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Anime / Doraemon: Nobita's Dinosaur

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1980 version poster
2006 version poster

The movie that started it all.

Doraemon: Nobita's Dinosaur is a 1980 anime film and the first in the Doraemon Film Series, based on the very first volume of Doraemon's Long Tales.

Nobita rashly made a bet with his friends that he will find a real, living dinosaur after being ridiculed by Suneo, and against all odds, he does manage to find a fossilized egg, which he reverts back to an ordinary egg with the Time Cloth. Said egg hatches into a plesiosaur which Nobita decides to keep as a pet, naming him Piisuke. Intending to show off Piisuke to his friends, trouble hits when Piisuke is spotted by a news crew, just as Nobita had started growing attached to his new pet plesiosaur. To make matters worse, a sinister dinosaur poaching organization called the Dinosaur Hunters had taken an interest in Piisuke, intending to capture it alive as part of their collection.

After accidentally sending Piisuke to the American Cretaceous Period, Nobita and friends decides to travel back to the past to collect Piisuke, to relocate him to the correct geographical zone, the Japanese Cretaceous Period. Unfortunately, the Time Machine ends up breaking after arriving in the past, stranding Doraemon, Nobita, and their friends in hostile territory while being pursued by the hunters.

The movie receives a remake in 2006. Which mostly repeats the beats of the original story, but with more action scenes added. Alongside the movie was a Card Battle videogame tie-in (similar to Yu-Gi-Oh) for the Nintendo DS.

See also Doraemon: Nobita's New Dinosaur, a 2021 film released in time of the franchise's 50th anniversary, which had Nobita being the owner of two new dinosaurs.

Doraemon: Nobita's Dinosaur and it's adaptations (manga, 1980, 2006) contain examples of:

