Dinosaur

Composed by: James Newton Howard

Towards the tail-end of its Renaissance era, Disney released an ambitious fully CGI dinosaur film simply titled Dinosaur. Visually the film is great, but the story and characters are so clichéd and predictable that it becomes a surprisingly forgettable experience. It’s telling that the best part of the movie is the first five or so minutes, when there is no dialogue. The plot itself concerns an orphaned Iguanodon named Aladar who is raised by lemurs. Displaced by the meteor that supposedly wiped out the dinosaurs, he teaches a herd of migrating herbivores on how to work as a team. One of the positives is James Newton Howard’s score, one of the best of his career. Howard had a brief tenure as a lead composer for Disney as it shifted its animation department towards non-musical action-adventure films. While he does not have the songs to make his scores iconic as, say, Beauty and Beast or Lion King, I have to say that the actual instrumental scores are generally superior to Alan Menken’s. Continue reading