Rated: G Reviewed by: Chris Release date: November 24, 1993 Released by: Universal Studios, Inc.
Steven Spielberg's group brings four likable dinosaurs to the screen as the stars in his newest animated film.
Walter Cronkite provides the voice for a kindly old professor who uses his flying time machine to transport the dinos to present day Manhattan. They're supposed to meet with a worker from the Museum of Natural History (voice by Julia Child, the old "French Chef" herself), but she's late for their meeting. Instead they team up with a a couple of kids, streetwise Louis and uptown Cecelia. The kids are running away to join the circus, and the odd menagerie end up at Professor Screweye's Eccentric Circus in Central Park.
Professor Screweye is an evil old guy with a false eye and a jar full of pills that turn the dinos into monsters.
The characters are thinly defined, except for Rex, the largest dino, and the evil professor. There's one lively song and dance production when the creatures join Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, but otherwise there isn't much lightheartedness here. In fact, there are quite a few scenes with a dark theme, and the Eccentric Circus with its creepy sideshow-like characters will be especially frightening to younger children in the audience.
The film is also very short; just when there was hope for some needed fun once the professor was destroyed the movie ended. It looks like Mr. Spielberg should put as much care into his animated films as he does to the rest of his blockbusters.
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