  • Actionized Adaptation: While the 1980 original film follows the manga frame-by-frame, the 2006 remake contains more frentic action scenes, including lengthier chase sequences and a battle against a Spinosaurus in the ending.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Due to the manga being in black-and-white, Piisuke's colour seems to vary depending on the version. He's tan in the 1980 film and orange in the 2006 film.
  • Adaptational Badass: In the manga, the sauropod attacked by the T. rex is killed without much struggle. In the first movie adaptation, there's a lengthy battle before it is taken down. In the remake, two sauropods fight the T. rex together, and manage to avoid being killed before the T. rex is tamed by Doraemon.
  • Adaptational Species Change: Several prehistoric animals have been exchanged with a similar, but different genus in the remake, in regards for the latest paleontology at least for the time.
    • The sauropods in the original were Brontosaurus. In the remake, they are changed to Alamosaurus due to the fact Brontosaurus was extinct in the Cretaceous.
    • The pterosaurs in the Aerial Canyon Chase have been changed from Pteranodon to the much larger Quetzalcoatlus.
    • Piisuke himself was a generic plesiosaur that just happened to be from Japan. In the 2006 remake, he is a Futabasaurus suzukii, to coincide with the plesiosaur's discovery that very year.
  • Aerial Canyon Chase: Nobita, Doraemon and friends are pursued by a flock of pterosaurs while crossing a narrow canyon on their take-copters. Things took a turn for the worse when Doraemon couldn't find a suitable gadget in the chaos, then another pterosaur caused Gian's take-copter to fall off, where Nobita had to hold Gian before he could fall to his death. When things start looking really hopeless... comes the Dinosaur Hunters suddenly blasting the pterosaurs out of the sky.
  • All the Other Reindeer: Due to being in a rush to escape from Black Mask, Nobita and Doraemon accidentally deposits Piisuke in the wrong location of the Cretaceous - specifically, in America, resulting in Piisuke (being the Japanese Futabasaurus variety) being bullied and ostracized by Elasmosaurus native to the West.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Black Mask, Dolmanstein and the Dinosaur Hunters are all arrested by the Time Patrol, with Nobita and friends rescued in the aftermath. The Patrol agrees to send everyone back to Japan, Nobita bidding Piisuke a tearful farewell as Piisuke is united with a herd of Futabasaurus suzukii in the Sea of Japan. That night, Nobita remembers the happy times he used to have with Piisuke before going to sleep, but he's satisfied with the knowledge that his beloved pet plesiosaur is now where he truly belongs - in the wild with the other Futabasaurus.
    Nobita: Goodnight, Piisuke.
  • But Now I Must Go: Nobita to Piisuke, twice, in the story. The first time have Nobita and Doraemon realizing they accidentally left Piisuke in the American part of the Cretaceous Period, causing Piisuke to be bullied by the native Elasmosaurus resulting in Nobita's decision to go back and collect Piisuke. The second farewell at the end however is permanent.
  • The Cavalry: When Nobita and Doraemon, riding the tamed T. Rex, sends it on a rampage, the Hunters quickly beat a hasty retreat, only for the Time Patrol to land in their hideout and arrest everyone, including Black Mask and Dolmanstein.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Halfway through their journey, Doraemon managed to tame a random T. Rex using the Momotarō capsules, befriending the dinosaur into giving them a ride past a valley. Towards the end of the story when Nobita and Doraemon are trapped by the Hunters' arena, with Shizuka, Gian and Suneo about to be devoured by a captured T. Rex... surprisingly, that T. Rex is the exact one tamed by Doraemon a few days and hundreds of miles ago, somehow. It could be due to the fact that the Hunters were indeed trailing Nobita and gang and captured that T. Rex offscreen at the same time, but the revelation still felt a bit too coincidental.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Expected from the first movie in the franchise:
    • Doraemon movies are known for throwing Nobita and pals into dangerous situations, where they then arm themselves to the teeth with assorted gadgets and begins kicking ass. So it might seem odd nothing like that happens in this one; most of the adventure involves Nobita and gang traveling across the Cretaceous landscape and actually fleeing from dangers, with the only gadgets featured being the Takecopter, Momotarō capsules and Shrink Light note . Even the climatic final battle doesn't play out like other movies - Doraemon and Nobita merely intends to steal the Dinosaur Hunter's Time Machine and escape, only for Deus ex Machina to kick in when they met the same T-Rex they fed the Momotarō capsules earlier; in subsequent films the gang would instead utilize weapon-based gadgets like the Stun Pistol and Air Cannon and fight their way in and out.
    • Despite the Dinosaur Hunters being legitimately dangerous villains, the movie's stakes are actually smaller in scale involving only Nobita and gang exposed to dangers. Later movies involves the gang preventing apocalyptic threats, either on earth or another newly-introduced world (compare the next movie where Doraemon and Nobita must stop a planet from being detonated) or preventing villains from the future from rewriting history.
    • The major conflict of the story (Nobita and friends getting stranded in the past) doesn't happen until halfway through, with the story's first half following the usual Slice of Life antics from the anime shorts. Nobita and friends also seems somewhat reluctant to partake in this adventure (visibly hesitating when Doraemon tells them maybe they should spend a few days camping in Prehistoric times while trying to hide the fact that their Time Machine is broken), in comparison to later movies where they Jumped at the Call straightaway.
