The Best Dinosaur Movie That Never Was | Science | Smithsonian

The Best Dinosaur Movie That Never Was

Looking back on it now, Disney's 2000 film Dinosaur was pretty impressive. It melded CGI dinosaurs with real landscapes in a convincing way and generally looked good as a film. The problem was that the film execs felt that the dinosaurs needed to talk (except for all the "bad" dinosaurs) and this m...

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Looking back on it now, Disney's 2000 film Dinosaur was pretty impressive. It melded CGI dinosaurs with real landscapes in a convincing way and generally looked good as a film. The problem was that the film execs felt that the dinosaurs needed to talk (except for all the "bad" dinosaurs) and this made the movie a bit of a chore to sit through. What most people don't know, though, is that in its early stages of development Dinosaur had the potential to be one of the best dinosaur movies ever made.

Over at his VonShollyWood blog, artist Pete Von Sholly has shared some of the unused concept art he had created for Dinosaur during its early development. The illustrations are stunning, from a mosasaur gulping down a meal to a lemur trying to ride a Pachyrhinosaurus, but most of the drawings will not be familiar to those who saw the film. If Von Sholly's concept art had been translated to the screen it may have resulted in a very different film, indeed.

And Von Sholly was not the only talented paleo-artist working on the picture. According to one of his posts;
Think about this: we had me (blush), Mark Hallet, Dave Krentz, Doug Henderson, Ricardo Delgado, Brian Franczak, Thom Enriquez, Bob Bakker, William Stout and a host of others working on this thing. Tell me that shouldn't have added up to the ultimate dinosaur movie!
It is sad that the finished film did not do justice to the talent of the people behind it, and even sadder that no book of concept art was ever released in conjunction with the movie. I am sure any paleo fan would drool at the prospect of seeing the concept art for this film from some of the best dinosaur illustrators in the business. It is probably far too late to pull together such a volume now, but in case anyone over at Disney is listening, I know a lot of dinosaur fans who would be overjoyed to have such a volume produced.

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About Brian Switek
Brian Switek

Brian Switek is a freelance science writer specializing in evolution, paleontology, and natural history. He writes regularly for National Geographic's Phenomena blog as Laelaps.

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