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Dino Time

Dino Time: Simple Animated Family-Fun

  • Jane LynchMelanie Griffith...
  • Action & AdventureAnimation...
  • John KafkaYoon-suk Choi
reviewed by
Marija Loncarevic
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Dino Time: Simple Animated Family-Fun

Dino Time – also known as Dino Mom – is the latest animated feature to hit cinemas and is brought to us by CJ Entertainment – apparently one of the biggest entertainment companies in South Korea. Helmed by a couple of relatively unknown directors, Dino Time’s premise offers a lot more than it suggests.

We meet Ernie (Adlon); a mischievous little boy who is always on the lookout for a new and an exciting adventure. He spends most of his day cruising around on his rocket-powered skateboard whilst dodging the spying eye of his annoying younger sister, Julia (Strong), who gets her own kicks  by landing her older brother into trouble with their live-by-the-rules mom, Sue (Lynch).

One day, after sneaking out from his bedroom window, Ernie drops in on his best friend Max (Lowenthal).  Rummaging around the family garage, the boys stumble upon, and are instantly intrigued by, a shiny egg-shaped time machine that Max’s inventor dad is still trying to perfect. Naturally, things soon get out of control when they accidentally set off the time-machine and are transported to another time and place where dinosaurs and other supposedly ‘extinct’ creatures roam the earth.

They soon come face-to-face with a real life T-Rex named Tyra (Griffith) and her hyperactive orphan dinosaur son, Dodger (Schneider).  What makes things even worse is that they seem to have lost the time-machine power key and are unable to return home.  Meanwhile, more disturbing obstacles appear – involving the spiteful pair of dinosaurs (voiced by two of the Baldwin brothers) – who are plotting to steal Tyra’s precious egg. 

The expectations of watching a film that has never been released on the big-screen anywhere else in the world is usually pretty low.  However, in this case, one is pleasantly surprised to see a story with so much vivacity and heart.  Sure, there’s a certain ‘TV-movie’ quality to it and it’s far from the visual excellence we’re all used to, but the drawbacks of its relatively inexpert computerised imagery never divert from the more amusing moments that the story itself brings.

The cast, which includes some of Hollywood’s best, do a super job in keeping Dino Time fun and entertaining.  Best-known for her role as Marcy in the popular and controversial TV-show Californication, Ms. Adlon lends her voice to our main protagonist, Ernie; bubbly and incredibly enchanting, Adlon carries the story like a pro. Other stars such as veteran actress Melanie Griffith and funny man Rob Schneider are a perfect fit for their roles, while the Baldwin Brothers – Stephen and William – serve up slightly bland and forgettable performances.

All in all, Dino Time is not a blockbuster nor is it a ground-breaking work of art.  However, it does manage to take you back to a much simpler time, when the story actually mattered. Take your youngsters, they will have a blast!

Like This? Try

The Land Before Time (1988), Dinosaur (2000), Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009).  

360 Tip

In the US,. the film was rated PG for 'some scary action and mild rude humor'. Wusses.

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