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Disney: Dinosaur

Dinosaur is a unique Disney animated film from the year 2000. It is a hybrid of live-action photography for its settings, and CGI animation for its characters, special effects, and whatnot.

The hero is Aladar, an Iguanodon. His egg was separated from his family through a very convoluted turn of events, and made its way to an island. There, he was found by a family of lemurs, who adopt him when he is born (although the patriarch lemur opposes initially). Time passes offscreen and afterwards we see the adult Aladar living care-free with the primates in the island.

Sadly, meteors destroy the island and Aladar and his adoptive family must make their way to the mainland. Once there, the main plot kicks in and they join a herd of similarly displaced animals who are migrating through the vast, tractless desert with treacherous terrain and scary-looking predators who don't talk. They are seeking literally greener pastures, a valley known as the Nesting Grounds, which is apparently the only fertile land for miles around. The herd is led by Kron, an old, hard-assed Iguanodon — the first member of his own species Aladar has ever met — who insists that everyone follow his orders even if it kills them all. He refuses to make concessions for the oldest and youngest members of the herd, an issue that he and Aladar especially lock horns thumbspikes over. Eventually, Aladar and the herd members he has befriended find their way to the Nesting Grounds through The Power of Friendship, and they return just in time to rescue the rest of Kron's herd from menacing predators and show them the way.

The movie was hyped into infinity before its release - because of the amazing music, promising visuals.. and the fact that clips like this were the first things most people got to see of the movie. When it was actually released, it received a lukewarm reception from critics and audiences alike, and has gradually been forgotten in the sea of CGI films that followed in the years after. Though the movie borrowed rather heavily from similar movies here and there, it's still notable as Disney's first all-CGI picture and still commends a watch for the sheer amount of Visual Effects of Awesome.

It was retroactively added into the Disney Animated Canon several years after its release, as the 39th.


Has examples of:

