Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Disney's Dinosaur

I'm sorry, but I would consider this to be the first mediocre movie since the Renaissance era of Disney animation. I have only seen this movie twice and didn't find it that enjoyable to be honest. I'd rather watch Land Before Time any day. Not the million sequels, just the first one. Dinosaur is the second of three movies to come out in 2000, an odd year for Disney. For the most part they've kept their movies a year or two apart, so the fact that three movies found their way onto the screen in one year is astounding. While the plot is mediocre and seems like a ripoff of a certain movie I mentioned earlier, it's still beautifully animated. This was Disney's first completely CGI movie and in terms of animation I think it looks pretty good. Not as good as movies today, mind you, but still pretty good for the time.

This may be a short post since there isn't a lot about this movie and it's not based off of anything. I'll tell you what I can though. Dinosaur was originally going to be a non-speaking film, precisely for the fact that it was too much like Land Before Time. Micheal Eisner would have none of that however and insisted the film have dialogue so it would be more "commercially viable." You can't really blame him. No one wants to watch a bunch of silent dinosaurs trudging through a wasteland for an hour and a half. Direction of the movie changed hands from the Oliver and Company director, George Scribner, to Ralph Zondag. Though Scribner left to be part of Disney Imagineering, most of his story is still intact. The film itself had CGI animation superimposed on real life backgrounds, namely those from Canaima National Park in Venezuela, and Angel Falls. Several ideas were thrown out during production, namely that the voices would not come from moving lips, but instead be voice-overs like in Homeward Bound. They were going to have a shot of the meteor going through space, but that sort of shot was in Armageddon so they got rid of it. Armageddon wasn't the only movie to ruin Dinosaur's fun, as The Lost World depicted the tyrannosaurus as having more a motherly side to it, so having a tyrannosaurus as the main villain was tossed out the window in favor of a Carnoaurus. BORING! Last change was the raptors, who the animators wanted to have feathers around their neck so it would look more like Indians attacking a stagecoach in the scene where the raptors go after the herd. The feathers proved too hard to animate so they were taken out.

Dinosaur was not a cheap film to make. In fact, it was the most expensive movie released in 2000 with a total price tag of $130 million. Disney really needed this to go well. Their gamble paid off, as the film ended up making almost $350 million worldwide. Not only that, but it was not hated by everyone either. Critics gave it generally good reviews, though some critics like Roger Ebert thought they shouldn't have had the dinosaurs talk, as it took away from the realistic effort Disney had put forth. Generally though, the movie was seen as a visual treat and though it seemed like a rehash of Land Before Time, it could stand on its own legs. I haven't seen this movie in a while so maybe I'll give it another chance. I'm sure some of you out there have some fond memories of this movie. And it's not even close to the worst movie of the decade. I'll get to that soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment