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YMMV / We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story

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  • Accidental Aesop: Animals who behave like animals are stupid, vicious monsters.
  • Adorkable: Dweeb, thanks to his dorky nature, appearance and voice courtesy of Charles Fleischer.
  • Adaptation Displacement: Most people don't know this film was based on a book.
  • Awesome Music: James Horner's score is simply a joy to listen to. Filled with a sense of pure joy, and sentimental wonder. It definitely improves the film.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Louie and Cecilia. Some like them for being cute, relatable protagonists with tolerable arcs while others see them as unneccesary little brats who steal way too much protagonism and screen time from the Mesozoic quartet.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • Rex's sudden musical number, that somehow everyone knows the words to, in the middle of the parade is a particularly heavy one. Even the kids and the other dinos (and pterosaur) are stunned.
    • Professor Screweyes' death by crows. A deleted scene gives more explanation for why he keeps them around and why they turn on him, but it's out of nowhere in the movie.
  • Broken Base: Reviewers disagree on how scary Screweyes' circus is. Is it too scary to fit in with the rest of the film, Creepy Awesome, or not scary at all?
  • Creepy Awesome: Screweyes keeps crows around and commands them in order to master his fear of them. Whoa, bravery test worthy of Batman.
  • Cult Classic: Quickly went extinct at the box office, but it had an otherwise healthy home video life and is fondly remembered by children of the '90s.
  • Designated Hero: Many have accused Captain Neweyes of being one, as he's the one who thought it was a good idea to kidnap a bunch of prehistoric animals, force-feed them something that changes their entire nature, and then introduce them into modern society, wrecking havoc. Especially odd is that Steven Spielberg's other dinosaur movie from the same year showed why this is such a bad idea.
  • Designated Villain: Zigzagged with Professor Screweyes. He is treated as a master of evil when all he does is scare people who willingly want to be scared, and his circus is no different from the sort of thing theme parks do at Halloween. The one truly evil thing he did that marks him as a villain is that he forced the dinosaurs into his circus in order to save the kids (who willingly signed a contract to join), but other than that moment, he does nothing wrong. Again, this was produced by Steven Spielberg, who made plenty of scary movies himself.
    • Though there seems to be some implication that Screweyes achieves his horrific brand of entertainment through exploitative means, like tricking and drugging children and then extorting their much more commercially valuable friends into even more destructive commitments. The show itself isn't the issue - the issue is how it's made.
  • Faux Symbolism: Professor Screweyes forms himself into a cruciform before his crows consume him.
  • Funny Moments:
    • One that stands out. Louie annoys the heck out of Elsa, and she understandably doesn't like him initially. There comes a point where he needs her help and (once again) mistakes her for a bat. After she corrects him...
      Louie: (tauntingly) Can you fly?
      Elsa: (smirks)
      (cue Gilligan Cut of Elsa treating Louie to a very, VERY wild flight across New York City)
    • Stubbs quitting. Doubles as an awesome moment.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Although the movie didn't do well overseas, Finland on the other hand had a very huge hit when it was released.
  • Heartwarming Moments: The scene near the end where Louie is able to snap Rex out of his bestial side with the speech mentioned under Narm Charm below.
    • It was unfortunately cut along with the scene itself, but the deleted scene of the dinosaurs being caged, chained, and reverted back to their wild states had Rex assuring his fellow dinosaurs that, "Whatever happens, happens to us all."
    • Louie and Cecilia's relationship can be considered this. One honorable mention goes to the infamous kiss scene, in which after the former embarrassed so easily that he's always pushing her away to keep his cool throughout the entire film, the two decide to do it again for real after Cecilia adorably flirts him. Considering they're somewhat supportive of each other despite the film lasting for 70 minutes, it's very sweet for fans to see their incredibly cutesy dynamic all heightened up.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • The inaccuracies of this film are jokingly attributed to "Steven Spielberg doesn't know his dinosaurs".
    • The presence of a bird in the opening sequence draws many jokes from dinosaur enthusiasts that birds are dinosaurs too.
    • "Let no bad happen!" Explanation 
  • Moe: Cecilia and Louie can be considered this. For one with the boy's macho personality, that you can't go wrong with him. Cecilia has her being sheltered, naive, and a bit quiet, but her friendly and polite attitude does make you wanna hug her. It helps that she's voiced by Yeardley Smith, giving a slightly different voice than her iconic role as Lisa Simpson.
    • There's also Buster, the young bluebird Rex is telling the whole story to.
  • Narm Charm:
    • Louie's aforementioned speech, for pairing utter earnestness with words like "stiffs" and "yahoos".
    • The entire film is one huge example of this. The movie has an odd hokey plot, and it is filled with tons of inexplicable, nonsensical moments that border on What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs? levels. And yet, it also boasts some stellar vivid animation, a quality score courtesy of the late great James Horner, and a voice cast that brings life to their characters even at their most ridiculous. While one may be hard pressed to find anyone who believes this film to be on the level of what Disney was making at the time, it shouldn't come as too much of surprise that there is a small cult audience who is fond of the film.
  • Paranoia Fuel: As stated above, this movie will probably leave you suspicious of crows for a while.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor:
    • Louie and Cecilia's romantic subplot seems to just exist for the sake of having a token romance in the movie at all, and it overall comes off as cloying (and even a little gross).
    • Elsa's crush on Rex. Unlike Louie and Cecilia, this one's way more ambiguous, given Rex's reactions to Elsa's flirting show he doesn't feel very comfortable about the whole thing, even when she flat out reveals her feelings right after the climax. Thankfully, it's got just two scenes and that is all.
  • Sweetness Aversion: The film is a bit too whimsical for some, from the children awestruck by real dinosaurs to Cecilia's tearful prayer of "Let no bad happen!" to the climax where the kids turn the feral dinos back into their cartoony selves by hugging them.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • The montage detailing how lonely Cecilia is, especially the photo of Family Night, where she's sitting by herself in a crowd of happy families.
    • The end of the second act straddles the line between being horrifying and depressing. The dinos are initially relieved that they've managed to find their friends and keep them out of trouble, only to discover that they're still too late by a few minutes. The kids have already effectively sold their souls to Screweyes and are now his slaves, who makes it very clear that he will do terrible things to them (by giving a demonstration) if the dinos don't pull a Heroic Sacrifice and take their place, giving the madman what he really wants.
    • "Remember me" are the last words Rex says to Louie and Cecilia while they sleep, before he mournfully walks away to be turned into a mindless, rampaging brute once again.
  • This Is Your Premise on Drugs: Raoul Puke called it The Land Before Time on crystal meth.
  • Toy Ship: Despite the Values Dissonance (see below), there are those who genuinely consider Louie and Cecilia a rather cute couple.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Times Square building advertising JVC? Check. Jay Leno voicing a high-pitched cartoon character? Check. A Rule-Abiding Rebel Free-Range Kid with a mullet who speaks the Totally Radical lingo of the day? Check. A Status Cell Phone as shorthand for a Lonely Rich Kid's dad being obsessed with business? Check. Uncomfortable shots of the World Trade Center, dinosaurs with no feathers, and Steven Spielberg during his heyday? Check, check and check.
  • Values Dissonance: Cecilia's flirtatiousness with Louie, first while giving him bedroom eyes when he asks if she's a debutante and later when they kiss on the lips in the climax, was seen as gross in an overly cutesy way in the '90s. After The New '10s, when even the most gently implied sexualization of minors is highly frowned upon (hi, Stranger Things!), it comes off as gross for an entirely different reason.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Let's see… A benevolent Mad Scientist uses time travel to go back in time and make a trio of dinosaurs (and one pterosaur) sentient and launches them in New York City with the task of rescuing a kid from a Repulsive Ringmaster who knows black magic. The whole thing is trippy, to say the least.
  • What the Hell, Casting Agency?:
    • This is the only film role for both Julia Child and Walter Cronkite (as characters rather than themselves). Giving them a gig is all well and good, but why put them in this movie, though?
    • For many, Yeardley Smith as Cecilia, given that many can't un-hear Lisa Simpson whenever she talks. While Smith wanted a break from only working at The Simpsons, why she chose to voice another precocious little girl instead of just using her natural voice for a different character is anyone's guess.