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File:DinosaurStory 1139.jpg


We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story was Steven Spielberg’s other 1993 dinosaur movie, although he only executive-produced this animated feature.

It follows a quartet of dinosaurs who are given newfound intelligence by Mark Twain look-alike Captain Neweyes and travel to the "Middle Future" to fulfill the wishes of children in New York City to see real life dinosaurs. They meet up with two runaway children in their journey to the Museum of Natural History. But when panic breaks out, the heroes end up in an encounter with the frightening Professor Screweyes and his Eccentric Circus.

It is... a little bit different from the source material.

This movie contains examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: To Julia Child ("Really, just a recipe for delightful!"), and Walter Cronkite a couple of seconds later ("And that’s the way it is!").
  • Adaptation Expansion: Based very loosely on a children’s book by Hudson Talbot. Half of the dinosaur characters are dropped with more human characters added as well as an antagonist and loads and loads of side-plots.
  • Big Applesauce: New Yorkers have seen everything...
  • Big Eater: Woog.
  • BLAM Episode: See also Random Events Plot.
    • Rex's sudden musical number in the middle of the parade that somehow everyone knows the words to, is a particularly heavy one.
  • Bowel-Breaking Bricks: Elsa is so embarrassed that she "lays an egg". This is made all the stranger when "Laying an egg" is used as a term of romantic endearment.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: A mild example pops up when Louie meets Cecilia because you don't expect to hear this line in an animated kids movie and it's said so casually:

 Louie: Come on, big eyes you're killing me. What's the matter?

Cecilia: It's Thanksgiving.

Louie: So? What's there to cry about? You don't like turkey?

Cecilia: No, it's my parents.

Louie: What about your parents? Do they beat you?

