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Disney Movie



I have found the various opinions about the Disney movie
pretty interesting. I decided to go with an open mind and
recognizing it was a movie and not a documentary - which
would have been a real neat thing to see with this
animation, but that was not their intention. Sorry Lessem
didn't apparently like it, but he has a history of working
with a competing studio, so I'm not at all surprised of his
opinion, nor do I find it particularly useful, frankly.  I
do find the opinions of the list members very useful and
interesting and, of course, everyone has a good point as a
basis for whatever their opinion is.

The short version of my opinion is:

   In Beauty and the Beast, a movie considered a classic by
most and one of the major steps in the resurrection of
animation as a major player in feature films,  one of the
characters is a candlestick (as I recall) that talks. Now, I
don't recall the candlestick lobby getting all ooky about
the inaccuracy of a talking candlestick, or the blabbering
silverware, for that matter. It was a great film and was to
be enjoyed. It was a fantasy film afterall.

   Now as for Disney's Dinosaurs, I don't think it was
quite as good a film as B&TB but I still enjoyed it very
much and think it will be a classic for many of the people
who see it. It did have the incredible bad taste of
minimizing the on-screen time of the pachys, but I forgive
them for that. Now certainly, there is much to say for
trying to portray a scientific topic as accurately as
possible but part of me also knows that this is
entertainment and any child who gets jazzed about dinos or
paleo from the this will find out quickly about the problems
with the temporal and biogeographic discontinuities, etc. as
they voraciously read books (I know I did). Much of what I
would do differently if I were to specify the animations now
are from relatively recent research - such as dropping the
sauropod necks down, longer mouths etc. -  but many
illustrators these days still don't do this themselves. I
would also eliminate the boring theropods (just kidding) . I
thought the animation and basal drawings to be quite
spectacular and congratulate the efforts of the
animators/artists. Lips - well they did have to talk and
seeing the lips is an important cue for understanding
language, especially for children so some things are
necessary even if we don't think they were there. I also
liked seeing some cranial variation among the iguanodonts,
even if it has no basis in the fossil record. It was there
to help the viewer easily distinguish amongst the characters
and gave those beasts a more realistic feel as social beasts
so I was pretty cool with it.

I've been surprised that Ken Carpenter hasn't gone off
about the implication of ankys as just the intellectual low
man on the totem pole. I also found some irony in the
bigger-brained theropods being the only other ones that did
not talk.

However, I think if you allow yourself to enjoy the movie,
there is lots to enjoy there and I did. I would also like to
see modern dinos animated well in the old and not SGI style,
but these were quite wonderful as well. I also thought
Disney did a much better job at the dinosaur/ground
interface than WWD did. Some of those dinos sort of floated
away as they walked. Interesting what 10 times the money
will allow, although I would have expected Disney to have
this down regardless what they spent.

Anyway, some of my thoughts.

Ralph Chapman