We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (1993) Poster

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Kids, Dinosaurs, a Parade...It just can't lose!
Cari-823 July 1999
The basic plot: Four dinosaurs (made more intelligent by a kindly scientist) 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.
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6/10
Silly and cute, but nothing else.
JTurner825 January 2007
Warning: 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.
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5/10
This Brought me back
Watcher_of_u6 February 2005
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.
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8/10
Wow, what is with the low rating? This was a good movie!
TheLittleSongbird2 November 2009
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
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7/10
These animated features always get more interesting once I see who provided the voices.
lee_eisenberg28 April 2007
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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6/10
not the best Animation but a good family movie
mervclan31 January 2011
well I can't remember much of this film but saying it was good movie with some corny music and silly things but its still fun to watch the story is about Dinosaur who was became a human type dinosaur after meet eating beast and meets a boy who has problens in his life and helps him suit them out and they became best friends but are taken away by a evil mad person who trys to scare people and turns the dinosaur back into a real dinosaur and the boy turns his friend back to normal this story is charming really good to watch all in all its not the greatest Animation ever made because its a little bit short but its still good to watch so if are looking for rare this is one of them you must find I am not sure if it is on DVD we will so find out.

I give this movie a 6.6 out of 10 just because its not awful but great as well its alright to me.
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10/10
i still love it!
oneloveamc7 January 2007
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!
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7/10
A fun dinosaur film
Karlamon20 May 2011
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-"
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cool cartoon
todd2u16 May 2000
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.
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5/10
A kids Jurassic Park
ryangilmer0078 March 1999
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.
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1/10
I really wish they hadn't come back
TheSeaLion26 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
With the family friendly dinosaurs and story, it is hard to not see the connection between this film and the classic film, "The Land Before Time". The difference between the two is that this film has no good qualities, the characters are stupid and boring, and the premise that lacks all logic--and I'm not talking about the cereal that makes the dinosaurs smart, the fact that there is time travel, or the fact that there is a circus dedicated to scaring people.

The film opens up with a bird who is being picked on by his siblings and decides to leave the nest. As he flies away, he is picked up by Rex, a Tyrannosaurus Rex that was one of four dinosaurs brought from the past to the present. The bird tells Rex his plans to join the circus, leaving Rex to tell the bird the story of a boy he knew who joined the circus.

We flashback to when Rex was a monster and is given the cereal that makes him smart. With that, he is brought aboard a space ship where he meets a Triceratops, a Pterodactyl, and a Parasaurolophus, three other dinosaurs who have been given the cereal and become smart. They learn that Professor New Eyes has chosen them to go to the future so they can make children's wishes come true.

With this, the film starts it decline. The first thing to go in the movie are the logistics. There are herbivores eating hot dogs and when we get to New York, it just gets worse. The dinosaurs are in a parade and to show the children that they are real, Rex breaks into song and dance, singing one of the worst and most awkward songs I have ever heard. So, instead of this making everyone believe that they are fake, suddenly everyone realizes they are real and run away. What...? Later on, Professor New Eye's brother, Professor Screweyes, is eaten by his crows somehow. Now, I know in films you need to push your imagination but the film should still be logical in its own universe.

Next, every character in this film is either stupid, unlikable, or both. In fact, the only character who is even remotely likable is the main antagonist, Dr. Screweyes. This is bad as the writers have spent tons of time basically throwing at the audience that you should like the dinosaurs and the kids and hate Screweyes and the complete opposite sort of happens.

The film has two elements to it, dumb and awkward. Everything dealing with Cecilia is awkward, complete with terrible acting (a real shame as she is played by Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson)). Then, everything else is dumb from the characters, to the premise, to the story, to the minor elements of the story.