  • All-Loving Hero: Aladar goes out of his way to help older and weaker dinosaurs, distinguishing himself from Kron.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Url the Ankylosaurus
  • Alternate Animal Affection: Aladar and Neera crossing their necks.
  • Anachronism Stew: Just one example: a making-of article went on and on about how hard it was for the animators to render grass and the lemur's fur — in a movie set during the late Cretaceous. Although it was later discovered that dinosaurs really ate grass.
    • And among the main characters, Iguanodon was from the Early Cretaceous, Brachiosaurus was from the Late Jurassic, Styracosaurus was from the Late Cretaceous, and lemurs did not evolve until the Paleogene (and the characters' designs are based on modern lemurs).
  • Ascended Extra: The pteranodon who's only present in the intro of the movie is part of the main cast in the PS1 game.
  • Award Bait Song: Can Somebody Tell Me Who I Am by Orange Blue.
    • Although included on the soundtrack album in Germany, the film itself (unusually for Disney) has no songs at all.
  • Babies Ever After: The film ends with the births of Aladar and Neera's offspring, as well as every other parent dinosaur who made it to the Nesting Grounds.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Overlaps with Obviously Evil. Kron and Bruton have huge nasal horns, cruddy thumb-spikes, and look like they have been through a lot, but Aladar and Neera completely lack these features. It may be partially justified since the former are much older than the latter, as well as the idea that they've obviously been in more fights.
  • Big Bad: The two Carnotaurs.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Kron is stubbornly (though unwittingly) leading the herd to their deaths, while the Carnotaurus hunt down members of the herd to feed on.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Neera pulls this when Kron was smacking Aladar around in a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. Even Kron gets shocked by this.
    • A deleted scene shows Kron rescuring Neera and the two orphans from the raptors before telling that they might not be lucky next time.
  • Big Friendly Dog: Url isn't a dog,but behaves like one enough for this trope to apply
  • Big "NO!": Aladar shouts it two times.
  • Book Ends: The beginning and end of the movie mirror each other in the arrangement of the nest, the view from inside the broken eggshell, and Yar's Urine Trouble problems with baby iguanodons.
  • Carnivore Confusion: It might as well be retitled "Predators Are Mean Subtrope: The Movie!" Not one of the meat-eating animals seen onscreen talks. Furthermore, they are each designed to look as scary as possible. Carnotaurs in particular have exagerrately big heads with leering eyes and T. rex -like jaws, emit terrifying sounds without pause and are blood red.
  • Break the Cutie: Suri helplessly crying out across the water to the island. She's so young that she's almost definitely never lost someone she loved before. And now... well... they're all gone. And nobody has to explain it to her what it means that they don't get an answer. She knows.
  • Clean Pretty Childbirth: The film has the baby dinosaurs hatching clean. Nobody knows for sure about dinosaurs, but modern reptiles and birds are usually wet and have some residue from being in the egg, until they're able to dry off.
  • Cool Old Lady: Both Eema and Baylene.
  • Crash into Hello: Aladar crashes into Love Interest Neera this way. Except it doesn't stop, and he continues to crash into the rest of the herd, one by one.
  • The Cretaceous Is Always Doomed: Subverted. Since it's a dinosaur movie, we do get the obligatory meteor strike to kick off the plot, but it's not the big one - its damage appears to be confined to a relatively small area, and the dinosaurs manage to survive by migrating en masse to the nearest fertile area.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Eema and Zini.
  • Doomed Home Island
  • Driven to Madness: Throughout the film, the carnotaurs never attack the herd, instead following at a distance. They only eat animals that have died in the journey and were left behind, or kill those who wander away from the herd or lag behind. However, after one of the carnotaurs dies in a cave-in, the survivor is next seen actually attacking the entire herd, against which it would never stand a chance in a fight. Think about it: the two carnotaurs were never seen apart, and worked together despite all the hardships and trials they were going through. They appeared to really care about one another. The carnotaur that died in the cave-in was the other one's mate, the only living thing left that it cared about. It attacks the whole herd knowing it can't win. When it sees Kron, the herd's leader, on his own, it charges him up the perilous cliff, and when Aladar and Neera attack it and force it off the cliff face, it doesn't try to save itself, it tries to drag Aladar down with it.
  • Drool Hello
  • Disney Villain Death: Played straight with one of the carnotaurs (the one that's the Big Bad, that is).
  • Empathic Environment: The storm during the whole cave scene.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Kron with Neera. He shows genuine sadness when she protects Aladar from him. Additionally, the two carnotaurs appear to be a mated couple.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death:
    • A Carnotaurus, before attacking the nest Aladar's egg is located in, actually mauls a Pachyrhinosaurus to death.
