We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story (1993)
1993 was a fantastic year for movies, apparently, with this being the 3rd movie from that year ALREADY on this list. Coming out the same year as JURASSIC PARK, WE’RE BACK! is a wholly different dino tale, positing the idea that a young boy and girl could befriend and meet a group of friendly dinosaurs within the wonderful backdrop of the Museum of Natural History in New York City, rather than becoming their lunch.
The movie literally begins with a time traveler giving dinosaurs BRAIN GRAIN cereal and asking the dinosaurs to fulfill the wishes of two lonely children. It’s poignant stuff, and automatically, these fun-loving dinosaurs inject some entertainment into these lonely kids lives (and in ours). I had a few close friends growing up, but I was very independent, preferring to play with my toys than to socialize, and WE’RE BACK presented a world where I could wish friends into existence, and not only that, fantastical friends with scales.
WE’RE BACK has a bevy of great voice actors, including John Goodman, Rhea Perlman, Jay Leno, Martin Short and then it gets even wackier, with Julia Child AND Walter Cronkite lending their wares for this weird, trippy film.
It also has arguably one of the scariest villains of all “kid” movie-dom in Professor Screweyes, a wacky circus host, who CAN TAP INTO YOUR NIGHTMARES with his hypnotic stare. The scene where he turns our lovable dinosaurs into the fearsome prehistoric monsters of the past…with the kids in the line of fire begging for their friend’s back, is some of the most powerful and frightening scenes I’ve ever seen. I remember it even now, not having seen it in more than a decade, though I used to watch it with my Dad on repeat when growing up. While JURASSIC PARK deservedly gets all the love, it was WE’RE BACK that unsurprisingly tapped into my love of dinosaurs more effectively when I was five.
Children’s movies were dark back then, man.