    • The animation for the 1980 original also resembles closer to the TV series, since it takes a while before the franchise applies Animation Bump on their theatrical movies, which the remake rectify with bigger animation budget.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The Dinosaur Hunters' hideout is located underground and camouflaged by a Cretaceous-era forest above, allowing them to evade authorities from the Time Patrol. They did momentarily reveal themselves to have Nobita and Doraemon - looking for the captured Shizuka, Gian and Suneo - infiltrate their base only to be Lured into a Trap, but their few moments' of exposure leads to them being spotted by the Time Patrol.
  • Food Slap: After Nobita had delivered Piisuke back to the Cretaceous Period (out of necessity, since local scientists are about to excavate the pool in the park where Piisuke is hidden) Suneo and Gian then remind Nobita about his bet... that he would eat spaghetti with his nose for failing to produce a real dinosaur. When Nobita insists he's telling the truth, he has his face shoved into spaghetti.
  • Head Pet: A few panels of the manga, and the anime adaptations, would depict Piisuke (back when he was still a tiny infant dinosaur, of course) riding on Nobita's head.
  • I Owe You My Life: After Black Mask made his offer to send everyone back home in exchange of Piisuke, Suneo is totally in favor of selling out Piisuke and asks Gian about his opinions. Despite the two of them being buds, Gian absolutely refused to surrender Piisuke, knowing how much Nobita valued it and just before, Nobita kept him alive when his take-copter fell off during the previous Aerial Canyon Chase.
  • Inevitable Waterfall: After the gang's plan to distract the Hunters via remote-controlled racecars failed, they end up having their river escape route busted by the hunters, with Dolmanstein firing on their raft breaking it into two. The half carrying Shizuka, Gian and Suneo hits a rock, resulting in the three of them getting captured alive, while the other half carrying Doraemon, Nobita and Piisuke goes down a waterfall (which they barely survives if not for Doraemon taking out the Good Luck Charm in time).
  • It's Personal with the Dragon: While Dolmanstein the dinosaur-collecting billionaire who funded the Hunters' operations in illicit poaching of dinosaurs is the story's true Big Bad, his dragon, Black Mask, is the one Nobita and Doraemon had a personal beef with, being the one constantly stalking Nobita and friends, attempting to take Piisuke by force, and putting the main characters in constant danger in order to make them surrender their pet dinosaur.
  • Plot-Relevant Age-Up: In order to get Piisuke to grow up fast (so that Nobita can have a 10-meter tall actual dinosaur to show off to his friends) Doraemon decides to feed Piisuke growth-acceleration vitamins from the future. They did not take into account of Piisuke's growing diet in the process...
  • Privilege Makes You Evil: The Big Bad employing the Dinosaur Hunters is Chairman Dolmanstein, a billionaire Rich Jerk from the future whose mansion include a display room crammed with taxidermized dinosaur heads and completed dinosaur skeletons, who seeks to make his collection even bigger, having his sights set on Nobita's pet plesiosaur, Piisuke.
  • Rash Promise: Early in the story, Nobita, after being refused a closer look at Suneo's dinosaur fossil collection while at Suneo's house, angrily announces that he's going to find a real dinosaur. He did, eventually, when he picks up a fossilised egg at random and reverts it with the Time Cloth. When Suneo and Gian repeatedly taunts Nobita about his promise to produce a real, living dinosaur (oblivious that Nobita does have a pet plesiosaur, the baby Piisuke), an angered Nobita rashly shouts that if he's lying, he'll eat spaghetti with his nose. Little did he know Gian and Suneo remembered that promise after Nobita had released Piisuke into the Cretaceous.
  • Rummage Fail: The Running Gag from the manga shorts gets carried over into the first movie with Doraemon failing to produce the appropriate gadgets more than once in the adventure. The worst time it happens, though, is when the gang is being pursued by ferocious pterosaurs in a narrow gorge and Doraemon repeatedly takes out useless junk while looking for a gadget. He does manage to produce the Momotarō capsules... moments before a stray pterosaur knocks it out of his hand into a gorge before he can use it.
  • Secret Pet Plot: Nobita becomes the owner of an infant futubasaurus (a Japanese plesiosaurus breed) which he decides to name "Pisuke", but problems with trying to keep a baby dinosaur in the house arises, from Nobita trying to hide Pisuke in the bathtub (and freaking out when his father Nobisuke tries taking a hot bath), to throwing himself into his own kiddie pool when Tamako tries investigating what Nobita's attempting to hide, eventually resorting to Nobita sneaking Pisuke into the local park's lake when Pisuke becomes too large to hide. Alas, the media soon mistook Pisuke to be a Stock Ness Monster and tries draining the lake, and Nobita (with Doraemon and friends in tow) eventually decide to release Pisuke into the Cretaceous Era via Time Machine.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Due to many discoveries of feathered dinosaurs having been made by the time of the 2006 remake's release, the Ornithomimus are redesigned with feathers complete with wings. Pretty commendable, since ornithomimid wings weren't discovered until after the film was made.