    • One of the Struthiomimus that dies on the migration is eaten by Velociraptors until all that remains is a skeleton with scraps of meat and organs hanging off of it. Something similar happens to a pachycephalosaur later.
    • At the end, Kron as a result of him not listening to Aladar ends up climbing a dangerous ravine and is mauled to death by the Carnotaurus.
    • Bruton's is even worse. He gets stuck in a cave-in, and struggles to run out while boulders crash down on him. Finally he buried, and Aladar uncovers him only for Bruton to twitch a little, then die. One of the Carnotaurus dies in the same way, though its remains are not seen.
    • They cut fairly quickly from the carnotaur's corpse, but the lighting makes it look like it was ripped in half from the fall.
  • Furry Confusion: In a movie where none of the characters are (strictly speaking) anthropomorphic. Aside from the meat-eaters, there's the strange case of Url, a little ankylosaur who doesn't talk, sticks his tongue out and pants and drools, and who carries a stick in his mouth everywhere.
  • Gentle Giant: Baylene is careful not to trample the tiniest dinosaurs in the herd. Aladar is this to the lemur clan.
  • Gilligan Cut: "Look at that sweet little face! Does that look like a monster to you?" Smash cut to terrified shrieking and a demonic bellow as lemurs flee in terror through the jungle pursued by a roaring behemoth. It is, of course, only a game.
  • Grey And White Morality: Aladar and the lemurs are clearly good, but the dinosaurs forming Kron's herd are rather grey, since they follow the merciless rules of Social Darwinism but are also capable to altruistic acts and (except perhaps Kron) nobody of them seems to be irredeemable (see Bruton, Neera...). The non-talking predators are not black since they do what they do only for mere hunger.
  • A Handful for an Eye: During the climax battle between Kron and Aladar.
  • Happily Adopted: Aladar.
  • Hate Sink: Kron.
  • Herbivores Are Friendly: The main characters are all herbivores, and the mean herbivore rivals are only trying to accomplish the greater good.
  • Heroic BSOD: Aladar suffers this after the cave-in, feeling that he had let everyone down. But Baylene scolds him for giving up and joins the others in breaking down the wall, and Aladar (whose spirits were restored) joins them.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Bruton, who causes a cave-in that manages to kill one carnotaur and wound the other.
  • I'll Kill You!:
    Kron(to Aladar): If you ever interfere again...I'll kill you.
  • Interspecies Adoption: Aladar is an Iguanadon raised by by lemurs.
  • Inverse Law of Sharpness and Accuracy: None of the Iguanadons opt to use their actual thumb spikes. Kron slightly uses his in his fight with Alador, and only nicks him (with a slash no less). When he does go in for the kill, Neera tackles him. Trying to fight a Carnotaur is done via tail whipping and tackling rather then stabbing it in the neck. Totally justified in that in order to get close enough to stab the carnotaurs in the neck, they would have to have their heads right in the range of the carnotaur's hungry jaws. Also, an Iguanodon's thumb spike is not nearly long enough to actually kill a theropod the size of the film's carnotaurs. A tail-smack is far less risky and may actually be able to knock a carnotaur over long enough to escape.
  • Jerkass: While played quite straight with the despicable Kron, in Bruton's case it's played with. While Kron is ruthless and domineering, Bruton tends to think and be more flexible. He even tries to appeal to Kron's better nature at times. But after his death Kron is not swayed by anything except a beatdown from his own sister. After he tries to kill Aladar just for being right when he was wrong. Yeesh.
  • Last Fertile Region: The Nesting Grounds
  • Last of Her Kind: Baylene the Brachiosaurus. Justified in that this is the Cretaceous, and Brachiosaurus vanished during the Jurassic period before.
  • Make Way For The New Villains: The Velociraptors are the first antagonists encountered by Aladar, until halfway through the film when the two Carnotaurs introduced scaring them off.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The herd when they reach the lake they've been migrating to and it's all dried up.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Carnotaurus was only found in South America, yet somehow shows up to hunt a bunch of Northern Hemisphere dinosaurs. However, this is arguably justified or at least lapmshaded, as Kron is surprised to hear carnotaurs attacked Bruton, as 'they never come this far north' — although that doesn't explain how they've managed to cross the sea that separated the two continents at the time. The Koolasuchus (South Pole) and Oviraptor, Talarurus and Velociraptor (Mongolia) seem more out of place on North America.
  • Morality Pet: Neera is this to her brother.
  • Moses in the Bullrushes: Aladar, though his separation from his birth family was accidental.
  • Most Writers Are Primates: The reason given as to why there are modern-day lemurs in the movie is because Disney thought people needed something cute and human-like to relate to in a movie about dinosaurs. Really.
  • Oh Crap: Kron when he flees from the Carnotaur and realizes that the ravine is too hard to climb.
  • The Outside World: While still in the egg, the iguanodon Aladar gets abducted to the remote island of the lemurs, where he hatches and is adopted. However, a horrific meteor shower obliterates the island, compelling Aladar and his lemur "family" to explore the mainland, just in time for the seasonal dinosaur migration.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Zini.
  • Prehistoria: Critters from Triassic to Recent Period show up, but at least we don't have the stock volcano-filled, hellish landscape.
  • Prehistoric Monster: Only Carnotaurs and Raptors qualify as this. All the other animals either have human-like intelligence or are portrayed in a realistic, docu-like way. Though Kron's and Bruton's look was modified to make them more menacing. However, when you really stop to think about it, the predators weren't just mean, they were starving to death and desperate. Normally Velociraptors wouldn't attack something Aladar's size, but they were hungry enough to risk getting flattened if it meant they could eat. The carnotaurs weren't just monsters, either; they were smart enough to only attack dinosaurs that had lagged behind the herd. The one carnotaur that turns into the Big Bad appears to have been Driven to Madness when its mate is crushed to death and attacks the entire herd.
  • The Promised Land: The Nesting Grounds goes with this as well.
  • Ptero Soarer: Maybe this has been the only real aversion in Fictionland.
  • Raptor Attack: Was almost made an aversion if it hadn't been for the fact the Velociraptor lack feathers. But then again, Science Marches On.
  • Real Is Brown: Played straight with most dinosaurs, which are generally grey-coloured; averted only with the heroes Aladar and Neera, both have pastel-coloured skins.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Bruton, who turns to the heroes' side after being mistreated by Kron and then treated kindly by the heroes. He dies in a Heroic Sacrifice soon after.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Suri.
  • Save the Villain: The true villains might be the carnotaurs, but Kron still qualifies.
  • Scenery Porn: They start with the jaw-dropping prologue (famously used as a teaser trailer) and they never look back.
  • Seldom Seen Species: Besides the lemurs, there's also Pachyrhinosaurus, Stygimoloch, Microceratus, Oviraptor, Longisquama, Talarurus, Koolasuchus, and Ichthyornis. Carnotaurus was made stock because of this movie, as it was this prior to the film's release. Even Pteranodon is an example of this, being P. steinbergi instead of the usual P. longiceps.
  • Small Annoying Creature: Some viewers qualify the lemurs as this.
  • Social Darwinist: Kron, who constantly says to leave the smallest and weakest dinosaurs that cannot keep up behind.
  • Something That Begins with "Boring": "Lemme guess—a rock."
  • Square/Cube Law: Baylene is able to jump into water, which no animal of that size should be able to do. Averted though generally, as Baylene remains much slower moving than the other, smaller animals until reaching the Nesting Grounds. It's also arguable if she 'jumped' or just reared up to dramatically lengthen a single stride so she could send up a wave at Zini.
  • Stock Dinosaurs: Partially averted. The classic Four Dino Band T. rex, 'Brontosaurus', Stegosaurus and Triceratops is absent. We have instead four relatives: T.rex-looking Carnotaurus, brachiosaur Baylene, a small-sized Ankylosaurus and Styracosaurus Eema, and nameless Pachyrhinosaurus, which are smaller Triceratops with a wierd swollen nose instead of horns. We also have several dinos and other prehistoric critters that are uncommon in movies; and finally, Iguanodons as main characters is a novelty. And most of the dinosaurs are accurate-looking confronted with many other popular dino-films. Even Pteranodon is another case of aversion, since it was the poorly-known Pteranodon steinbergi instead of the iconic Pteranodon longiceps.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Averted with the Carnotaurs. Their constant hunting is justified by the lack of food in the area, and neither of them go out of their way to hunt only the protagonists. When one of the carnotaurs is killed, the other does the smart thing and drops the chase. Then later when it's corralled by an entire herd, it backs off in favor of catching the lone Kron.
  • Tail Slap: How the Iguanodons fight.
  • Team Spirit: "Stand together!"
    • Awesomely Truth in Television, as this is actually how most large predators react to facing a large group of prey animals, or even just one, that holds its ground and faces them instead of running; big cats, especially, don't attack from the front. So not only is it awesome, it's actually realistic.
  • Unusual Animal Alliance: A prehistoric version.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Arguably Kron, although his behavior verges on Knight Templar.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: There were two baby iguanodons around here just before that fight...
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Baylene scolds Aladar for giving up on their quest when the cave-in happens. This is also heartwarming due to Aladar being comforted to hear that he gives the others hope.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Kron is completely willing to sacrifice Neera's (foster?) children in order to motivate the herd over the unclimbable cliff. He starts out merely not caring if a weak hatchling died in the desert; by the end he's so angry with Aladar that he physically throws the 'little Aladars' off their feet so hard they almost fall off the wall, all while they're crying in distress and Neera is protesting his roughness.

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alternative title(s): Dinosaur
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