Saturday, June 6, 2015

Yoon-suk Choi/John Kafka's animated BACK TO THE JURASSIC proves a charming little winner

Are you tired of paying top dollar to see a new big-budget animated film in a theatre? Recent samples, often in 3D, can cost a family of five more than $100 to view. You and your kids might want, instead, to settle in on your couch and watch a new animated movie -- BACK TO THE JURASSIC -- that arrives, if I'm not mistaken, via a combo of Hollywood and South Korea, this coming Tuesday on DVD and Blu-ray.

Directed by Yoon-suk Choi and John Kafka, this what-you-might-call B-movie animation tells the tale of a dinosaur-obsessed school kid, his younger sister and best friend, Max (above), all of whom live in a town seemingly devoted to dinosaurs and their ilk (everything, from the museum to the local diner, is dino-themed). This youthful crew ends up taking a unexpected trip via time machine back to the Jurassic period where they encounter a multitude of dinosaurs, one of which (below and voiced by Melanie Griffith) takes a maternal interest in the threesome -- due to that time machine's looking an awfully lot like the dino egg she so recently was hoping to hatch.

TrustMovies admits that he was not expecting much from this movie, when he settled back on his daughter's couch with his grandson and began to watch. But what do you know? The film proved much better than expected. Charmingly plotted and written, and featuring voices of some first-rate talent (along with some second-rate who are used quite well), Back to the Jurassic is enchanting and fun from first frame to last.

Full of energy and more wit than you might have imagined, the movie handles themes like disobedient children, over-protective parents, sibling rivalry, and of course dinosaurs of both the benign and scary varieties with aplomb and pizazz. It proves consistently entertaining for the kids (my seven-year-old grandson rated it very highly and immediately told me that he wanted to see it again), while providing an easy, pleasant watch for adults, too.

The animation is very well done: immensely colorful, alternatingly bright and dark, and always enjoyable to view. The movie will immediately grab the attention of young kids and keep them focused (at one point I asked my grandson if he had understood one of the more sophisticated moments/situations, and sure enough, he had), and I suspect you adults may be surprised at how often this movie has you smiling.

Once the kids land in the prehistoric period, their respective parents must high-tail it after them and bring the crew back home. Mom (above, left) is voiced by Jane Lynch, but thanks to the very poor and incredibly incomplete website of the film's distributor, Alchemy, plus almost no information about the film available on the imdb, I don't know who voices Max's dad. Traveling through time and back is pretty much the plot, with the protagonists (the kids, parents and good dinos) set against their antagonists (a couple of very bad dinos, voiced by brothers William and Stephen Baldwin).

Running just 86 minutes, this fleet and frisky film is worth a look if you have young kids. It hits the street this coming Tuesday, June 9, on both DVD and Blu-ray. 

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