    • Also in the remake, a Pteranodon was shown plunge-diving for fish just like a gannet.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In the manga and first movie, one of the sauropods is killed by the T. rex. In the remake, Doraemon tames the T. rex before it kills any of the sauropods.
  • Spinosaurus Versus T. rex: In the 2006 remake (not the 1980 film, since the Jurassic Park series doesn't even exist at that point), after Nobita and Doraemon made an escape on the domesticated T. rex, they have to do battle with the Hunters' pet Spinosaurus, which the T. rex wins.
  • Stock Ness Monster: Nobita's attempts to hide Piisuke in the local garden's lake doesn't really work, to be honest. It doesn't take long for passing locals to witness what appears to be a plesiosaur in the middle of Tokyo and for Piisuke to become a Loch Ness-esque legend in the city.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: The T. rex that attacks a herd of sauropods while the gang is near, despite being moments in killing an adult sauropod, feels the need to come after Shizuka (who's trying to save a baby sauropod), Nobita and Piisuke (a relatively tiny reptile compared to the T. rex), despite having a sauropod at its mercy nearby. Thankfully Doraemon managed to find his Momotaro capsules (after some Rummage Fail) in time! It's more justified in the remake, where the T. rex decides to go for easier targets as the Alamosaurus proved to be too much for it to handle.
  • Taxonomic Term Confusion: Piisuke is really a plesiosaur and not a dinosaur. This would mean Nobita technically DID lie about having a real, living dinosaur.
  • They Would Cut You Up: Referenced, when Nobita starts feeling a special bond with his new pet, Piisuke, and tells Doraemon he's going to take Piisuke out for a walk and amaze all his friends; Doraemon reminds him that this will only attract media attention, leading to the government, scientists and paparazis trying to steal Piisuke for themselves to study - and possibly dissect - if news of Piisuke's existance becomes public. At which point Nobita changed his mind resolving to have Piisuke kept as a secret and delivered back to the Cretaceous Period where it belongs when all is said and done.
  • Trapped in the Past: The collective fates of Nobita, Doraemon and all their friends after the Time Machine is damaged by a stray shot from Black Mask during a chase through the Time Zone. While Nobita rendezvous with Piisuke and shows his friends he's telling the truth about owning a true dinosaur, after all, Doraemon stays beside the Time Machine to assess the damage... and realize it's no longer functioning.
  • Truer to the Text:
    • Piisuke trying to shield Shizuka and the baby sauropod from the T. rex happens in both the manga and remake, but not in the first movie adaptation.
    • In the remake, the argument the gang have over whether to hand Piisuke to the dinosaur hunters is closer to the original manga. (Most noticeably, the remake and manga both have Gian staying silent for most of the conversation before standing up in support of not handing Piisuke over. In the first movie, he wonders whether being kept in a rich person's swimming pool would really be so bad for Piisuke, a line that was originally spoken by Suneo in the manga.)
    • In the manga and remake, Nobita leaves Piisuke outside of the dinosaur hunters' lair while he and Doraemon sneak in. In the first movie, he carries a shrunken Piisuke in his pocket with him.
  • Trumplica: The 2006 remake featuring Dolmanstein (a billionaire who collects taxidermized dinosaurs and employs ruthless hunters to kill for sport) seems be modeled based on pre-President-era Donald Trump, looking a lot like Trump's anime counterpart. Here's a screenshot for reference.
  • Unpleasant Animal Counterpart: The Elasmosaurus are this to the Futabasaurus, being bigger in both size and teeth.
  • Unwilling Suspension: In the manga and first movie, the fates of Gian, Suneo and Shizuka after being captured alive by the Dinosaur Hunters, where they're hung from a set of girders in an arena where a hungry T. rex is about to be released into the area. Against all odds, though, that T. rex turns out to be the same dinosaur whom had consumed Doraemon's Momotarō pills much earlier in the story. In the remake, Gian, Suneo, and Shizuka are trapped inside a cage instead.
  • We Need a Distraction: In order to distract the Hunters while they infiltrate their hideout via river, Doraemon had remote-controlled cars containing fake copies of the heroes racing through a valley, which Dolmanstein shoots at and blows up... and realizing he's blowing up enlarged toys.
  • Woken Up at an Ungodly Hour: This series has Nobita, currently having a fever, being awakened by the titular pet dinosaur, Piisuke, when it wandered out from a lake in the park during a rainy night, all the way to Nobita's bedroom, interrupting Nobita's sleep by tapping on the windows. Cue Nobita jolting awake and having a massive Oh, Crap! at his dinosaur wandering around in the open.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The Dinosaur Hunters and their employer, Dolmanstein, have no qualms firing at Nobita and gang - a bunch of 12-year-old kids - while trying to make them give up Piisuke. In fact, Dolmanstein treats shooting a bunch of kids from the side of his carrier plane much like a hunting safari!
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: What kick-starts the plot: Suneo invites Nobita, Shizuka and Gian over to his house to peruse his dinosaur fossil collection, and after Gian and Shizuka have their turns, Suneo takes the collection away before Nobita gets ahold of the box, causing a thoroughly disgruntled Nobita to vow to find something better; an actual dinosaur.

Alternative Title(s): Doraemon Nobitas Dinosaur 2006