This family film is awful. Completely awful. Boring characters, a dumb story and premise, character motivations that are cliché, awkward dialog, and it forces the audience to have to throw away all logic to enjoy this film. That is, to me, one of the worst things a film can do and I find it no surprise I find the film to be this bad.
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My hero
eieirish1613 January 2009
I love the Movie We're back!a dinosaur's story! My favorite character is Rex. Don't mess with him, he got the groove. I'm a child at heart, so I enjoy this movie every time I watch it, even now when I'm a teenager. Rex is just one of my childhood heroes and I'm still watching them all. It is a great children's movie. I would definitely recommended it for parents to let their kids watch it. It teaches children that there are stronger feelings than fear, like friendship and love. Also the movie critics don't know a good movie or story when they see one. I can tell if a movie is good or not. I'll tell you this movie is one where kids will want to watch it over and over again!
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Shows moral lesson and love
Maflores625 April 2004
First of all, this animation movie was great, I'm having fun while watching it. Next, I believe the movie showed me some good moral lessons to follow in life. That includes loving your family and care for others not just yourself. Third, in this film,making the dinosaurs good to humans was excellent. In addition, it showed that friendship cannot be broken by evil. Finally, the film was really children's choice because there are many things that we can learn from this. Including, showing compassion,love,respect, forgiveness and having faith on one another. In conclusion, the film deserves a rating of 10/10 because it was absolutely great and memorable.

"Thanks to the actors,performers,designers and writers who made this film possible" Also, they did their best to make this an interesting film and that includes moral lessons.
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3/10
Jeez. Another stupid movie.
pmcollectorboy30 September 2000
Children love dinosaurs. It's somewhat part of their culture. But they've got The Land Before Time. The original. At least that movie had heart. This. This movie is just plain pathetic. Just because kids love dinosaurs doesn't mean you can just slap together any old story and show it to the children. This movie has no plot, the whole premise is stupid, and it's more by the numbers stuff. Not as soul sucking as Theodore Rex, but it's lightyears away from being a Land Before Time.
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4/10
Back with a New York slog
StevePulaski28 March 2013
I just can't see anyone over five truly enjoying Phil Nibbelink and Simon Wells' We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story simply on its own terms. It's a children's movie that works for nobody but little, little children. Even when they're five, by showing them this movie you could be pushing it. I've stood by my realization and claim that one of the contributing factors to a child's growth, development, and success is their imagination and experience to things other than what they're used to. What you find in this film could easily be substituted by a more ideal episode of PBS's Dragon Tales.

The selling point (which also serves as the most surprising name on the project) is executive producer Steven Spielberg, who of course made the other dinosaur movie released in 1993 that deserves no introduction. It's baffling to the mind to think that Spielberg, whose dinosaur epic is now the quintessential motion picture about the ferocious beasts, would want his name stamped all over a kiddie flick with minimal heart and imagination. A better investment would've been to bet on Disney, whose pictures were sweeping up money at the box office like disposed trash. Hell, if he would've waited a few years, Pixar would've been on its way. And then Dreamworks.

But what's done is done, and now we have a mediocre children's film on our hands, bearing the name of one of cinema's finest men. Our story revolves around an orange Tyrannosaurus Rex named Rex (voiced by John Goodman) and his dinosaur friends, who run into Louie (Joe Shea) when they are transported in time to present day New York City. Louie is a young boy, who is running away from home to join the circus and feels lonely and helpless in the world as both his parents have neglected him. He then meets Cecilia (voiced by Yeardley Smith - who voices Lisa Simpson on The Simpsons - explaining why her voice sounds like a blend of Lisa's and Cindy Brady's), another neglected soul, leaving Louie with a source of companionship and empathy. That's all well and good, until an evil circus owner (Martin Short) reveals his plans to kidnap the kids, leaving the dinosaurs as their only source of rescue.

The plot alone makes this a very strange movie. Certainly not frightening to its target audience, but weird it definitely is, consistently giving us goofy situations, a laughable villain, and a repetitive strain of events before the ends credits roll. There's also a rather bleak color drawing style to the film that had me craving the likes of that polished, fluent Disney style. Certain images (like the character's themselves) seem to be over-colored, the color-palette itself is never consistent, and the cityscapes seem as lifeless as the dinosaurs themselves.

