Dinosaur (2000)

6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 7/10

Good voice actors

Visuals have already dated, generic story

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Dinosaur

Studio:  Walt Disney Feature Animation

Genre(s):  Animated/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Drama/Family

Release Date(s):  May 19, 2000

MPAA Rating:  PG


It our freakish scaly child…

An Iguanodon’s egg is stolen from its mother’s nest and finds its way to an island of lemurs.  As Aladar grows up among the lemurs he learns compassion and love from them.  When a rain of asteroids causes destruction across the land, Aladar and his adopted family Yar, Plio, Zini, and Suri must fight for survival.  Joining a group of dinosaurs led by an Iguanodon named Kron, the search for the sacred Nesting Grounds begins.  Aladar finds himself in love with Aladar’s sister Neera and at odds with Aladar’s “only the strong survive” attitude.  When the Nesting Grounds begin to seem like a myth, a new threat of the Carnotaurus tracking the dinosaurs could mean extinction for Aladar and his friends.


See…I can roar too!!!

Directed by Ralph Zondag and Eric Leighton, Dinosaur is the thirty-ninth feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classic series.  Following Fantasia 2000 in 1999, Dinosaur was Disney’s first foray into computer animated films.  The movie received mostly positive reviews.  It features the voices of D. B. Sweeney, Ossie Davis, Max Casella, Ossie Davis, Julianna Margulies, Della Reese, Frank Welker, Hayden Panettiere, and Alfre Woodard.

Dinosaur seems like a strange aberration to the Disney animated films.  Over a decade later, it is largely forgettable in the world of Pixar and DreamWorks which evolved at the same time to dominate the world of computer animated films.

Disney did a nice job animating the dinosaurs to give them a very real feel and movement.  The animators then placed the computer-generated dinosaurs in the real environments to make the settings look real.  The effect now however gives the film a strange, detached look that doesn’t have the animated creatures really feeling part of the environment.  This is an unfortunate side effect as special effects evolve.

The gang's all here in the Land Before Time...I mean Dinosaur...

The gang’s all here in the Land Before Time…I mean Dinosaur…

The story is also very generic.  In 1988, the animated The Land Before Time came out and had a bunch of dinosaurs seeking the Great Valley as the age of dinosaurs appears to be over…you could virtually substitute Disney’s dinosaurs for The Land Before Time dinosaurs, but The Land Before Time dinosaurs seemed for developed and likable.  Disney did a good job with the voice actors on this film, but it doesn’t make up for the story which feels like it has been told before.

Dinosaur unfortunately looks and feels like a very generic film now.  The movie pales in comparison to other “dinosaur” films and also feels similar in plot.  The computer animation at the time it was released was very good, but like a whole generation of films in the future, I think it will look very dated…something many of the classic animated films won’t suffer from.  Dinosaur can be enjoyed, but kids will probably like Ice Age films or The Land Before Time films more.  Disney followed Dinosaur the same year with The Emperor’s New Groove.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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