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The basic plot: Four dinosaurs (made more intelligent by a kindly
are given the chance to delight children by coming into the future to live
with Dr. Bleeb at the Museum of Natural History.
Why it works: Kids love dinosaurs (especially big cuddly talking ones that sound like John Goodman), kindly scientists, time travel, and (when given the chance) Natural History.
The animation is good quality, the basic premise is fun, the music (with a surprise by Thomas Dolby) is good and well placed (no one bursting into an annoying song every 30 seconds) and the voice talents are wonderful, featuring well known actors such as Martin Short and Rhea Perlman, voices we know from elsewhere--Walter Cronkite and Julia Child, and veteran Voicers Yeardley Smith (the unsinkable Lisa Simpson) and the remarkable Charles Fleischer (Roger Rabbit).
Some characters needed a little more character...a little more explanation (such as Professor Screweyes--who went mad and turned evil because he lost his eye--??). But hey, this is a kids' movie, right? Let it slide.
Will kids' like it? Absolutely. And the adults? Relax and have a good time, and try not to think too much.
When I was a kid, I loved dinosaurs. Jurrasic Park, The Land Before
Time, (the original, not the crappy umpteen sequels), and We're Back
especially were my favorite movies.
Now when I look at it again, I see that the movie's plot made no sense, the characters were stereotypical, and that it was sappy at the end.
But as a kid, I didn't care. What could be cooler than a singing tyrannosaurus(with the exception of Barney)? I didn't care if the plot made no sense to an adult because it made perfect sense to me. I never wondered why Rex didn't know what lunch was but instantly knew the tune of "Row your boat". I didn't see the average example of "unhappy" children and a villain that was one sided and overly symbolic. I saw some cool kids and a crazy scary guy with a screw for an eyeball that somehow had magical powers.
Because that's what this movie was and is: a children's movie. And somehow in all the critic reviews and hype and over analyzation of movies in general, I forgot what it was like to watch a movie as a kid and to just enjoy it regardless of plot and characters.
I get the same feeling from watching old Saturday morning cartoons. They were stupid, and the plots were ridiculous, but I loved them. Bring on the genetic mutants who know kung-fu and fight crime! Throw in a few aliens and you've got a good thing to eat sugary cereal to! Anyway, I guess the real reason I wrote this review was to perhaps remind people to simplify their lives from time to time, and quit over-analyzing. You enjoy more that way.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
How ironic it is that in 1993, two dinosaur pictures courtesy of Steven
Spielberg would hit the theaters. One of them was a runaway box-office
hit, the live-action spectacular JURASSIC PARK; the other was WE'RE
BACK! A DINOSAUR'S STORY, which came and went without much fanfare. An
animated film from Spielberg's London-based Amblimation Studios (AN
American TAIL: FIEVEL GOES WEST and the underrated BALTO), WE'RE BACK
has been dubbed as a sort of "Jurassic Park, Jr." Actually, that might
be a bit inaccurate, for while there is one not so subtle reference to
the Spielberg monster hit (a marquee theater advertising the movie),
this film has none of the visceral, nail-biting scares of JURASSIC
PARK. As it is a kid's movie, one shouldn't expect too much.
Even so, this "dinosaur's story" is a bit of a curious creation. Based on a children's book by author Hudson Talbott, the movie involves a quartet of prehistoric giants who are taken aboard the spaceship of an elderly time-traveler, Captain NewEyes. The foursome is treated to some sort of cereal that transforms them from vicious but dumb monsters into talking creatures with human qualities (think Barney and his friends). Before long, the four dinosaurs--with the names of Rex, Elsa, Dweeb, and Woog--are whisked to modern day New York City where they meet two children: tough-talking (but secretly soft-hearted) Louie and a neglected cutie named Cecilia, both of who are running away from home. Together with their new pals, the dinosaurs crash the Thanksgiving Parade (which involves a very silly song-and-dance number), escape the police, and get sidetracked by the evil owner of a fright-show circus (NewEyes' brother ScrewEyes)... all before arriving at their destination, the Museum of Natural History, where the dinosaurs are to become real-life talking exhibits for many children.
The plot, such as it is, is pretty wishy-washy, and the routine execution barely elevates WE'RE BACK above anything but your typical, average kids animated fare. The animation itself is mostly serviceable and includes some interesting computer-generated effects, but it's not up to Disney quality... and at times I felt that there were some frames stolen from a more superior animated film about dinosaurs, Don Bluth's THE LAND BEFORE TIME. John Patrick Shanley's screenplay has few lines to appeal to older viewers, much less a plethora of characters one are likely to remember. The four dinosaurs, for instance, are your typical talking animals that, while cuddly and likable, never develop into fully realized personalities, and their supporting co-stars don't get much to do either.
