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Primal Love: Iguanadons Aladar and Neera search for a new home with their adopted lemur family, Suri, Yar and Plio.

Platitude-asaurus

The Jurassic hero of 'Dinosaur' jumps on the Barney blandwagon

By Richard von Busack

ADOPTED BY A TRIBE OF LEMURS (anachronism ahoy!), a parentless dinosaur named Aladar (voiced by D.B. Sweeney) becomes a Moses who helps his surrogate family of primates into a promised land, shortly after their island is devastated by a meteor. Between James Newton Howard's thundering score and the insipid, sometimes salacious dialogue--something to wake the parents out of the usual Disney-movie torpor--Dinosaur 's story is as flat as its visuals are powerful. As if paying for the parts of the film that ought to delight children, Aladar gives one important moral lesson after another: Share. Don't fight. Keep up with the weakest and the slowest. Here, in short, is the most platitudinous dino since Barney. The dozens of animators handled some real trouble spots in computer animation, in fur and water (some of it faked well with live action). In color, Dinosaur is somewhat less gaudy and faded than is common for all-digital productions. As a technical feat, then, Dinosaur is remarkable; as an overall film it's bland, forgettable and derivative.


Dinosaur (PG; 82 min.) Directed by Ralph Zondag and Eric Leighton, written by John Harrison and Robert Nelson Jacobs, based on an original screenplay by Walon Green and featuring the voices of D.B. Sweeney, Alfre Woodard, Ossie Davis, Julianna Margulies and Della Reese, plays at selected theaters valleywide.

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From the May 25-31, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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