I wish I could go back in time and stop my husband from showing this film to our kid. I have really complicated feelings about this movie. I love dinosaurs, my husband loves dinosaurs, and so does our two and a half year old son. My son has been obsessed with dinosaurs since he was about 1 and 1/2 years old. We have literally consumed pretty much all dinosaur media there is. Documentaries, dinosaur movies like Jurassic Park, cartoons, you name it. Occasionally I do draw the line at some films because they weren't really about the dinos, just human gore.
If it were up to my son, this film would be five stars. It's actually one of his favorite movies on the planet. He is in love with Tyrannosaurs, so when One Eye was presented in this film as the T-Rex, he automatically latched on to him as his favorite despite being the bad guy.
As a parent, I have several problems with this film. It is marketed towards children. However, the overly intense and drawn out, dramatic death scenes (the main character's entire family is killed off intentionally by One Eye) are a bit much for a kid still understanding what death means. The scene where the mother gets pushed off the cliff as the main character cries out for his mother as a baby and we watch her slowly descend to her death while highly dramatic music plays. This scene just keeps going and going and the sadness is just really intense for children. Not that I mind my son eventually being exposed to these things, as he is a Land Before Time fan in which the mother has a death scene as well, but this scene was really intense. Then as the main character continues to grow up, One Eye continues to find him and try to ruin his life. At one point, the main character's mate is actually pregnant when One Eye shows up again and tries to mate with her against her will (yes I understand the animal kingdom, but why is an attempted rape scene in a dino film for kids that is verbally acknowledged? Lol come on!), the main character has to fight One Eye off again just as the female is giving up. So that was a little disturbing.
How about when we watch one of the main dino's kids get smashed by a boulder, and when One Eye throws one of the babies off a cliff, we see the baby get slammed into a cliff wall and then fall into the water and disappear into the water? Let's not forget the death of the mate which is the result of an injury on her leg, but the main character attempts to fight off a pack of veliciraptors until she's actually dead and then he and the surviving babies try to run off. It leaves us with the image of him looking back at his mate while velociraptors run toward her and him apologizing to his dead mate after tons of very dramatic scenes in music is involved. Well kids, there goes your mom's dead carcass. Body desecration seems like something for adults or teens. At least in Land Before Time, they spare the details of Little Foots mom's dead body. Seriously I'm an atheist and have a background in anthropology and medicine, so while death and decay are not something I have a problem with, you might want to reconsider exposing to a younger child.
This film is like One Eye for me. It keeps coming back to haunt me in various forms. Now, I'm forced to purchase it because Netflix and dropped it in February and my son misses this film dearly. I'm writing this review in hopes that someone who's looking for more dinosaur movies for their young child reads this and steers clear of it entirely before their kid gets hooked into it before they're old enough to appreciate the adult themes in this film once they're ready for such concepts. Or at the very least, go to YouTube and look it up and watch before showing it to your younger child. Not much surprises me these days with parents, but I have to believe that the parents giving this movie two thumbs up for their preschoolers are either daft or haven't actually sat down and watched the movie with their undivided attention as many of us struggle to do these days. Because originally this is a foreign film, it may be that this kind of content is considered more appropriate there or perhaps this wasn't intended for a more immature audience that tends to gravitate towards this sort of media.
Regardless, I fully expect this to be a film that one day my son asks me why the hell I let him watch it at 2 years old. 🤦♀️