Jab’s Reviews: Fantasia 2000 & Dinosaur

It’s time for more Disney reviews! Unfortunately, these are all shows I haven’t seen so this is just “Jab Reads Wikipedia”, lol. You might saw “a proper reviewer would just watch these, since they have Disney+ and could just click on them” but I DON’T WANNNAAAAAAAAAAAAA..


FANTASIA 2000 (2000):
Written by:

-A largely forgotten part of the canon, it was released the same year as Dinosaur, and was an obvious sequel to Fantasia. Since the original was supposed to be added to every year (and go on repeated tours with new features), this one actually makes a bit of sense. Like the original, it’s all animated shorts set to classical music. One is about flying whales, while another shows characters in Al Hirschfeld’s distinctive style of caricature. It actually shows The Sorcerer’s Apprentice all over again. The most famous bit of this film is Firebird Suite, which showcases a brilliant-looking phoenix devastating the countryside, with a Sprite accomplishing the symbolic rebirth of the forest.

Reception & Cultural Impact:
-About zero. This is one of the least-successful films of the whole Animated Canon, only barely make its money back, owing to only being released on IMAX at first. The movie’s failing actually set off the relationship between Roy E. Disney and Michael Eisner, which indirectly led to Eisner’s ouster five years later, so there’s that, too. Firebird Suite is well-thought-of (just look at this goddamn PENCIL TEST), but the rest of the feature wasn’t remembered. A planned Fantasia 2006 never came to fruition, though some of the planned shorts (like The Little Match Girl would see use as Disney Shorts, once those became a regular thing.


DINOSAUR (2000):
Written by:
 Ralph Zondag, John Harrison & Robert Nelson Jacobs

This is one I’ve never seen, though it has the distinction of being the first CGI Disney film, and it now counts as part of the official Animated Canon (a largely-meaningless term, since they made OTHER theatrical films that don’t count). I’ll still give it a go, since I’ve done builds OF Dinosaurs anyways, and these won’t differ too greatly. The film was initially going to be a Walking With Dinosaurs-esque thing with no dialogue (or even narration!), but Michael Eisner shot it down because a silent-ish film would be a hard sell, and so it’s a bunch of dinosaurs chatting with each other like it’s The Land Before Time and stuff (funnily enough, THAT movie wasn’t supposed to have dialogue EITHER).

This contrasted with the attempts at photo-realistic animation, and can I just say that Iguanodons are a REALLY weird choice for the primary race of a Dinosaur-themed film? I mean, they haven’t been used as poorly as the Hadrosaurs (the Washington Generals of the dinosaur world judging by every Walking With Dinosaurs ever), but even Parasaurolophus & Lambeosaurus look quite cool. “Long-Necks” may have been averted just to avoid Land Before Time comparisons, but a Ceratopsian or something may have been a cooler choice. Iguanodons are almost the most generic dinosaurs ever. Similarly, Carnotaurus was used to avoid the over-used “T-Rex is the Token Super-Predator” thing, but it was both used out of it’s usual range and took up all the generic T-Rex tropes anyways.

This is one of the only movies of the Animated Canon I’ve never seen, so I can’t give a good review.

Reception & Cultural Impact:
Overall, nobody really went NUTS over the film, though it doesn’t seem like many hated it. It did JUST well enough to earn back it’s cost domestically, and doubled that overseas, proving to be about as successful as much more well-remembered films like Mulan and Hunchback, oddly enough. Unfortunately for the film, despite its great animation, it was COMPLETELY forgotten in the intervening years because of the CRAPLOAD of CGI films that were released since then- it stands out a bit for being a more dramatic tale. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who even really remembers this.

The only real link the film has anymore is as an historical curiosity (the first time Disney itself attempted a fully-CGI film), and as the basis for the Dinosaur thrill ride in Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. There, they mirror the track from Disneyland’s Indiana Jones ride, but throw dinosaurs into it. For me, it loses a lot of the appeal thanks to simply throwing you in a dark jungle- I was like “oh, this is it?”, because rumbling around in a jeep isn’t quite as fun when there’s cliffs, bridges, poison darts and flaming idols all around you. You get a few “Dinosaur Sightings”, and then a Carnotaurus attacks you, and you bail out of the room. its’ the only real high point in the “Dino Land” part of that park (which was famously a “Half-Day Park” until they added Avatar-themed stuff and a night show). Honestly, I rode it once, was like “yeah, that’s okay”, and then did the rest of the things.

-Aladar was stolen as an egg by a series of predators who were attacked by OTHER predators, all “food chain” style, and therefore raised by what passes for Lemurs in an ancient time. But then a meteorite damages his home, and he joins an Iguanodon herd with a leader who doesn’t like him, and gets attacked by a group of Carnotaurus. His merciful nature and ability to use teamwork and common sense allows him to win over some bastardly predators.

About the Performer: I have no idea who D.B. Sweeney is, but he apparently gets a fair bit of work, showing up in a couple of things a year. He does a lot of voice-over work and commercials, apparently. Nerds will probably best know him as the voice of the adult version of Aang in The Legend of Korra.



-Carnotaurus is a pretty cool theropod, though amongst the smallest ones in the “Heavyweight” class. It’s best-known for it’s distinctive horn-like structures on it’s head, though they’re not QUITE as bull-like as the name implies, however awesome that would be. They’re 25 feet long and full of teeth, like any great theropod should be, and were even the main villain of one Dino-themed movie- Disney’s “Dinosaur”. The one with the Iguanodons. Curiously, Carnotaurus was basically just T-Rex with the serial numbers filed off- it was MUCH too big in that film (in reality, they’d be much smaller than Iguanodons were). And Carnotaurus in that basically acted like your everyday T-Rex wannabe, doing standard evil predator things like hunting the heroes and their moms and stuff. Carnotaurus is handy if you want to avoid the cliches- EVERYONE is going to expect a T-Rex, and Allosaurus is getting just as bad as the official “secondary” huge dino-predator out there.

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