Cinema: Bound for Extinction

The cuddly old Disney formula proves outdated in Dinosaur. Where is Barney when we need him?

Disney has been making what amounts to the same animated feature for more than 60 years. In this "classic," an innocent creature, often an orphan (1942's Bambi, 1999's Tarzan), is abandoned in the wilderness, adopted by a sympathetic guardian (sometimes of another species), and acquires a wise and funny sidekick who guides him through adolescent trials to heroic manhood. Typically, these conclude in combat with an older male representing traditional ways.

The scenario is less a plot than a commercialized exploitation of primal material buried none too deep in mankind's collective unconscious and nowadays exploitable worldwide, down to the last...

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