We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story

  • Directed by Dick Zondag, Ralph Zondag, Phil Nibbelink, and Simon Wells
  • November 24, 1993

Voice Cast

  • Rex (Tyrannosaurus rex)-John Goodman
  • Woog (Triceratops)-René Le Vant
  • Elsa (Pterodactyl)-Felicity Kendal
  • Dweeb (Parasaurolophus. Originally intended to be an Apatosaurus)-Charles Fleischer
  • Captain Neweyes-Walter Cronkite
  • Vorb-Jay Leno
  • Louie-Joey Shea
  • Dr. Juliet Bleeb-Julia Child
  • Professor Screweyes-Kenneth Mars
  • Cecilia Nuthatch-Yeardley Smith
  • Stubbs the Clown-Martin Short
  • Buster the Bird-Blaze Berdahl
  • Buster’s Mother-Rhea Perlman

A time traveling scientist goes back to the time of dinosaurs and feeds a few a magic cereal called ‘Brain Grain’ that increases their intelligence and next heads to modern New York City for a series of random adventures. Exactly why? To get some dinos to the natural history museum there. Riveting…

We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story is an interesting concept that by completion feels as if it was half done. The finale is too soft. The villain doesn’t get built up as a threat. His final disposition is rather dark but the darkness of that in comparison to everything else just doesn’t connect. The film stumbles and does not quite find its footing.

Everything feels kind of coincidental. The plot just kind of meanders around and not one event really leads to another. It’s as if things were changed on the fly as they made this movie and nobody went through and polished the script up to make the narrative connect stronger.

Having already gotten The Land Before Time from Steven Spielberg you expect another cute dinosaur movie. And We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story is very kid friendly but it is kid friendly to the point of being bland. What they do is very safe. You do not need edgy, but you need to have things happen to create some interest. The closest we get is why Rex, a kind Tyrannosaurus rex, is golfing but that answer comes in seconds.

The strongest part of this film is the voice cast. Julia Child and Walter Conkrite feature in it as do John Goodman and Martin Short as well as Jay Leno, Kenneth Mars, Yeardley Smith, and Rhea Perlman but an interesting voice cast does not necessarily make an interesting movie.

We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story is a little over an hour, but it feels longer than that. Perhaps because the movie drags since nothing really happens. Louie and Julia are two kids neglected by their parents, but you find out about that aspect in the closing moments of the film. Iam hard-pressed to recall it even being hinted at during the film. A far as I could tell they were just moving around unattended.

I’m not sure if that was necessary though. How many animated features or Disney films or films in general has there been the street urchin or the apparently parentless child?  People just accept it so long as you don’t bring it up too much. Then again nothing would have really happened with the kids it was not for the reveal.

And the time traveling Dr. Neweyes has a radio that can hear thoughts/wishes across space and time? This is a child fantasy science fiction movie but how does that even work? It is also a bit creepy.

And our main villain Dr. Screweyes (Dr. Neweyes brother) lost his mind because he lost his eye so he travels through time doing mean things and exploiting the fear of children? The whole aspect of his villainy is to screw with children’s lives across the space-time continuum. Seriously. There was no grand scheme beyond that. You need to go all The Master from Doctor Who for that? You can screw with lives of others by going to work or hanging out somewhere.

I didn’t expect greatness when I went into this movie, but I didn’t think it would reach something that only achieved barely mediocre. That animation isn’t bad but the story is just not that good. The villain is not much of a threat and nothing really brings the characters together for the final confrontation beyond it is expected. There is no character development to the point each is interchangeable with the other. I am hard pressed to point to a real defining trait for any one of them.

We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story is a bad execution of an okay idea. Very young kids may like this but anybody older than four will have a hard time swallowing it. I say skip the whole thing.

Published by warrenwatchedamovie

Just a movie lover trying spread the love.

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