(Flashback to a television commercial that ran endlessly on The Disney Channel circa 1985.)
AD: “Hey, kids! Here’s a Disney movie about a baby dinosaur! Get excited!”
KIDS: “Yay yay yay!!!”
AD: “Now watch it.”
If you want to know why Cryptozoology isn’t taken seriously, look no further.
Sometimes, you may find yourself in a library standing in front of a shelf of old videos available to borrow. And one title will scream out at you, especially if you swear you remember having watched it at least once. As soon as I saw “Baby”, I knew it was coming home with me. See, I *know* I saw this as a kid. You probably did too. And, like me, all you remember is that it is a Disney movie involving a baby dinosaur.
So I brought it home and watched it.
Maybe it’s best if you see it for yourself – without the kids in the room. Anyway, if you want to watch Sean Young, the “Greatest American Hero” guy, and the King Longshanks guy run around with a crappy puppet (I think our old friend Yowler still wins), rent this movie and lose an hour and a half you will never see again.
(It’s still better than “Theodore Rex“, though.)
The Best Parts:
-1 second in – Woah, check out the old-school Touchstone logo!
1 minute in – Can you already hear the confused little 80’s kids crying, “Where are the dinosaurs???”
12 minutes in – “I look cool in these glasses!” :D
23 minutes in – “It’s okay! I’ve only captured your soul in this little piece of plastic!”
32 minutes in – Look how long that took!!!
33 minutes in – “This is the end! / My friend…”
35 minutes in – You wait all this time to see the sodding titular character and she looks like a cross between Littlefoot and Gollum.
39 minutes in – An integral part of the Mokele-Membe legend is that the creature can swim very well. Notice that the crappy puppet version sinks.
40 minutes in – How the hell does she know that dinosaurs don’t play?
42 minutes in – “My God, it’s comin’ right for us!!!”
47 minutes in – Okay, here’s what troubles me deeply about this movie. So far, we have seen boobs, wieners, racism, swearing, violence, and jokes about wife-beating. And here we see poor little Gollum/Littlefoot watching her dad’s rotting carcass get messily scavenged by vultures. Ain’t this a great movie for the kiddies?
49 minutes in – MONKEY!!! And if you can watch the following scene without cracking up you… oh, you know by now.
55 minutes in – Release the crappy CGI bees!!!
56 minutes in – Scenes like this one make me wish I’d been there for the pitch meeting. They had to be kidding, right?
1 hour in – “Cruel mens hurted usssssss!!!!”
1 hour, 6 minutes in – One of several scenes where they have the crappy puppet interacting with real animals. I’d give anything within reason to know what that poor tortoise is thinking.
1 hour, 8 minutes in – Still more entertaining than “Congo”.
1 hour, 10 minutes in – “Canst we play a game of riddlesesss?”
1 hour, 14 minutes in – Okay, I *really* want to know what the monkeys are thinking.
1 hour, 19 minutes in – Oi, there’s a violation of the ol’ Prime Directive.
1 hour, 23 minutes in – Hey, it’s just like “the Lost World”! If that old movie had totally sucked!
1 hour, 27 minutes in – Aww, it’s just like… um… almost every Disney movie ever.
1 hour, 33 minutes in (end credits) – And didn’t they give a glowing portrayal of the Ivory Coast?
Classic Lines of Dialogue:
“They have eaten an animal they can’t -or won’t- identify.” – Dr. Duboir
“Four wives?!? I’ve got all I can handle with one!” – George
“This is absolute crap-o-rama!” – George tasting native food
Susan: “Just another legend?”
George: “If we let it be.”
Things I Learned from this Movie/Book/Whatever:
* – There are good cryptozoologists and there are dastardly cryptozoologists.
* – Dastardly cryptozoologists have an innate carbon-dating sense.
* – Good cryptozoologists can dodge bullets.
* – Don’t eat animals that are supposed to be extinct.
* – Canadian Tiger Swallowtail butterflies and domestic pigeons can be found in equatorial Africa.
* – Sauropods can also dodge bullets.
* – When visiting equatorial Africa, make sure you immediately befriend the lost tribe of Deus ex Machina people.
* – Sauropods are naturally vegetarians. However, they will eat you if you p__s them off.
Things That Can Save Any Movie:
Cool Creatures? No.
Good Soundtrack? No.
Hot Guys? No.
Pretty Scenery? I guess… It’s a little negated by the fact that this movie does for the Congo what, oh I don’t know, “Mystic River” did for Boston. >:/
Nifty Animation/Special Effects/Illustrations? Hell, no.
Drinking Game Potential? Drink when something inappropriate for a film that has been advertised towards children happens.
Head Movie Potential? No.
An evocatively blurry photograph of the crest of Jon’s head as he is swimming around in a jungle river.
A Touchstone pictures film made in 1985 (or, rather, MCMLXXXV, if my translation is off). Written by Clifford and Ellen Green and directed by B.W.L. Norton. Creature effects by Roland Tantin and Isidoro Raponi, and characters designed by James Kagel. Who should all be very, very embarrassed.
Sean Young, William Katt, Patrick McGoohan, and Mark Mangini and George Budd as the voices of Baby and her family.
Tetrapod Zoology – This wonderful blog about animals of all kinds did a fantastic April Fool’s Day joke post based on this movie. I’m linking it here since it proves I’m not the only person who remembers it. Also, it points out something I forgot to: the people who designed Baby and her parents knew absolutely balls about sauropods.