Disney Reviews with the Unshaved Mouse #39: Dinosaur

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“All that remained of his herd were his mother, grandmother and his grandfather. He knew them by sight, by sound and by their love.”

The Land Before Time, 1988

“That, children, is what’s known as a jerkasaurous.”

Dinosaur, 2000

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the classic Disney movies are a lot like hardcore porn, and I’m not just saying that because putting the words “dinosaur” and “porn” in a blog post is my best chance of scamming a few page views before this “dino-erotica” news fad runs its course.

I’d say “don’t judge me”, but honestly I’d think less of you if you didn’t.

What I mean is, it’s hard to exactly define what makes a Disney classic, but you know it when you see it. Like porn. Even dinosaur porn. Read my blog, perverts. Take for example, Sleeping Beauty and The Avengers. They’re both technically Disney movies in that they were released by Walt Disney studios, but one is considered part of the canon classics and the other isn’t. Why is that? It’s not because Sleeping Beauty is wholly animated, because there are plenty of movies in the canon that are partially or even mostly live action (Saludos Amigos for example.) It’s really more just a question of looking at a movie and saying “Yes…this fits.” Today’s movie did not clear that barrier when it was first released. Disney did not consider Dinosaur  part of the canon classics, which means that by rights I should have skipped over it and should be pissing my pants right now watching the side-splitting awesomeness of The Emperor’s New Groove. But no, Dinosaur has since been retroactively shoe-horned into the canon and it’s all thanks to one person.

You are fucking DEAD blondie.

You are fucking DEAD blondie.

Sigh. Look, Rapunzel? I’m glad you now get to call yourself the fiftieth canon Disney movie. Good on you. You earned it, what with being the beloved fairytale princess character who rescued the flagging fortunes of the Disney studio.

In Disney's defence, it's only the fourth time that's happened.

In Disney’s defence, it’s only the fourth time that’s happened.

I just have one question, Rapunzel. Did you have to ruin my life to do it?

See, I hate this movie. Like a lot. Like, “congratulations Black Cauldron, you no longer live at the bottom” hate it.

Dinosaur was in the works for a long time, originally pitched to Disney as a stop-motion film by none other than Paul Verhoeven. Because, when I think of creators and studios who were made for each other…I do not think of Paul Verhoeven and Disney. At all. Like, not even a little. Verhoeven’s original pitch was for a silent, almost nature documentary film which would be extremely violent and end with the extinction of the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous. And yeah, Paul? Did you just get high and walk into the wrong studio? Disney instead decided to sit on the idea until computer effects technology had advanced enough to create realistic animated dinosaurs and that is your problem right there. People who like this movie always mention the visuals. The whole advertising campaign was just showing the first few wordless minutes of the movie to showcase the animation. The damn tagline is “Like nothing you’ve ever seen”. This was a movie made to showcase special effects technology, not because anyone involved had a story to tell. Which is why everything outside the animation is rote, tacked-on, hacky and mediocre. And even the animation isn’t that great. I mean, I suppose it’s impressive considering it was Disney’s first fully computer animated feature.

Actually Mouse, since it uses live action backgrounds it's only partially computer animated...

Actually Mouse, since it uses live action backgrounds it’s only partially computer animated…


Deep breath.

Okay, I always try to be positive so let me tell you the two things I like about this movie:

1) I like that they avoid the usual T-Rex/Triceratops/Stegosaurus/Diplodocus clichés and actually use some more obscure dinosaur species.

2) There is the kernel of an interesting debate here about a society’s obligation to look after its most vulnerable members versus the greater good of the strongest and fittest. Kind of…the Obamacare debate with dinosaurs.


That’s it. Nothing left but to unhinge my jaw like a python and let the bile gush forward.