Probably the only character who does show any depth is Louie, the freckle-faced street kid. When we first meet Louie he acts pretty fresh and self-centered; but as the movie develops, his more soft qualities shine through, whether he saves Rex from drowning or befriending Cecilia to cheer her up. He even admits, in a tearful sequence, how he uses his tough demeanor to hide his own fear. If anything, it's really Louie who steals the movie and makes it worthwhile. His relationship with Cecilia (who is less well-defined than Louie, but that's irrelevant) although more romantic than it has to be, is very nicely handled and is the highest point of the film. (The moments where Cecilia flirts with Louie are quite funny.) Equally pleasing is the characterization of Professor ScrewEyes, the villain of the piece. He only shows up in the second half of the picture, but commands his screen-time with devious manipulation and pure nastiness. In addition, his demeanor of tapping into people's nightmares and a hypnotic stare render him a menace to be feared. ScrewEyes may be a bizarre baddie, but he works all the same.
That leads to another problem of WE'RE BACK. The first half is lighthearted (and outrageously unbelievable) silliness, but midway through the picture becomes dark--particularly the scenes involving ScrewEyes' fright-show circus, which are executed in a way that may be too intense for small fry. This unbalanced shift in tone calls the film's target audience into question. Kids in the 5-12 age group should be fine, but older viewers expecting more may find it to be too silly and uninspired. And the very young, too, could be traumatized by the aforementioned scary scenes.
And yet, in spite of saying all this, there is something rather likable about WE'RE BACK--A DINOSAUR'S STORY. Its plot is outrageous, sure, and the movie is little more than just a cute, forgettable time-passer. But it has its heart in the right place, and there are some tender moments--one sequence, in which Rex and company make the ultimate sacrifice to save Louie and Cecilia from eternal life as chimps in ScrewEyes' circus, is genuinely moving, especially when Rex's gentle touch reverts the kids to normal. This is done in a very subtle, effective way that stayed with me for a long while. The voice cast includes some solid performances, too, notably John Goodman as the gruff yet gentle Rex, Walter Cronkite as Captain NewEyes (and yes, he says his trademark "that's the way it is" toward the end), and Martin Short in a cameo as a comic clown. The standouts are Joey Shea, who sizzles with attitude and likability as Louie, and Kenneth Mars (Triton in THE LITTLE MERMAID and Grandpa Longneck in the LAND BEFORE TIME sequels), chewing the scenery as the fearsome ScrewEyes. Yeardley Smith's Cecilia is the one voice I take issue with--she doesn't exactly sound like a young girl, and most of the other voices--Jay Leno, Rhea Perlman, Charles Fleischer, and Julia Child--all seem to be just in the movie for the sake of, well, being there. The musical score by James Horner is beautiful, although at times it does sound like a rehash of many of his other scores (a trait not uncommon with most of the composer's work, it seems).
In short, WE'RE BACK is passable fare as a family animated film; it's cute and funny, but that's about it.
I do try not to take IMDb ratings to heart, but I was flabbergasted when I saw the 5.4 rating to one of my childhood favourites. It doesn't wow me as much at 17, but as a family film this is a sweet and well meaning movie. Kids will definitely love it and won't mind the flaws, and the adults can guess the actor behind each character and admire the subliminal messaging of the film. None of the film was preachy in any way, in fact it has a great message that added to its sweetness. I will admit though that the story is on the thin side, and some scenes like Screweyes's death(which still freaks me out) may be a tad on the scary side. But the animation is well above average with nice colours and good character animation. The music by James Horner is very beautiful, and the song featured is memorable, catchy and amusing. I really liked the characters, Louie is probably the most in-depth of them all, but the dinosaurs were at least engaging. Martin Short's clown was both hilarious and emphatic, the part when he tells Screweyes "I quit!" had me in stitches. My favourite is Screweyes though, an effective villain who is crafty and I suppose intelligent. If anything though, I wish the film kept in the part when he explains how he lost his eye and why he is scared of crows because that way he could've been more developed in terms of depth. The script, while not Oscar-worthy, has its funny and heart-warming parts, and should keep kids and adults entertained. The voice acting for me was what made the movie. John Goodman, Martin Short, Rhea Perlman, Felicity Kendall and Yeardley Smith all gave solid performances, but special mention has to go to Kenneth Mars for he was absolutely superb as Screweyes and almost unrecognisable. All in all, this is a good movie. I don't get the rating, honestly I don't. Sure this film isn't perfect, and it is not as good as a dinosaur movie such as Land Before Time, but it is good fun. 7.5/10 Bethany Cox
this was a personal favorite of mine when i was young, it had everything that was great with 90's kids movies... lovable dinosaurs, cute kids, an eccentric villain, and a few great songs (and not the typical little mermaid/beauty and the beast type songs, but ones that are atually entertaining)! i ran into this movie again recently and i still love it as much as ever! i recommend that everyone of every age should see this movie, and i definitely think that it should be introduced to the younger generations! sorry not the most informative, i'm in kinda a rush... just please, trust me. all who go against this movie are killing their inner child!
