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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Dinosaur [Blu-ray]


(Eric Leighton + Ralph Zondag, 2000)



Re-issued on February 8th, 2011:


Production: Walt Disney Home Entertainment


Region: 'A'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:21:59.915

Disc Size: 23,219,729,674 bytes

Feature Size: 20,572,594,176 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.25 Mbps

Chapters: 28

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: September 19th, 2006



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-2



LPCM Audio English 6912 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 6912 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio English 1509 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio French 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB


English SDH, English, French, Spanish, none


• Audio commentary, short featurette, Blu-ray promo additions




Set 65 million years ago, DINOSAUR tells the compelling story of an iguanodon named Aladar, who is separated from his own kind and raised by a clan of lemurs, including the wisecracking Zini and the compassionate Plio. When a devastating meteor shower plunges their world into chaos, Aladar and his family follow a herd of dinosaurs heading for the safety of the "nesting grounds." As the trip becomes one pulse-quickening adventure after another, it also forges friendships that no hardship can destroy....



The Film:

The breathtaking opening of Disney's computer-generated family entertainment - a swooping bird's eye view of Earth's fauna and flora 65 million years ago - knocks spots off earlier CGI movies, but must have eaten so much of the budget that the rest looks strangely pedestrian. That's a shame, because aurally and visually this creature feature is a treat, no matter that it's a palaeontological / climatalogical / geological pick 'n' mix. The script nods towards the meteorite theory of dinosaur extinction, but allows little iguanodon Aladar to survive among a cutesy lemur community. The dull plot concerns a cross-species dinosaur drive through the desert to fresh breeding grounds and sees ideological battle between nasty down-mouthed Kron and young Aladar. Kron's sister, meanwhile, is caught between the two. Disney has gained a lot from its relationship with the smaller more adventurous Pixar, which shows in the marvellous point-of-view shots, backgrounds and surface textures.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE.




The Video:  NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

It's funny to consider that a mere eight years ago was still considered the early days of Digital animation feature films. Disney supposedly spent a bomb on the technology of Dinosaur... and it shows. The visuals are so strong at times that it rivals real life action - there is a real sense of depth. This, of course, differs from, say, the Pixar animation style - and demands a different type of appreciation. My complaint would be that it appears a bit soft - due to either the frequent CG motion effects and/or the MPEG2 encode. This was one of the earlier new format discs (one of the first four Disney Blu-ray launch titles) and this is the only reason that I can think why AVC wasn't utilized. Colors are deft, and often muted adding a further level of realism. Landscape visuals look as if they were taken from a BBC nature documentary. Contrast is strong and overall, I think, the 1080P appearance could only be ratcheted-up with the stronger MPEG4 encode.


NOTE: As this is being re-released in 2011 - it is quite possible that we will be a new transfer. Stay tuned.














Audio: I listened to the PCM track (at a whopping 6912 kbps) and it bested the DTS offering which seemed notably less dynamic. The lossless sounded marvelous to me - possibly some of the better audio that I have heard on Blu-ray to date. Buoyant, subtle and sparingly explosive - the PCM gives great value to the presentation of the film. It is not very aggressive as the film's track rarely warrants anything violently demonstrative (beyond the 'meteor explosion' and fight scenes). It is clean and quite adept in impressively representing the soundstage of Dinosaur. It is supported by English SDH, French, or Spanish, subtitle options. The disc is region 'A'-locked but this title is available in Europe (region 'B') as well on Blu-ray.


Extras: There is an audio commentary by the directorial team of Zondag + Leighton, along with two of the digital effects management crew. They predominantly discuss the digital animation features and there is some talk on dinosaurs. (NOTE: the SD had a second commentary that is not present on this single layered Blu-ray.) The Monster Cloud is a short (about 4 minute) featurette discussing the scenes involving the impact of the meteor in Dinosaur. Only for the Blu-ray we have Blu-Scape: Origins runs almost 6 minutes and has some strong high-definition cinematography. Really it is a selling feature - that they hope would entice consumers to indulge in Blu-ray. I think newer releases actually look much better. Finally we have Movie Showcase - that focuses on three of the more impressive scenes from the film.     

BOTTOM LINE: I bought it as I didn't own the SD and I have two small boys very keen on dinosaurs. It is certainly not something that would be considered technically accurate in terms of paleontological education but if your children are young enough then they will enjoy it and you can be sure to get repeat performances from this Blu-ray that is pleasing to both the eyes and ears. I do think it has less adult-appealing features (as say the amusing humor in Toy Story 2) but I can't see anyone really disappointed in the, comparatively short feature. Everyone seems to like watching dinosaurs.

Gary Tooze


Re-issued on February 8th, 2011:


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About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze