Disney’s Dinosaur (2000)

This will probably be a short post, but at least I’m writing, right?

One of the weirder arguments that Thomas and I had in our marriage was about Dinosaur. Thomas was very into computer animation (so much so that he considered going to school for it) and so we were very much looking forward to the movie.

And the movie was beautiful to look at. The dinosaurs, the backgrounds, the way the animators integrated the water into the scenery (my understanding was it was easier to just patch in images of water than to get computers to do the math for animating water back in those days).

Unfortunately, all of that gorgeous animation was tied to that story.

Okay. So the movie starts with this quote: “Some things start out big, and some things start out small, very small. But sometimes the smallest thing can make the biggest changes of all.”

And what follows is an iganodon baby, Aladar, being raised by lemurs and then going back to what I assume must have been the African mainland (since lemurs only occur on Madagascar) and leading a motley group of dinosaurs from an area that has been struck by drought and famine to the “nesting grounds” a valley with plenty of food and water, being pursued by carnotaurs the whole way.

We’ll just leave out the natural history aspects, such as that there were millions of years between the iguanodon and the lemur and focus on the ending.

The “nesting grounds” are, as I said before, a valley apparently hemmed in on all sides by mountains. From what we can see, there is only one entrance/exit from the valley. The other exit is blocked by rocks. So, they’re safe from the carnotaurs while in there, but can they leave? I even seem to recall that they blocked the existing exit to protect themselves from the carnotaurs.

While I know that the “biggest change” is that Aladar convinced the other dinosaurs to cooperate, something that he learned from his lemur parents. If he hadn’t convinced them to cooperate, they would have been eaten by the carnotaurs or starved on the way to the nesting grounds.

And that’s great, but the reason that Aladar and his lemur family returned to the mainland is because of a meteor strike. I mean, a meteor strike? Like, the kind that killed the dinosaurs?

So . . . the main characters are going to end up in that lovely valley in Africa during the years’ long winter that was the proximate cause of the deaths of the dinosaurs?

I was left with too many questions and too much doom to just go, “Wow, that was beautiful animation!” and leave it at that. Thomas was very much able to do that and he seemed upset with me for “harshing his buzz,” as it were. I did my best to keep my mouth shut, but it still leaked out occasionally.

For today’s Gratuitous Amazon Link, we’ll do another Percy Jackson and the Olympians book, this time The Titan’s Curse.

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