  • Broken Aesop: The "family is important" moral wrapped around the movie isn't actually supported by Rex's story at all and seems tacked on because we hadn't learned anything yet.
    • Not so much broken aesop as, well, yet another BLAM.
  • Carnivore Confusion: A very strange variant. Predation is frowned upon, but Brain Grain Cereal apparently teaches a herbivorous Triceratops to eat HOT DOGS.
    • Tofu, we hope. One line of dialogue could have reassured us here.
      • Actually, some paleontologists believe Triceratops was an omnivore.
  • Cat Scare
  • Cereal-Induced Superpowers: Brain Grain Cereal.
  • Circus of Fear: Professor Screweyes' circus is so unnerving that someone made an effective AMV of Mr. Crowley using it.
  • Concert Kiss: Louie and Cecilia near the end of the movie.
  • Cooldown Hug: Pretty blatant example, actually.
  • Conspicuous CG
  • Crows and Ravens
  • The Danza: Julia Child as Dr. Julia Bleeb.
  • Deal with the Devil: When the kids made the contract with the Big Bad Professor Screweyes they had to sign it with their blood.
  • Death by Irony / No Body Left Behind: Screweyes getting devoured by his own crows. For no reason at all.
  • Deranged Animation
  • Deus Ex Machina: Convenient timing helps when you have an actual Time Machine. But then again, couldn't he have arrived before the heroes got trapped in the evil circus?
  • Devolution Device: Screweyes' Brain Drain pills, which he uses to briefly transform the kids into monkeys and revert the dinosaurs to their violent and mean forms.
  • Different As Night and Day: Brothers Screweyes and Neweyes.
  • The Dog Bites Back: The crows who are present whenever prof. Screweyes appears in the movie circus seems to dislike him for some reasons: so when he's left alone they took the chance to eat him alive.
  • Evil Eye: Professor Screweyes' Screw Eye. It is able to hypnotize people (*cough*), despite the fact that it's only a screw thrust in his eyesocket. The backstory of the "eye" is what makes everything so disturbing; take a look at Eye Scream below.
  • Eye Scream: In the cut scene where Prof. Screweyes explains why he became a villain he tells in disturbing detail of how a berry fell into his left eye and a hungry crow pecked the eye out when trying to obtain it.
  • Evil Twin: Actually, just an ordinary brother, not a twin brother.
    • They never mentioned if they were twins or not... they certainly looked a lot alike, if you leave the screw eye and all that aside...
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: According to most of the kids, it would be. On the other hand, the fact that some kids and virtually all adults are scared by the idea of actual dinosaurs running about is why Screweyes wants to get his hands on the heroes. That said, when he does get his hands on the protagonists and turns them mean with his evil pills, they don't rampage so much as sit there and look angry.
    • Only because they're chained, though... one can only imagine what would have happened if they had escaped the circus...
  • Flash Back
  • Force Feeding: How Neweyes gets the dinosaurs to take Brain Grain in the first place.
  • Gentle Giant: Rex.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: John Goodman, Jay Leno, Walter Cronkite, Julia Child, Martin Short, Larry King, and Yeardley Smith (aka Lisa Simpson). Cecilia's voice is pretty much exactly the same as Smith' Lisa Simpson. At least Leno doesn't sound like Leno.
    • Incidentally, while Leno and King seemingly turn up in any movie that'll have them, this was Cronkite's only feature film.
  • G-Rated Mental Illness: Generally subverted/averted with Screweyes.
  • Just Eat Him: One of the dinosaurs did consider doing this to Screweyes, until he brought up the fact that since the dinosaurs are smarter now, they should act civil. Later, when they aren't so civil, Rex was this close to eating Screweyes, but much to the dismay of a couple of people, The Power of Love prevents him from doing so.
  • Knight of Cerebus: After Screweyes and his Circus of Fear shows up the movie takes on a decidedly darker turn. The villain is genuinely charismatic and the goofy dinosaurs are no longer funny, even before he turns them monstrous. While it is in no way an appropriate direction for this silly kid's film to take, for older viewers who are into weird animation, it's the best part of the movie -- but it is also short (even shorter without the deleted scenes).
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Cecilia.
  • The Long List: Stubb’s quitting speech.
  • Luminescent Blush: A parade marching band member blows a whistle hard and long, and his skin turns into a dark shade of red as he does this.
  • Mad Scientist: Both Neweyes and Screweyes qualify.
  • Magically-Binding Contract: Doubles as a Blood Oath.
  • Marilyn Maneuver: Caused by motion when a lady circus patron reacts by leaping due to a monster-costumed Cecilia scaring her with a roar.
  • Mind Control Eyes
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Doctor Bleeb.
  • Mood Whiplash: When Screweyes gets involved.
  • My Beloved Smother: Louie claims his mother is this trope as his reason for running away, but to hear him describe it, it sounds more like he's just massively insecure in his own masculinity.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer gave the impression that Screweye's role as the "Master of Fear" would have been more prominent and that the dinosaurs only appeared monstrous during his act as the result of his machine. Screweyes is only in the movie during the last 25 minutes or so and is more of a pathetic, ineffectual villain, and the dinosaurs actually turned evil as the result of his pills.
  • No Export for You: This has the (dis)honour of being the only movie in recent memory with Spielberg's name on the credits to go Direct to Video in Britain.
  • Non-Ironic Clown: Stubbs.
  • The Other Marty: John Malkovich was originally cast as Screweyes but left due to constant script rewrites (the film's Executive Meddling also caused him to leave Hollywood and only do international productions for a few years).
  • Panty Shot:A female circus patron inadvertently flashes her dark purple panties with lavender, lace trim when she jumps in reaction to Cecilia (who's wearing a monster costume) giving her a jump scare by roaring.
  • Parental Abandonment: Cecilia's parents are never around, and don't even take her on vacation with them. In contrast, Louie is the one abandoning his parents, as apparently he was embarrassed of his mother showering him with affection at every opportunity.
  • The Power of Love: Can turn ferocious, monstrous dinosaurs into cuddly, dorky dinosaurs, at least if they ate Brain Grain at one point.
  • Puppy Love: Louie and Cecilia
  • Random Events Plot
  • Reality Ensues: The dinosaurs (and the pteranodon) are shown to have regrets following their transformation into more intelligent reptiles. Though in the triceratops’ case, he doesn’t seem to have stepped on small animals on purpose.
  • The Runaway: Louie, soon joined by Cecilia.
  • Screaming Woman: A female circus patron's reaction to Cecilia in her monster costume roaring at her. After getting literally jumpy, the former backs away, shrieks, and hurriedly flees as she zigzags inside the tent.
  • Shout-Out: To Jurassic Park, which is showing at a theater in Times Square.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Elsa is the only female of the four prehistoric reptiles. Not the only female character though.
  • Somewhere a Palaeontologist Is Crying: If for no other reason than the implication that dinosaurs aren't appealing to kids unless they're turned into cuddly goofballs.
    • Small potatoes in comparison, but pterosaurs aren't freakin' dinosaurs. It doesn't help that Elsa looks nothing like a pteronodon.
    • Woog and Dweeb, a Triceratops and Parasaurolophus respectively, are both seen eating hotdogs of all things.
      • Then again, Triceratops might had been an omnivore, and herbivorous animals do occasionally eat meat (although having a diet like Woog's and Dweeb's would certainly be unhealthy).
    • Rex has three functional fingers in each hand, despite T-Rex having only two in real life.
  • Stock Dinosaurs
    • Tyrannosaurus Rex - “Rex”
    • Triceratops - “Woog”
    • Parasaurolophus - “Dweeb”
    • Pteranodon - “Elsa”
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Especially at the beginning of the movie, where Buster the bird is quite accepting of the fact that Rex is playing golf in front of his tree.
  • Trouser Space: Stubbs pulls this stunt near the end of the film. The best part is he gets the laughter he had so much sought while giving Professor Screweyes his I Quit Speech
  • Uplifted Animal: Neweyes can do this, Screweyes can do it backwards. Scaree.
  • What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic - Professor Screweyes forms himself into a cruciform before his crows consume him.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: And it is wikkid Anvilicious about this too. The dinosaurs are basically turned into Barney Expies when they're "tamed". Once Professor Screweyes gets a hold of them, they turn ferocious and terrifying... but Rex's "normal" form in the beginning is ridiculously monstrous already.
    • Let's not even get into the irony that comes from the fact that when they become intelligent, they wind up looking, well, really dumb. In their feral forms, they look more clever and respectable than they do as Happy Meal toys. Huh?
  • Where Are They Now? Epilogue: Louie and Cecilia are reunited with their parents through a series of photos.