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DVD Reviews

HTF DVD REVIEW: We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story

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#1 of 3 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted May 29 2009 - 06:11 PM


Studio: Universal
Original Release: 1993
Length: 1 hours 12 mins
Genre: Animated Children’s Dinosaur Adventure
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Color/B&W: Color

  • English Dolby Digital 5.1

    Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
    Rating: G

  • Release Date: May 26, 2009

    Rating: ½

    With the Voices of: John Goodman, Jay Leno, Rhea Perlman, Felicity Kendal, Charles Fleischer and Walter Cronkite

    Based on the book by Hudson Talbott
    Screenplay by John Patrick Shanley
    Executive Produced by Steven Spielberg
    Directed by: Dick Zondag, Ralph Zondag, Phil Nibbelink and Simon Wells

    We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story is the other dinosaur film to come from Steven Spielberg in 1993. And the elements here should make for a good children’s animated adventure. There’s a script by John Patrick Shanley and a spirited voice cast, not to mention the fun idea of bringing talking dinosaurs into New York City. And yet, this just doesn’t come together. The opening act is an indication of the problems here, including the conceit of a raging tyrannosaur (like the one in Spielberg’s bigger project in 1993) being fed “brain grain” and suddenly becoming a really nice guy. Things go downhill from there, and neither the storytelling nor the animation is strong enough to keep interest going. This is certainly harmless fare to show to children, but there isn’t much substance here either.


    We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story is presented in an anamorphic 1.85:1 transfer that shows the animation in the best possible light. To be honest, this isn’t the strongest artwork I’ve encountered, but the transfer at least gives us a good look at what there is to see.


    We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story is presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in English that predictably places almost all of the sound in the front speakers, but sends some music to the surround channels. The dialogue, music and closing song are clear and easy to follow.


    There are no special features included on this DVD.

    Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish. A standard chapter menu is included for quick reference.

    IN THE END...

    We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story is not a DVD I can heartily recommend, even for rental. There’s just not enough to see or experience, although it’s relatively innocuous as a children’s adventure. My feeling is that most children will want to see a little more than what this film has to offer. Animation fans may wish to see this film as an example of what animated projects Spielberg presented before the advent of Dreamworks.

    Kevin Koster
    May 29, 2009.

    #2 of 3 OFFLINE   TonyD


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    Posted June 12 2009 - 02:18 PM

    The artwork looks like it was painted by Berkeley Breathed, anyone know?

    #3 of 3 OFFLINE   Stephen_J_H


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    Posted June 13 2009 - 01:00 AM

    The film is based on a children's picture book by Hudson Talbott, expanded (a la Jumanji, Zathura, The Polar Express, any adaptation of a Dr. Seuss book) for film purposes. The characters strongly resemble the book's pictures, but are more hard-edged, owing to the fact that the book's pictures appear to have been produced using chalk pastels.
    "My opinion is that (a) anyone who actually works in a video store and does not understand letterboxing has given up on life, and (b) any customer who prefers to have the sides of a movie hacked off should not be licensed to operate a video player."-- Roger Ebert

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