Dino Time is a part-South Korean, part-American animation film originally released in 2012. The story focuses on a young scamp named Ernie, voiced by Pamela Adlon, whose rebellious antics lead him to travel back in time to the age of the dinosaurs, with his friend Max and sister Julie.
Ernie is our cheeky daredevil protagonist who rebels against his nosy sister and controlling mum. Adlon has one of those unique voices that can bring a character to life and give him or her own instantly recognisable identity, the best example being Spinelli from Recess. Adlon gives Ernie the cheeky loveable vibe her voice acting is effortlessly capable of. Yet the fine line between lovable and annoying does unfortunately tilt towards the latter as the film progresses.
Visually the film is stuck between the first Toy Story and the early Ice Age films. The adventure chase scenes hold enough driving excitement to keep younger audiences enthralled, though. The introduction of the creepy lizards, Surly and Sarco, help give the film a darker twist as their layer is a nest of evil debauchery, voiced by two of the Baldwin brothers.
Despite the quirky characters and otherworldly setting, the movie is surprisingly laugh-free. Dino Time’s main selling feature may be its fantastical adventure storytelling, but every worthy animated flick still has its share of humour; sadly not a single laugh was had by a kid or parent in the screening. The sense of fantasy escapism is also constantly lost by the Ernie breaking the fourth wall to talk to the audience, a nagging technique that gets old quickly.
Dino Time may scrape by as a mildly entertaining film for bored young kids on a wet afternoon but not a lot more.
Dino Time is released nationwide on 22nd May 2015.
Watch the trailer for Dino Time here: