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Dinosaur (movie) facts for kids

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Theatrical release poster
Directed by
  • Ralph Zondag
  • Eric Leighton
Produced by Pam Marsden
Screenplay by
  • John Harrison
  • Robert Nelson Jacobs
Story by
  • John Harrison
  • Robert Nelson Jacobs
  • Thom Enriquez
  • Ralph Zondag
Music by James Newton Howard
  • David Hardberger
  • S. Douglas Smith
Editing by H. Lee Peterson
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release date(s) May 19, 2000 (2000-05-19) (United States)
Running time 82 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $127.5 million
Money made $349.8 million

Dinosaur is a 2000 American computer-animated adventure film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and The Secret Lab. The 39th Disney animated feature film, it follows an orphaned, young Iguanodon named Aladar, who was an adopted friend of the lemurs and, after surviving a devastating meteor shower, are moving out for their new home. Along the way, they befriend a herd of dinosaurs who are being pursued by predators, such as the Carnotaurus, while on a journey to the "Nesting Grounds".

While the characters in Dinosaur are computer-generated, most of the backgrounds are live-action and were filmed on location. A number of backgrounds were found in Canaima National Park in Venezuela; various tepuis and Angel Falls also appear in the film. It is the second film (after Fantasia 2000) produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation to feature computer-generated three-dimensional animation. At officially $127.5 million, it was the most expensive theatrical film release of the year.

The film was a financial success, grossing over $349 million worldwide in total box office revenue, becoming the fifth highest-grossing film of 2000.


In a nearby breeding ground, a ferocious Carnotaurus ambushes an infant Parasaurolophus after it attracts its attention, triggering a stampede which forces an Iguanodon mother to abandon her nest. One surviving egg, after being removed from the nest by an Oviraptor and lost in a river following a fight with another, journeys through several dinosaur terrains via the flight of a Pteranodon before ending up on a faraway island populated by prehistoric lemurs. Plio, the daughter of their leader, Yar, names the hatched baby Aladar and raises him as her adopted son, despite Yar's initial objections. Years later, Aladar and the lemurs take part in a mating ritual, where his friend Zini is unable to achieve a mate. Moments after the ritual ends, a gigantic meteor crashes into the Earth, creating an explosion-like tsunami that destroys the island and kills all the lemurs. However, Aladar, along with Plio, Zini, Yar and Suri flee and survive by leaping across the sea towards the mainland. They mourn for the loss of their loved ones before moving on.

While crossing deserted wastelands, they are attacked by a pack of Velociraptors. After escaping from them, the family encounter a massive herd of dinosaurs led by two Iguanodon named Kron, who is their leader and his lieutenant Bruton, who are on their journey to the "Nesting Grounds", a valley said to be untouched by the devastation of the meteor. After the herd stop to rest for the night, Aladar befriends some members of the herd such as a Brachiosaurus named Baylene who is the last of her kind, a Styracosaurus named Eema and her pet dog-like Ankylosaurus named Url. Kron then permits them to follow the herd. The next morning, the herd begin to journey across the desert and finally reach a lake they have relied on for past trips. It has seemingly dried up and Kron orders the herd to move on. However, Aladar and his friends discover the buried water under the surface, thereby saving the herd from dehydration. Later, Kron's sister Neera, impressed by Aladar's compassionate ways, begins to have a relationship with him. Meanwhile, two Carnotaurus follow the herd's tracks and begin hunting them for food. Bruton and an Iguanodon Scout search for water, but are attacked by the Carnotaurs. Bruton escapes, but the Scout is devoured. Bruton warns Kron that they are being followed, sending the entire herd in a panicked flurry. Kron picks up the pace and evacuates the herd, leaving Aladar, the lemurs, the elderly dinosaurs and Bruton behind while the Carnotaurs are in pursuit some distance away.

During a storm, the group take shelter in a cave to spend the night. Later that night, the Carnotaurus enter the cave and attack the group after Baylene accidentally attracts their attention by moving a rock when Aladar attempted to move his friends away without any sound. Bruton intervenes and was able to fight the Carnotaurus off while Aladar and the others escape before he sacrifices himself by causing a cave-in, where he is crushed by debris along with one of the Carnotaurus. However, the other Carnotaurus survives and leaves where it resumes its hunt for the herd. Aladar and his friends venture deeper into the cave, but loses hope when they reach a dead end and Aladar mourns for the loss of Bruton. The others convince Aladar to keep going, relating how he inspired them to do the same. Together, they smash through the dead end and find the Nesting Grounds on the other side. While exploring, Eema finds a large wall of rocks blocking the original entrance to the valley.

Knowing that the herd will die attempting to climb over it, Aladar rushes off alone to save them, although he is pursued by the Carnotaurus unnoticed after he stumbled upon a Stygimoloch carcass. Aladar catches up with Kron, Neera and the herd as they were about to climb the wall and suggests a safer way to the valley, but Kron refuses to listen and gets jealous of Aladar becoming leader. The two end up battling each other and Aladar is injured by Kron during the fight. But just before Kron can deliver a deadly strike, Neera stops her brother so that she saves Aladar's life. The herd decide to abandon Kron for his actions towards them and have Aladar as their new leader instead.

As they prepare to leave, Aladar, Neera and the herd are suddenly confronted as the Carnotaurus appears and intends to kill them all. However, Aladar rallies Neera and the herd to stand together, and they distract the predator by bellowing at it to get past. The Carnotaurus senses weaker prey and discovers Kron, where it pursues him to the top of a cliff while Aladar and Neera follow it. When Kron reaches a sheer drop that Aladar had warned him about, he tries to defend himself against the Carnotaurus, but the large theropod quickly outsmarts Kron and injures him. As it prepares to finish Kron off, Neera knocks the carnivore aside, but she is quickly overwhelmed. Aladar appears and battles the Carnotaurus, until the cliff it is standing on breaks apart beneath it, sending the theropod plummeting to its death into the ravine and onto the rocks below. Kron dies from heavy wounds while Neera and Aladar mourn for him.

Aladar leads the herd to the cave as a route to the Nesting Grounds where they find peace at last. Sometime later, a new breed of dinosaurs hatch among them are Aladar and Neera's children. The lemurs find more of their kind and the group all begin a new life together in their new home.

Voice cast

  • D. B. Sweeney as Aladar, a young brave, determined and compassionate Iguanodon who is adopted by a family of lemurs, and helps the herd of dinosaurs migrate and survive. He is the adoptive son of Plio, the adoptive nephew of Zini, the adoptive grandson of Yar, and the adoptive brother of Suri.
  • Alfre Woodard as Plio, a lemur matriarch who cares for her family. She is the daughter of Yar, the older sister of Zini, the mother of Suri, and the adoptive mother of Aladar.
  • Ossie Davis as Yar, a lemur patriarch whose occasional gruff demeanor is just a front covering his more compassionate interior. He is the father of Plio and Zini, the grandfather of Suri and the adoptive grandfather of Aladar.
  • Max Casella as Zini, Aladar's best friend and wisecracking sidekick. He is the adoptive uncle of Aladar, the uncle of Suri, the younger brother of Plio and the son of Yar.
    • Evan Sabara as Young Zini.
  • Hayden Panettiere as Suri, Aladar's adoptive sister, Plio's daughter, Zini's niece and Yar's granddaughter.
  • Samuel E. Wright as Kron, a merciless, selfish and short-tempered Iguanodon, characterized by a strict adherence to social Darwinism. He serves as the leader of the dinosaur herd survivors, but Aladar replaces him.
  • Julianna Margulies as Neera, Kron's sister and Aladar's girlfriend.
  • Peter Siragusa as Bruton, Kron's lieutenant Iguanodon, who is harsh and sarcastic, but becomes repentant. After Kron abandons Bruton, he is rescued by Aladar.
  • Joan Plowright as Baylene, an elderly, dainty and kindhearted Brachiosaurus, who is the last of her species.
  • Della Reese as Eema, a wizened, elderly and slow-moving Styracosaurus.
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