(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Dinosaur. Snippets of the score for this film composed by James Newton Howard play in the background, but the music piece that plays the most is "The Egg Travels")
Doug (vo): By popular demand, let's talk about Dinosaur. This is the one, for whatever reason, everybody's been pleading for me to do, even though it technically isn't a 2D animated film. My guess was that the film must be so good that obviously everybody wants me to review it. Um...okay. I didn't quite see it as that but, uh...
Story and reviewEdit
Doug (vo): All right, let's start from the beginning. And I mean, really from the beginning; let's go to the trailer, because this is the first thing a lot of people saw. The trailer was just the first five minutes of the movie with a little dinosaur egg being picked up, and traveling across fields of real life landscapes, and computer-generated dinosaurs. And I gotta admit, it was pretty cool. It got a lot of us really hyped up. But then when a lot of people saw the movie, their reaction was kind of similar.
Young Zini: Yar, what is it?
Doug (vo): Whaa! They talk?! Damn it! I thought they were really gonna do something new, with, like, the animals that don't talk, sort of like in Fantasia, or they do this really adult story, but, okay. Oh, well. You know what? Maybe it'll be like Land Before Time, you know, where it's this really big story and really touching characters and just this timeless...
Zini: What you need is a little help from the Love Monkey.
Doug (vo): "Love Monkey", huh? Hmm.
Aladar: Come on, hot stuff. Let's get goin'.
Doug (vo): Okay, which celebrity is that?
Zini: Girls, I'm known as the Professor of Love.
Doug (vo): Professor? Really? They had professors in the dinosaur age? Yeah, I know I'm probably over-reading it, but for God's sakes, look at this opening! Look at how real they try to make these dinosaurs! They're obviously trying to tell this really, really big story and, I'm sorry, you can't do it with these voices and these references. If it was something like out of a Ruyard Kipling novel, maybe, but...
Zini: ...the Love Monkey.
Doug (vo): Oh, stop saying that! The story, you've heard it a million times. It's Moses again; a young one is driven from his family to be raised by somebody else. Years later, he grows up, but finds something threatens his kind, in this case, a meteorite. So he finally comes across his people and, wouldn't you know it? He emerges a leader. Again, I'm willing to put up with this if they give us something new, but these characters are so bland and so tired. The minute you see the main character, you know what he's gonna be: he's gonna be naive, but determined, a wise cracker, but knows when to be serious. The all-around good role model who cracks a few jokes every now and then. What about the supporting characters? You have the female love interest who's just there to be the female love interest. Yeah, they talk twice and all a sudden, they're, like, laying eggs at the end. When did that happen?
[One of the film's antagonists is shown]
Doug (vo): The jerky leader is the...jerky leader. Oh, wait, actually, we have two jerky leaders, so that way, we can do both story arcs: the one with the guy who realizes his mistakes, and the one with a stubborn jerk who never catches on. Well, great, you gave us two cliches for one.
[Other side characters, mostly focusing on the ones that don't talk, including the film's main villain, are shown]
Doug (vo): You got that weird thing I never get where some of the dinosaurs talk, but some don't, and you could argue maybe they're not as intelligent, but, look. One of them's, like, a dog. I'm sorry, that's really weird. If it was like a different animal, maybe, but when all the rest of the dinosaurs can talk, this is really kind of odd. It's like talking to a person and then another person is suddenly licking and scratching at you. It's, I don't know, just odd. Even all that beautiful landscape we were promised in the trailer, most of it's just traded in for bland, boring-looking desert. And I know what they're getting across; they're supposed to be suffering, the meteor hit, it's supposed to be bad times. But when your story and your characters are as bland as this, the least you could do is give us something interesting to look at.
[More clips, mostly focusing on other side characters, are shown]
Doug (vo): Now to the movie's credit, despite the fact that the story's been done a million times and these characters have been done a million times, it's not...bad. I mean, there's a few things I like. For example, I really like these two older dinosaurs that are constantly bringing up the rear. They know they're slowing people down, but at the same time, they're trying their best to be optimistic and hopeful. The supportive mother, though, again, done a million times, is actually a genuinely likeable character, too. And I do sort of like it when the one leader realizes his mistake, and is even ready to die for it. But for a story like this where obviously they're trying to tell a great big tale with great big characters, nothing much really stands out about it.
(Scenes from The Land Before Time are shown)
Doug (vo): Something like Land Before Time really works because not only is it done with dinosaurs, but it's done with young dinosaurs, and they don't use terms like "the love monkey", they use terms that are a little bit more timeless. And you feel the pain and the struggle they have to get through because they're much younger. That makes the danger so much more greater. And they all had unique personalities, and you could easily gravitate towards them, you could get angry at them, or you can get sad for them, or you can get happy for them. Why is it I always praise this movie whenever I'm talking about Disney films?!
Doug (vo): So, yeah, I hear the film didn't do phenomenally well at the box office, and you can probably see why. But, again, a lot of people really wanted me to do this, so I guess a lot of people out there probably really enjoy it. And if you do, that's awesome. Like I said, I don't think there's anything ethically wrong or really insulting about it, it just seems like a "really been done" story, as well as "really been done" characters. And I know that there's about five original stories that we're all doing variations on and like ten original characters that we're only doing variations on, but the more they can hide it or at least bring something new to the table, that's what makes a difference. And for me, I just didn't feel this brought enough. I didn't hate it, I just couldn't get into it. But, hey, apparently, a lot of people did and I'm sure a lot of people still do. If you're interested to see what some people are talking about, give it a watch. But if the same things that annoy me also annoy you, I'd probably say, give it a skip.
[A scene, showing the egg falling down into a forest, is shown as "The Egg Travels" reaches its end]