By Jacob Montgomery (Texas)
If there ever was a film that had one flaw that sent it from something that could’ve been great, to something so horrendous, it’s this film. This film is a prime example of why studio execs just need to stay out of the creative process because, with only a few rare examples, it barely ever ends up working for the better.
The film is really nothing new, I mean people had seen dinosaur films for kids before, like The Land Before Time, Dinosaur, or if you want to stretch Jurassic Park. This film is a basic generic plot of a young dinosaur, who though an outcast and deformed, manages to slowly become the head of his pack. It’s a story as old as time, but honestly that’s not a bad thing at all. We are going back in time to witness how dinosaurs might’ve acted, and so a very simplistic plot is great, because this is supposed to be an experience. At least that was the idea behind the film.
I remember seeing the trailer for this film and I was very interested. I was excited that this was an animated film that was going to be a great experience and was going to treat kids with respect and intelligence. This was what Dinosaur should’ve been.
Then the second trailer came out, and there were voices. They had put voices in the film. I literally wanted to bang my head against a wall. They had a perfectly good idea and then they went and just ruined it. They ruined it by adding 4 voices.
I saw the film, and my worst dreams had become a reality. When I say that they added the voices, I literally mean that as in, they slapped a voice track over the film, and it was done as lazily as possible. It was so obvious that this was both a last minute change and an exec decision. And the dialogue is often pointless, because it’s either just the characters cracking terrible jokes, or the characters explaining what’s going on to the morons in the audience who can’t comprehend what walking is. Even in Dinosaur they had planned for the animals to talk from the start, they didn’t just tack that on at the last minute.
It really is a shame because it’s clear that everyone else worked so hard. The animation in the film is just stunning to look at. They went out and actually filmed nature footage and then added in the dinosaurs and effects in later and it looks amazing. It truly does feel like this could’ve been a truly immersive experience.
But those voices; those horrible, horrible voices ruin any enjoyment that could’ve been derided from the film. Not only are the voices completely unnecessary, but they are also annoying. Like I said, it’s clear it was rushed, not only in how they tacked on the voiceovers, but in the quality of what the characters are saying as well.
I know that I just gave heavy praise to one aspect of the film and then heavy criticism of another, and you would think that would balance out to an even mediocre. But no, it does not. I really hate to do this, but the one, and really the only, thing that’s wrong with this film is so bad that it completely demolishes any enjoyment that could’ve been attained. Maybe if you watched the film muted and played some instrumental music in the background, maybe it would work. However, with the version I saw, and as a way to punish the idiots who made such a terrible decision, my rating has to be this low.
I hear the BBC miniseries that this was based on is better than this, though I can’t personally back that up. I’d say check that out. Or any of the other better dinosaur films I’ve mentioned in this review.