And the final point of criticism is the length of the picture, further cementing the fact that We're Back! is as unsubstantial as it is. It credits itself at seventy-two minutes, when in reality, minus the credits (which are slowed down meticulously to try and pass for feature length) it's roughly sixty-five minutes, even making this an inconceivable TV special. The fact that thousands of parents had to nestle in their theater seats for a drab sixty-five minute affair makes me upset in ways just as inconceivable.

We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story isn't detrimental to the intelligence of your children the way some franchise are, put it's not particularly vital either. It's a decidedly random film, featuring one modestly-catchy but forgettable song, repetitive events, lame characters, an archetypal villain, and blatantly obvious voice-acting. At least hearing Walter Cronkite will give the parents something to be entertained by.

Voiced by: John Goodman, Julia Child, Jay Leno, Martin Short, Walter Cronkite, Joey Shea, and Yeardley Smith. Directed by: Phil Nibbelink and Simon Wells.
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8/10
A Childhood Favorite.
peacecriofan25 July 2013
Okay, so as many of you have so eloquently stated, this is no The Land Before Time. You know why? The Land Before Time is a classic, it's my all-time favorite animated movie that still brings tears to my eyes. It's... legendary.

This is a totally different movie with a totally different premise, so no, it's not like The Land Before Time because it's not supposed to be. The only thing that links the two is they both have animated dinosaurs that talk. This movie takes you on a fantastic ride through the wishes of children. This movie is all about seeing childhood wishes come true. And being so, yes, it's ridiculous and a bit beyond the realm of reason, but hey, what childhood fantasy IS logical?

Good points about the movie: The voice acting was wonderful and believable. I absolutely fell in love with Louie's character. He is adorable and the deepest character in the film. I love how he progresses in his character with the help of the dinosaurs (especially Rex) to not only get his wish for a friend but also find there is more to life than being a "tough guy" because the "original tough guy" chose the life of love and heart instead of teeth and claws. The sacrifice the dinosaurs made for the children was very heartwarming. Imagine basically giving up your sanity for a friend. Having a mental illness myself I can imagine that as someone forcing me to give up my medicine to save a friend and I can tell you it'd be a tough decision, a terrible one, but I'd do it in a heartbeat. Thinking of it that way, one cannot belittle that moment in the plot by saying this movie doesn't have a lot of heart. The animation was great but I would have preferred they kept the dinosaurs slightly more realistic when they entered the human world. They looked a lot like mushy balloons to me and as an artist and fan of animation I would have loved to see a film with a more realistic and anatomically substantial set of lovable, cuddly dinosaurs. I immensely enjoyed the scene where Rex shows how he started life as a "monster". That part of the movie and that alone reminded me of the animation in The Land Before Time. It was excellently pulled off. And the other animation was great too but as I said, it had a "saturday morning cartoon" sort of feel rather than an animated movie. The dinosaurs were goofy in comparison to the animation given to the humans. And we can't talk about good things without mentioning Professor Screweyes. I love this villain very much. I wish his character had more development and that they had kept the deleted scene explaining his past. There were some issues I had with the parts of the movie with him in it but I'll get to that later. But I will say this, I will never forget the fear I had as a young child watching this villain. It was wonderful.

Negative: As mentioned earlier the friendly forms the dinosaurs took looked more like the goofy form to me. They could have been friendly and more anatomically correct. I would have loved to see Rex looking more like a friendly version of Sharptooth because I've always found these animals beautiful just the way they are. They took Rex's beauty.

