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I have this problem with brightly coloured things. I tend to be slightly naive and never look beyond the shining colours, content only to marvel and wonder at the sparkle and the glamour. Never do I ask myself why a thing needs to be so bright; never do I question the evidence of my eyes until it is far too late. Ultimately this leads to disappointment and then to anger. I did this with a car once, it had the fine lines, the grace and the alloy wheels and I fell in love with it. So in love was I that I forgot to look too closely at what I was getting and it was only when I got it home and looked at the machine in the stark light of day that I discovered my error. The engine was a couple of hamsters running round in a wheel and it wouldn't have got me down the garden path let alone to the other end of the country!

This, for me, illustrates the basic problem with Disney's "Dinosaur." You look at the animation and marvel at the sweeping vista's, the three-dimensional lizard looks, the awesomely fiery falling meteors and the truly amazing expressions on the dinosaur's faces and, having been cuckolded by the looks you fail to realise that the plot's a crock of shit. That is, until you've consumed nearly three-quarters of a bag of popcorn and your eight-year-old daughter is looking up at you saying, "I'm bored."
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Yes the animation is truly breathtaking, but, at the end of the day, what are we seeing? Only Disney could make dinosaurs look cuddly (come on guys, let's get real here, even the smaller ones had teeth the size of your hand - this fact is born out by most of the world's museums!) Only Disney could tamper with the basic fact of natural evolution over one hundred and twenty million years - monkeys (Simians, is the poetically licensed wording in the film) did not evolve on the planet until *after* the dinosaurs, the lemur's depicted should have been VERY small rodent-like creatures and certainly not the tree-jumping furry things with big, round Disney eyes (all the better to sell the toys with grandma) we are shown on screen. Only Disney could mash together the plot lines of their last ten animated movies and come up with the drivel that is "Dinosaur." But anyway, that's Disney, it didn't stop them from changing the history of "Pocahontas", the ending of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" or the basic storyline of "Tarzan", they are Disney and they can re-shape anything, even natural history!

Basically the film is just what my eight year old called it: boring. No amount of wondrous animation or computer-animated trickery can change this because the plot (which I cannot spoil) is so completely vapid instead of original. Baby is born; baby is separated from mother; baby is taken on by another species and grows up; baby (now young adult) and new family experience immense trauma; young man goes looking for "Eden"; young man is taken in by other outsiders and overcomes oppression, racism, bigotry and falls in love; young man leads herd to pastures new and so we begin again. Seem familiar? That's because it's "The Jungle Book", "The Lion King", "The Fox and the Hound" and "Tarzan" all rolled into one. It's not funny, because dinosaurs are not the sorts of things you can laugh at. It makes no statement (how can you make a statement about a species of animal that died out 64 million years ago?) And, unfortunately, it does not appeal to children.

But hey, those 3D animations are to die for...

Jon P

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