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:: My Pet Dinosaur

When a young boy named Jake accidentally makes a new friend in an experiment gone wrong a troubled town is plunged into chaos. But with the creature rapidly evolving every day, Jake finds it increasingly difficult to keep his new pet secret. Jake’s friends and new girl Abbie realise they are not the only ones interested in this strange, mischievous little dinosaur and soon discover that the only thing more mysterious than what it is, is who is looking for it.

The film follows a boy named Jake (Jordan Dulieu) who along with his friend Abbey (Annabel Wolfe) find some protoplasma like goo that accidentally creates a dinosaur like creature. The creature (Magnus) grows at an alarmingly high rate and becomes more difficult for Jake to hide from the town and military.

While the premise of the film is quite Spielbergian, the closest thing I could link it to is 2016’s brilliant Pete’s Dragon (one of my favourite films of 2016) and while this does have all of the beautiful E.T and Goonies 80’s feel-good ingredients, writer and director Matt Drummond keeps it in the current age and this helped connect the story with younger kids watching.

Visually this film is stunning, the CG work on Magnus (particularly baby Magnus) is Hollywood standard and for an Australian production provides the best visual effects used in an Australian film to date (a REALLY big call but completely warranted!) Another tough part of a filmmakers job is blending CG with real backgrounds without losing the quality. My Pet Dinosaur nails this everytime and by making Magnus emotive the film succeeds in creating a digital creature that you can attach yourself to.

With so many Australian films aimed at horror or drama audiences, it is so good to see something made that the whole family can enjoy. The acting by the young stars is exemplary and this combined with the beautiful special effects, you get the feeling that this film has a whole lot of love and passion behind it. Creating an engaging and beautiful CG creature is no easy feat and Matt Drummond and his team have excelled at this. My Pet Dinosaur is an astonishingly beautiful Australian family film and is the perfect way to treat your family. I

With MY PET DINOSAUR, Emmy Award-winning Matt Drummond creates a fun family film that transforms the Central Tablelands of New South Wales into small town USA.

After a military experiment goes wrong, young boy Jake (Jordan Dulieu) accidentally creates a small dinosaur creature with the protoplasmic goo he and friend Abbey (Annabel Wolfe) discover. When the creature, who Jake affectionately dubs Magnus, starts to get exponentially larger, it’s a secret he can no longer keep from the military or his soon to be hectic town.

Drummond supervises his own special effects department, using the skills he honed on 2014’s Dinosaur Island. The CG on the baby Magnus is adorable, blending the skin tones and textures seamlessly with a variety of surroundings. Drummond pushes the effects further as the creature grows, and adds a variety of miniature creatures as the military action ramps up.

MY PET DINOSAUR is an amazing achievement, proving that a combination of story-first genre filmmaking can be accomplished using local resources. Delightful and heartwarming,

The cast is mostly made up of unknown actors. However, you may recognise a few such as Joanne Samuel (Mad Max), David Roberts (Offspring) and Tiriel Mora (The Castle).

It was evident that the sets, scenery and actors were all Australian pretending to be American. It was an odd choice, probably forced into action to open the film to foreign markets, because it held back their predominantly young cast from showing their true talent.

Chris Wright’s music is, akin to the images they accompany on-screen, ceaselessly daring, sentimental and magical. There is a certainly appropriate John Williams-esque sensibility derived in the scoring. Additionally, the sound and camera and electrical department offer mesmerizing work. Tina Boody’s make-up contribution is fantastic. This general magnificence is also augmented in the sleek and immersive cinematography.