Also I do have a bone to pick with Screweyes and the whole premise of him being a villain. Captian Neweyes told the dinosaurs that Sreweyes was insane and evil right from the beginning. As a child I didn't understand Screweyes was a villain because he manipulated the kids and the dinosaurs. The moment I saw him, before he made the children sign the contract, I thought he was a villain just because he dealt with fear and that he scared people. That is the way a lot of people teach their children. Horror is evil. Exploring fear is evil. When it is not. I love horror, good creepypasta, and even write my own. This movie displays anyone who enjoys fear or dresses in a darker more alternative style as "evil". Yes I know he IS evil and shows this later in the film but the first thing you get from the movie as proof of his evilness is that he runs a scary circus and prefers horror to comedy. There's nothing wrong with a good scare when it's under control. If he hadn't had his backstory deleted it would have made more sense as to why his scaring people is evil. It shows that he scares and manipulates people to feel in control of fear so that he isn't afraid of things himself. A very selfish reason for doing what he does. Without it he just seems like a horror buff for a while until the real "bad" things happen. Even Rex as a monster couldn't find a reason to eat the poor guy.

Overall I love this movie. It will always be one of my childhood favorites and a great memory. It has heart, fear, childlike wonder, and even a tiny smidge of romance. It is short and yes, Screweyes will be horrifying to younger children but I watched it at 2, got a wonderful scare out of it and turned out fine. Sometimes watching the darker animated films from that time is good for kids. A more realistic take on the world than all the bubbly, happy nonsense our kids watch today. If your kids haven't seen it yet I say give it a try.
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10/10
its a great show for its animation great for a family show
gamemaster2x8 March 2006
Warning: 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
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10/10
Timeless
king512615 February 2007
Children from 6 months to 60 will love this tale of friendship and overcoming fear. From the first to the end of the movie it holds your interest. The characters are expressive and the animation is great. The story line is very good and keeps you interested all the way through no matter what age you are. Because of a kindly scientist the dinosaur's have evolved into creatures of intelligence. Then they hear the wishes of children to see dinosaurs. There is a little boy that believes in no one nor trust anyone and a little girl that has been abandon by her family. The kind scientist also has an evil brother that wants to do only evil. And that is how the friendship starts and by helping the dinosaurs the children learn a lot about themselves. The only problem is finding a new copy of it. Mine finally played out and it doesn't seem to be on DVD yet.
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6/10
Announcing the Great Lost Head Movie!
La Gremlin8 August 2000
For the first half or so of this movie, we get the usual cartoon buisiness of some cute goofy dinosaurs befriending some annoying kids. OK, whatever. Then the kids get lost in the park and the movie wanders into new and very weird territory.

This is when we meet Dr. Screweyes. He's an evil magician. He runs a freak show. He collects nightmares and enjoys showing them to his guests. He is also the trippiest thing in a mainstream animated movie since Dumbo met the Pink Elephants.

I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when this movie was being conceived. "Gee, Steve, parents are thinking "Jurassic Park" is too scary (more on that in a sec)! Let's make a dinosaur cartoon with an evil circus and nightmare scenes!" Unbelievable.

So here comes the Gremlin's lil' rant on parents who think "J. P." was too scary for kids. The only "scary" parts they were worried about were of Dinosaurs Eating People and Smaller Dinosaurs. Come on! Kids LOVE that! If kids wrote all of the dinosaur movies ever made, the whole damn running time would be filled with Dinosaurs Eating Things! That's the whole selling point of a dinosaur movie! Sheesh!
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5/10
A very strange, and pretty clumsy movie.
Animated_Antic8 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Steven Spielberg might not be the first thing that comes to mind whenever animation is brought up but, believe it or not, he's actually made a big impact to the industry. He has collaborated on two of Don Bluth's movies, directed The Adventures of Tintin, and produced some of Warner Bros. most famous cartoon shows. He has also formed two animation studios which include the studio Amblimation and its more famous successor, DreamWorks Animation. The former studio only produced three animated movies before closing its doors in 1997 though sadly its films don't really live up to the ones from its successor. I think 'We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story" is a good example of why. I originally watched the film when I was about seven or eight years old and had forgotten about it over the years. Upon rewatching it, I realized how bizarre and strange this movie was. It's one of the weirdest animated movies ever made and that's saying a lot given the kind of movies coming out now.

