In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_as_above_so_below_xlg

As Above, So Below

It's that rare found-footage film with a strong premise, a memorably eccentric style, and plenty of energy to burn. It's also poorly conceived, and hard…

Thumb_last_of_robin_hood

The Last of Robin Hood

A title as good as "The Last of Robin Hood" deserves a better movie. In fact, it deserves a good movie.

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Thumb_jrluxpegcv11ostmz1fqha1bkxq

Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Channel Archives

Reviews

We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story

  |  

"We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story" is the kind of innocuous animated kiddie movie you maybe wouldn't mind seeing on Saturday morning TV. (At least, a kiddie might not mind. I would.) But it's too lightweight and flimsy for a theatrical film. It's shallow and kind of dumb, and the animation is routine, and the story isn't much, and the stakes are a lot higher these days in the featurelength animation game.

The movie makes much of its producer's credit: The executive producer was Steven Spielberg, who, of course, made another movie with dinosaurs released a little earlier this year. Less widely remembered, perhaps, is that he also produced an earlier animated dinoflick, Don Bluth's "The Land Before Time" (1988), which was smarter than this film and better looking.

It also went to the trouble of presenting the dinosaurs in what was more or less their natural habitat and dealing with a natural disaster that left a little brontosaurus without its mother.

"We're Back!" on the other hand simply turns dinosaurs into cuddly chums for kids - the kinds of creatures who like to march in the Macy's parade or, if they can fly, take kids on thrilling swoops around Manhattan.

The central story is wrapped around a sci-fi premise in which an avuncular extraterrestrial named Captain NewEyes, who looks and sounds a lot like Walter Cronkite and who can travel through time, gives some dinos magic pills to increase their intelligence and brings them to present-day New York, to cheer up some kids. (The comic possibilities involving dinosaurs arriving in New York to bring good cheer are countless, but this movie, of course, remains oblivious to all of them.) The dinos chortle and smile a lot, like guests at a party, while we meet characters who sound familiar, and no wonder; the movie's voices include Julia Child, Jay Leno and John Goodman. There is, after a long time, a song-anddance number called "Roll Back the Rock," which is the first song I've heard in a long time that I am sure I personally could have written, and performed, better.

The movie has one blessing. It's very short. The official running time is 72 minutes. I think that's stretching it. It was about eight minutes shorter by my watch, although that wasn't shorter enough.

Popular Blog Posts

Different rules apply

White privilege, lived.

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

Ferguson, Missouri: Third World America vs. Atlas Shrugged

An FFC looks at the horrible situation in Ferguson, MO and what it says about where we are and where we're going.

Australian Films in the Spotlight at the Melbourne International Film Festival

A recap of the 2014 Melbourne International Film Festival with a focus on what it says about the state of Australian ...

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus