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:: DINOSAUR

Dinosaur" brings Disney to the forefront of digital technology and sets a new standard for the integration of computer-generated imagery and live-action. With more than thirty different species of prehistoric creatures ranging in size from the twelve-inch gliding lizard to the one hundred and twenty foot long, hundred tonne Brachiosaur, the film is both scientific and fantastical.
Set sixty five million years ago during the late Cretaceous Period, “Dinosaur” follows the adventures of an Iguanodon named Aladar (voice by D.B.Sweeney), who is separated from his own species as a hatchling and raised on an island paradise by a clan of Lemurs.

When a devastating meteor shower plunges their world into chaos, Aladar and four members of his Lemur family escape to the mainland and join a group of migrating dinosaurs desperately searching for a safe new nesting ground. With food and water in short supply and bloodthirsty predators posing a danger, the herd faces many life-threatening obstacles during the course of their treacherous task. Aladar’s innovative thinking and compassion for the ‘misfit’ members of the herd brings him into conflict with Kron (voice by Samuel E. Wright), the rigid and stonehearted leader of the group, and his loyal lieutenant Bruton (voice by Peter Siragusa). Winning support from Kron’s sister, Neera *voice by Julianna Margulies), Aladar reluctantly challenges the ‘traditional ways’ and shows how being adaptable and working together is the best path for survival.
The creation of a ‘photorealistic’ world using more than thirteen hundred individual effect shorts is a visual feast. The opening sequences, in which Aladar’s eggs are carried from its nest on a circuitous route to Lemur Island, mesh both computer-generated imagery and live action beautifully. The on-screen action begins in the swamps of Folrida and travels to the waters and plains of Venezuela, to the ocean off the Australian coastland. The scene concludes on Lemue Island, filmed largely in Los Angeles, with the Lemurs investigating the fallen egg. It’s at this moment that the audience is jolted into remembering that this is a story, not a documentary.
Under the direction of Ralph Zondag and Eric Leighton, forty-eight animators, composer James Newton Howard, and a team of vocalists, supported the emotion and scale of the story. D.B.Sweeney gives us compassion and innocence to the voice of Aladar, while Julianna Margulies brings a wide range of emotion and personality to Neera, torn between loyalties to her brother Kron, and her strong instincts and attraction to Aladar’s unconventional ways. The screenplay, written by John Harrison and Robert Nelson Jacobs, emphasises that survival of the fittest includes having the most compassion. Focusing on the strength of a group over an individual, the ‘fittest’ were those who stayed together. It’s a visually spectacular film, which stretches the audience’s concept of reality. However, perhaps disappointingly, “Dinosaur” doesn’t provide the same ‘multi-aged’ narrative celebrated by “Aladdin” and “The Lion King”.