The movie follows four dinosaurs in prehistoric times named Rex, Elsa, Dweeb and Woog (John Goodman, Felicity Kendal, Charles Fleischer and Rene LeVant), who have been living ordinary dinosaur lives until a futuristic ship arrives and gives them a breakfast cereal that makes them very intelligent as well as giving them the ability to talk and think. They are then met by the pilot of the ship named Captain Neweyes (Walter Cronkite), who informs them that he is planning on putting them in a live exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History to entertain children. However, before they are zapped into a present day New York City, Neweyes warns the dinosaurs to beware of his crazy evil brother Professor Screweyes (Kenneth Mars). Once they arrive in the Big Apple, the dinosaurs run into two runaway children named Louie and Cecilia (Joey Shea and Yeardley Smith), who plan on joining a circus. From there on out, the dinosaurs are in a crazy journey around the city with bizarre adventures to follow.

The film is based off of a children's book written and illustrated by Hudson Talbott. I feel that the source material was just too bizarre and too short for a full-length animated movie. In general, it's a strange somewhat circuitous story to explain, which becomes less about the dinosaurs and more about those two runaway children. It also has too many bizarre moments to even count; notable examples include the films opening scene where Rex is playing golf, and the scene where the dinosaurs are discovered resulting in the police being called in to arrest them. Some of the casting choices also seemed off. Both Walter Cronkite and Julia Child were cast in this movie, but neither seem to fit the roles properly. Although they didn't have lead roles, it felt odd hearing their voices coming out of animated characters. As for the animation, I had some mixed feelings. The scenes were colorful and bouncy, and the character designs are unique and, thankfully, were not an attempt to copy Disney's designs. However, I feel that the digital clean-up could have been better. While watching this movie, it became very clear that the animation was scanned into a computer as I saw pixels around the characters quite a few times. I don't know if this was a home video problem or not, but it was distracting either way. I also felt like they could have spent more time on the character development. The dinosaurs are likable characters and have some quirky charm to them, but they're not as much of the focus as those two children, who are mainly just there to be cute. Louis is your typical 'tough guy' and Cecelia is the stereo-typical girl that is able to melt his heart with her cute looks and nice attitude. Professor Screweyes is also your run-of-the-mill villain; he's just some random evil old guy with no good in him whatsoever. The story would have been much better with an interesting villain. The one thing that was well done was the music composed by the late James Horner. The score is beautiful to listen to and has a sweeping feel to it but it's sadly not enough to hold this movie up.

"We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story" is probably one of the poorest examples of an animated movie with Steven Spielberg's involvement. The film is not horrible per say, but I don't feel it's as strong as any other animated movies he's worked on. The story is very bizarre and strange, the animation looks a little too pixelated, and, in general, the characters are just underdeveloped. I feel that for those that want a stronger animated dinosaur movie with Spielberg's involvement, they should instead look at The Land Before Time and leave this film as a fossil.

Note: This review was originally written and published May 7, 2017 for Rotoscopers "Indie-Mation Club".
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9/10
Roll back the clock to the time when I was a kid!!
jkl_football10 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This film was absolutely amazing! I loved this movie as a kid, and I love it now as an adult. It has a mixture of everything! People are commenting on the plot being unable to make sense. If you really pay attention to the beginning credits you will see that this film is based on a children's book. For a kids movie this film made perfect sense! This movie has a mixture of fun, dinosaurs, action, fear, laughs, oh and a pretty clever musical number! This film is perfect for the whole family! The ending was pretty cheesy but it had a great message to kids! The only cautionary warning about this film is that there is a moment in the movie that is dedicated to ghosts, monsters, and really scary stuff to kids. Prepare your kids for a wild and fun adventure! The voices are perfect for the film as well! John Goodman does a phenomenal job ad the main role! And even Jay Leno voice is in this film! It's Jurassic Park for kids!
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5/10
Eh
Mr-Fusion18 August 2015
"We're Back!" was one of my favorite books as a kid, and I'd already grown beyond the target audience when this movie finally came out; hence the reason it's taken me 22 years to get around to it (having a 5 year-old also makes a difference). My curiosity derives from how many changes were made from book to screen. Not a whole lot, but it's a different beast entirely. The art design is completely different, new characters and subplots to pad things out, etc. It's alright, not really my thing. But I do think it's kinda sweet that Spielberg put out another dinosaur movie in '93 better suited to little kids. It's nice.

