keep up with a herd of the giant beasts, in order to survive and make their way to the nesting grounds.
Hey, I thought kid's movies were supposed to be fun? This one is downright dark, with very few laughs, zero songs and dances, a lame script, computer-generated-looking monkeys, and granted, some excellent special effects here and there. Top that off with a 80-minute runtime (although I must admit that it felt much longer), an extremely strong overall sense of deja-vu, and this film certainly didn't do much to bowl this critical dude over. Granted, the film starts off okay, with some awesome visuals of the dinos, the landscape, and definitely the whole meteor shower scene, but once the monkeys begin their long journey in the desert alongside the dinosaurs, the film really doesn't go very far. Sure, they've tossed in a couple of bogus "bad guys" here and there, but with such little charisma or excitement being generated from any of the main characters, it was hard to actually give a crap about anything that was to happen to them. Having said that, impressed was I with the few battle scenes which did liven the film up a bit, even though I will admit that are probably a little too realistic, even harsh, for kids. The TOY STORY movies worked because they combined many factors, prime among them being awesome scripts, fun and interesting characters and an overall sense of joy and excitement.
This film just felt dry. It honestly didn't entertain me much, save for the fight scenes, and it most certainly didn't convince me to recommend it to a friend. Of course, kids might like it because of the whole dinosaur angle, but geez Disney, why did you have to make it so boring? I'm not asking for a Robin Williams appearance or anything, but slap a few funny jokes in there, ixnay all the death scenes, and for God's sakes, give us some characters and a story which actually generate a little pizzazz. So perhaps your children will enjoy it, but even then, more than likely because of the film's generally spectacular visuals or powerful battle scenes (although smaller children might actually get scared), not the story. I doubt that many kids will want the toys associated with any of the lifeless characters in this film...or remember their names, for that matter. All in all, some great visuals (except for the phony-looking monkeys), cool action scenes, but the lame story and uninteresting characters just drag any fun out of it. I honestly don't know why this would excite anyone after seeing the JURASSIC PARK films. Unless of course, you're in the mood for a dinosaur documentary or something.
Note to studios: Enough with the dinosaur movies!
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian