For every kid who ever wanted to meet a real dinosaur, Steven Spielberg presents We?re Back! A Dinosaur?s Story ? the animated tale of four prehistoric pals in the most awesome adventure since the dawn of time! Join Rex, W... more »oog, Elsa and Dweeb as they time-travel to New York City to meet their biggest fans ? modern-day kids ? and make all of their wildest dreams come true. Featuring the voices of John Goodman, Jay Leno, Martin Short and Rhea Perlman, We?re Back! A Dinosaur?s Story is a magical film the whole family will enjoy.« less
SO FREAKING AWESOME!!!! Had this when I was a kid and had to watch it every week!
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They Came Back, But Didn't Stay
Mike Schorn | APO, AE United States | 11/03/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Not unlike everything else produced under Steven Spielberg's Amblimation company, "We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story" was a critic's punching bag and a rare find for anybody who didn't catch its original 1993 release...but even more so than An American Tail - Fievel Goes West or Balto, the story of four dinosaurs in New York seems forsaken by popular animation history, with seemingly more people not even having heard of it than not. While the film does have its faults, this is a lamentable fate for a feature that puts to shame a lot of what's on the market today and whose DVD release was way overdue.
The story: four dinosaurs - Rex (John Goodman, Monsters, Inc.), Elsa (Felicity Kendall, Good Neighbors - The Complete Series 1-3), Dweeb (Charles Fleischer, Who Framed Roger Rabbit), and Woog (Rene La Vant) - gain intelligence and transported across time by the benevolent Captain Neweyes (Walter Cronkite) so they may fulfill the wishes of the children of the modern world. Dropped off in New York City, they swiftly meet up with Louie (Joey Shea) and Cecilia (Yeardley Smith, "The Simpsons") - two young runaways from opposite sides of the tracks - and find themselves fleeing from wary grown-ups as they search for the Museum of Natural History...only to find themselves the target of the spooky ringmaster Professor Screweyes (Kenneth Mars, Young Frankenstein), who harbors sinister plans for the dinosaurs...
"We're Back!" is a children's movie, first and foremost, and was most likely aimed at kids no older than nine or ten. In other words, there's limited action, few scary parts, and completely inoffensive humor. Problems are solved by talking and understanding rather than fighting, and you don't have to be told to know from the start that there's going to be a happy ending. This rather harmless approach carries over to the characters themselves: the dinosaurs are very cuddly, and generally everybody is proved to be very warm-hearted - almost too warm-hearted for me, and probably also for anybody else who grew up watching animated films where peril was commonplace.
The production, overall, is very good. In addition to Goodman, Fleischer, Smith, Kendall, and Cronkite, the cast boasts Jay Leno, Martin Short (Treasure Planet), Julia Child, and Blaze Berdahl (Ghostwriter: Season One) in supporting roles, creating one of the most unique voice ensembles for any film, and they all tend to do good jobs with their roles. Though it retains the trademark big-budget style prevalent in "Fievel" and could still go toe-to-toe with a Disney movie's visuals, the animation has a flaw: the outlines of human characters' features occasionally stuttering inbetween frames - making a nose, mouth, or pair of eyes look less defined from one second to the next. It's not a debilitating error, but is a bit disappointing to watch happen repeatedly.
What the film does hold in its favor, though, is its ability to inspire the inner child. I know it sounds corny, but consider: who hasn't dreamed of having a special friend that no one else had or seeing a real dinosaur in your own backyard...or even having a dinosaur as a special friend? That wonderful ability to warm hearts that Spielberg neglected when he began to tackle adult fare is well at work here, with New York City seeming as magical a place as any wonderland before it became associated with modern disasters. The film pulls off the nostalgia factor incredibly, taking us back to a time before animation turned to 3D and we had "Shrek" shoved down our throats. I'm not sure how much this means to other people, but this aspect saved the movie for me.
In all, it's not difficult to see why "We're Back!" didn't do very well when it was first released, but why it remains so largely unremembered continues to perplex me. Disregard the technicalities of my three-star rating and know that the film's strengths outweigh its faults effectively, and that the movie is a secret opus for fans of classical animation. Don't deprive yourself - give it a look."
Gee, I wish I had a friend .... words like thoughs may land
Horatio Guttersnipe | London, England | 06/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We're Back is one of those films which stays with you. It is a lovely film and has a great deal of depth; you have the brothers who went two different ways, one devoted his life to making his contribution to society and ultimately ended enriching his world for the benefit of all as a result of such single mindedness and the other sort to exploit the worst aspects of our nature, embittered and hateful towards all that makes life wholesome and wonderful; this is the back story, a story built on choice, we all have the choice, not the same choices are ready to everyone but at some level we all can make those choices which are either helpful to us and to those around us, we don't have to be the victims unless those circumstances are so terrible we literally have no choice at all, but for the film, the characters can choose to over come their primal natures and not give into a path which will destroy them and others, in this sense it is a very deep film as it handles something very big and delivers it back to the audience. There are other references which animators will spot, legalities which put you in mind of their industry which have very cruel loop holes which oppress talent in the work place and obvious references about drugs and saying no are there and being a good person is enough at the end for any life, even references to cereal foods which are able to enhance our intelligence are included here and scientists believe they can do that now .... well, we'll see.
The music is excellent, composed by James Horner and features a great song sung by John Goodman, "Roll Back the Rock", it can't help but make you smile as it is very delightful and amusing.
The film is wonderful work, the drawing quality does not always live up to a high standard through out but it is a top quality film and if you love it that much you can buy it's original wide screen version from America on amazon.
Cute and silly, but nothing else.
Jonathon Turner | Highland Park, NJ USA | 01/06/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"How ironic it is that in 1993, two dinosaur pictures courtesy of Steven Spielberg would hit the theaters. One of them was a runaway box-office hit, the live-action spectacular JURASSIC PARK; the other was WE'RE BACK! A DINOSAUR'S STORY, which came and went without much fanfare. An animated film from Spielberg's London-based Amblimation Studios (AN AMERICAN TAIL: FIEVEL GOES WEST and the underrated BALTO), WE'RE BACK has been dubbed as a sort of "Jurassic Park, Jr." Actually, that might be a bit inaccurate, for while there is one not so subtle reference to the Spielberg monster hit (a marquee theater advertising the movie), this film has none of the visceral, nail-biting scares of JURASSIC PARK. As it is a kid's movie, one shouldn't expect too much.
Even so, this "dinosaur's story" is a bit of a curious creation. Based on a children's book by author Hudson Talbott, the movie involves a quartet of prehistoric giants who are taken aboard the spaceship of an elderly time-traveler, Captain NewEyes. The foursome is treated to some sort of cereal that transforms them from vicious but dumb monsters into talking creatures with human qualities (think Barney and his friends). Before long, the four dinosaurs--with the names of Rex, Elsa, Dweeb, and Woog--are whisked to modern day New York City where they meet two children: tough-talking (but secretly soft-hearted) Louie and a neglected cutie named Cecilia, both of who are running away from home. Together with their new pals, the dinosaurs crash the Thanksgiving Parade (which involves a very silly song-and-dance number), escape the police, and get sidetracked by the evil owner of a fright-show circus (NewEyes' brother ScrewEyes)... all before arriving at their destination, the Museum of Natural History, where the dinosaurs are to become real-life talking exhibits for many children.
The plot, such as it is, is pretty wishy-washy, and the routine execution barely elevates WE'RE BACK above anything but your typical, average kids animated fare. The animation itself is mostly serviceable and includes some interesting computer-generated effects, but it's not up to Disney quality... and at times I felt that there were some frames stolen from a more superior animated film about dinosaurs, Don Bluth's THE LAND BEFORE TIME. John Patrick Shanley's screenplay has few lines to appeal to older viewers, much less a plethora of characters one are likely to remember. The four dinosaurs, for instance, are your typical talking animals that, while cuddly and likeable, never develop into fully realized personalities, and their supporting co-stars don't get much to do either.
Probably the only character who does show any depth is Louie, the freckle-faced street kid. When we first meet Louie he acts pretty fresh and self-centered; but as the movie develops, his more soft qualities shine through, whether he saves Rex from drowning or befriending Cecilia to cheer her up. He even admits, in a tearful sequence, how he uses his tough demeanor to hide his own fear. If anything, it's really Louie who steals the movie and makes it worthwhile. His relationship with Cecilia (who is less well-defined than Louie, but that's irrelevant) although more romantic than it has to be, is very nicely handled and is the highest point of the film. (The moments where Cecilia flirts with Louie are quite funny.) Equally pleasing is the characterization of Professor ScrewEyes, the villain of the piece. He only shows up in the second half of the picture, but commands his screen-time with devious manipulation and pure nastiness. In addition, his demeanor of tapping into people's nightmares and a hypnotic stare render him a menace to be feared. ScrewEyes may be a bizarre baddie, but he works all the same.
That leads to another problem of WE'RE BACK. The first half is lighthearted (and outrageously unbelievable) silliness, but midway through the picture becomes dark--particularly the scenes involving ScrewEyes' fright-show circus, which are executed in a way that may be too intense for small fry. This unbalanced shift in tone calls the film's target audience into question. Kids in the 5-12 age group should be fine, but older viewers expecting more may find it to be too silly and uninspired. And the very young, too, could be traumatized by the aforementioned scary scenes.
And yet, in spite of saying all this, there is something rather likeable about WE'RE BACK--A DINOSAUR'S STORY. Its plot is outrageous, sure, and the movie is little more than just a cute, forgettable time-passer. But it has its heart in the right place, and there are some tender moments--one sequence, in which Rex and company make the ultimate sacrifice to save Louie and Cecilia from eternal life as chimps in ScrewEyes' circus, is genuinely moving, especially when Rex's gentle touch reverts the kids to normal. This is done in a very subtle, effective way that stayed with me for a long while. The voice cast includes some solid performances, too, notably John Goodman as the gruff yet gentle Rex, Walter Cronkite as Captain NewEyes (and yes, he says his trademark "that's the way it is" toward the end), and Martin Short in a cameo as a comic clown. The standouts are Joey Shea, who sizzles with attitude and likeability as Louie, and Kenneth Mars (Triton in THE LITTLE MERMAID and Grandpa Longneck in the LAND BEFORE TIME sequels), chewing the scenery as the fearsome ScrewEyes. Yeardley Smith's Cecilia is the one voice I take issue with--she doesn't exactly sound like a young girl, and most of the other voices--Jay Leno, Rhea Perlman, Charles Fleischer, and Julia Child--all seem to be just in the movie for the sake of, well, being there. The musical score by James Horner is beautiful, although at times it does sound like a rehash of many of his other scores (a trait not uncommon with most of the composer's work, it seems).
In short, WE'RE BACK is passable fare as a family animated film; it's cute and funny, but that's about it."
A wonderful video for children and adults alike.
Jonathon Turner | 06/27/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is great for all ages. My daughter two loves to sing the "Roll Back the Rock Song" and my son loves the whole movie. Even my wife and I look forward to this as one of the choices my children make. Hats off to John Goodman for a wonderful job as REX. The parts played by Walter Cronkite and Julia Child are beautifully cast and voiced."
A rollicking good ADVENTURE for the whole FAMILY!
Jonathon Turner | 04/12/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If any of you out there haven't seen this movie, I recommend it. Speilberg really uses his imagination for this movie. I think families will love it, that is if they like imaginative movies that make kids want to use their imagination."