This is a cool cartoon. The plot is good, and so is the characters. I watch this movie over and over again and never get tired of it. This is a movie anyone at any age can watch. I recommend this movie to anyone who likes a good cartoon movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
its great i loved it ha cause i love dinosaurs they r the greatest animals but i loved the show cause it wasn't copied from another show and it was a originals ha it has a good storyline and great for little kids (if they like dinosaurs that is) i have a few downs too its not all that great cause of the dinosaurs look a little mutated so i should have had but a 7 but right now is a little late for that yay 4 more lines to go it is great for a fantasy show though warning this might spoil a part for u so if u don't want it to be spoiled don't read on plz near the end is kinda weird cause all they need to do is get dang i forgot what it was so nvm guess its not a spoiler so never mind i loved it and its my opinion and sorry for any missed spelled words if any
This quite simply is a kids Jurassic Park. The jolting scares are gone, the computer/robot/live action is gone, and the story is whittled down to cartoon caliber. In this aspect the movie is OK. It is enjoyable for kids and watchable for adults. Voice talents include people of Simpsons, Cheers, and talkshow fame. The story-line is ok too (of fairy-tale/bed-time story calibre). The animation is nothing spectacular and is not on the Disney level, but that is not this movie's goal. The goal is to bring the world of Jurassic Park and of Dinosaurs to a young audience in a well made fashion. In this case "We're Back a Dinosaur Story" succeeds where other movies; which tried to jump on the Jurassic Pack media bandwagon, like the Carnosaur (goar) series, failed.
I'm 17 and I am a fan of animated films. Today, I decided to watch
We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story just for fun. I wasn't expecting much
from this, but I enjoyed it.
Four dinosaurs named Rex, Elsa, Dweeb and Woog are taken inside a time machine where they are feed Brain Cereal. This turns these ferocious reptiles into friendly, cuddly chaps and gives them the ability to talk. The time machine operator Captain Neweyes (wisely voiced by Walter Cronkite) informs the dinos that he has chosen them to be sent to the present day to fulfill kids wishes. Thats when they are dropped off in New York City.
Yes, I found this plot a bit strange (it's based on a children's book) but it was fun enough to enjoy. This film has nicely done animation, the character drawings are good and James Horner's score is pleasant to listen to. I also liked the voices in the film. The dinosaurs were well casted with likings of John Goodman (Rex), Charles Fleischer (Dweeb), Rene LeVant (Woog) and Felicity Kendal (Elsa). They weren't too annoying either, which is a good thing.
Still, I have to report a few negatives for We're Back!. About half way through the film, the theme suddenly changes from happy and colorful to a scary, dark perspective. I think kids might get a fright or two from this. Another minor problem is that I found it somewhat too short (72 minutes at most). It should have been a bit longer, but it's appropriate enough for a kids flick.
With all that said, We're Back! is colorful, silly and has friendly dinosaurs, things children like. It may not be a masterpiece, but kids are going to enjoy this movie a lot if they can forgive the few scary scenes. "B-"
I wouldn't call "We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story" simply a kiddie
version of "Jurassic Park". I found it more interesting than that. Like
the former, it calls into question the security of bringing beings from
one era into ours. But it really opens my eyes when I see who provided
the voices: John Goodman, Rhea Perlman, Jay Leno, Walter Cronkite,
Julia Child, Kenneth Mars, Yeardley Smith, Martin Short and Larry King.
To paraphrase that: a given actor, the "Cheers" woman, the "Tonight
Show" host, the Most Trusted Name In News, a famous chef, the "Young
Frankenstein" police chief, Lisa Simpson, one of the Three Amigos and
the CNN guy.
But I guess that I shouldn't focus only on the cast. I thought that this movie had something for both children (purely fun) and adults (natural history). True, it's escapism, but the perceptive kind. I would actually say that John Goodman doing Rex's voice here is sort of a precursor to his voice work in "Monsters Inc". Worth seeing.
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