One thing that threw me: this thing's got four directors. Is that a record? It just didn't seem like a ship that needed four captains.

5/10
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8/10
Great kids movie, a little scary for the youngest crowd.
ChillPhatCat19 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this when it first came to video, my little sister got it as a gift and I was probably 12 at the time... What stood out for me was the lack of mid-movie conflict that so many movies have, where the main characters get mad at each other because when it comes time to explain themselves they just don't say the one thing that you're shouting at the screen that would make sense of the whole deal, that any person of reasonable intellect would know to say. This is what I like the most about the movie I guess, that the main characters don't do mean things to each other halfway through... they don't break up and make up, they just grow to like each other more as the movie goes on.

These two kids team up and though they seem at first to be from opposite sides of the track, they're not that different. Loui is actually just some middle class kid that needed to realize how lucky he was to have a loving family, and Cecelia was an upper class kid that just needed to prove to her family that she existed and they would miss her if she was gone. Anyway, I saw this movie posted on Hulu and had to watch it again... sure there's plot holes if you analyze the script and no, Woog and Dweeb shouldn't be eating hot dogs since they would have been herbivores in reality.

Now, what detracts from the film is it's unexpected scariness. Little kids under the age of 5 would probably be frightened by the scenes with Dr. Screweyes. And, the addition of him halfway through the movie (though it's blatantly obvious in the first scene that he will make an appearance) is too abrupt... there should be a glimpse of him doing his show earlier in the movie, perhaps to show that it's not that scary without the the dinosaurs. I guess it just lacked any real present danger for the entire first half of the movie, so that it lacks a little continuity when he appears for the second half.

Considering the target audience, who I'm sure can overlook the not so mind blowing animation and dialog issues... I think I'll give it a pass on those factors too, and just enjoy the story. It's a great flick for kid and it does stick in your mind... makes you kinda think about how you treat people and it should be revisited every 10 years I think.
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6/10
A somewhat charming, but strange animated feature.
TOMNEL27 April 2008
After the huge success of Jurassic Park, Amblum Entertainment knew that making an animated movie about talking dinosaurs would certainly be a smash hit. Unfortunately, this movie only took in less than 10 million dollars in the USA, and got mostly poor reviews. I can see why the reviews were bad. This is a strange cartoon, and sometimes, for little kids (who this is geared towards), this can be really scary.

With the scarce running time of 72 minutes, or 65 without end credits, this flick moves at a brisk speed. It has to introduce the protagonist kids, Louie, the street wise tough kid, with a soft side just dying to get out, and Elsa, the sweet little girl who sounds oddly similar to Lisa Simpson. The dinosaurs have to be introduced, including how they became smart and nice, and what they're doing in New York city, and who brought them there. It has to scare the little kids with the evil Dr. Screweyes, a circus ringmaster who has a screw for an eye (hence the name), and fears the dark. There's much more to the plot too, including a dinosaur circus, which might scare toddlers to death, and an amusing scene where the dinosaurs walk through a parade singing a catchy tune.

The animation is quite good in this film, about as good as Disney animation was at the time. The characters are likable, including the dinosaurs, all voiced by television actors, led by John Goodman as Rex, the T-Rex. The story is strange, involving rival brothers, Captain Neweyes, and Professor Screweyes. Neweyes created a cereal to make the dinosaurs less realistic and more cartoony, and Screweyes invented a potion that reverses the effect, which works on any being (including humans). Like many cartoons, this is both corny and cheesy, and parents will be looking up at the ceiling or staring blankly elsewhere to avoid the effects of the corny writing. Kids won't care.

Overall, this is an okay movie, but will scare little kids. Parents won't like it, because unlike Disney, Amblum is only catering to the little kids needs, not the parents.

My rating: ** 1/2 out of ****. 72 mins. G.
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