Notes: Universal. Animated. 71 minutes.
Rex: John Goodman
Buster: Blaze Berdahl
Mother Bird: Rhea Perlman
Vorb: Jay Leno
Woog: Rene Levant
Elsa: Felicity Kendal
Dweeb: Charles Fletcher
Captain NewEyes: Walter Cronkite
Dr. Bleeb: Julia Child
Cecilia Nuthatch: Yeardley Smith (Bart Simpson)
Louie: Joey Shea
Professor ScrewEyes: Kenneth Mars
Stubbs the Clown: Martin Short

Executive Producers: Steven Spielberg, Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy
Producer: Stephen Hickner
Directors: Dick Zondag, Ralph Zondag, Phil Nibbelink, Simon Wells
Screenplay: John Patrick Shanley
Based on Book by: Hudson Talbott
Music: James Horner.

Summary: A golf ball brings us to a tree where baby birds play an acorn game and scream like human brats. The parents bring a worm and George the father bird announces: "Here's food; fight over it." Mother bird protests gently but he says, "Only way they'll learn." Buster is declared a "momma's bird." When he attempts to fly the nest, a golfing dinosaur, first seen in a hubcap reflection (John Goodman half attempting to be Bing Crosby), prepares to tell Buster a story of his own past in which he was "an animal," "hungry all the time" in the old days.

We cut to a scene of dino predation, interrupted by a spaceship and an annoying creature resembling the Honey-Nut Cheerios bee, who does PR for "Brain Gran Cereal" which will help dinosaurs evolve. The Rex is force-fed by machine and joins the other three dinosaurs who sell the notion of eating hot dogs to him: "Take it on faith, Rex; you wanna hot dog." Captain NewEyes from the future invented the cereal and a "wish radio" which reveals bubbles of brats greedily begging: "I wish I could see a T. Rex." Others want to see flying dinosaurs, an Apatosaurus, a Triceratops. The Captain insists to the dinosaurs that the brats are wishing "for you," and that now they're smart enough to make up their own minds, whatever the hell that means under these circumstances. Travelling to the "middle future," they are warned to seek out Dr. Bleeb of the Museum of Natural History and to beware the Captain's evil brother, Professor ScrewEyes (odd that he has a different last name), since he is, after all, cruel and insane due to the loss of one of his eyes.

The dinosaurs parachute into New York City and meet the gat-toothed "I wish I had a friend" runaway, Louie, who uses a crane to save Rex from drowning (and there's a switch!). Louie takes a screaming flight with the Pterodactyl, sees the Thanksgivings Day Parade, meets a brat chick whose parents are never around (boo-fucking-hoo-hoo -- I should have been so lucky). "Come fly with me," says Louie, before landing among leering dinosaurs.

The dinosaurs enter the parade and parents everywhere say, "They're not real dinosaurs; they're robots." With a reluctant romance between Cecilia and Louie, there is the pretense that the dinosaurs "swing" musically. One lyric runs, "Just imagine how I must feel; / Human beings -- what a meal!" And a marquee in the background reads Jurassic Park.

The cops start in, and the dinosaurs are fugitives. Louie and Cecilia go to Central Park to meet up with Professor ScrewEyes and his Eccentric Circus where they sign a vaguely evil contract. ScrewEyes has a machine to identify children's fears, and he plans to use his invented formula, the Brain Drain, to turn the dinosaurs into monsters. The dinosaurs agree to this for the sake of the brats.

Stubbs the Clown (Martin Short doing Lou Costello) alerts the brats to the situation. At the Circus of Fear, amid explosions and a hell-mouth (and revelatory shots of a technical control board -- a visual confession), ScrewEyes announces, "I give you monsters!" In particular, he shows off his hypnotic control of Rex, "The ultimate set of teeth in the history of the world." He brags that the creature they all fear is under his control: "I am the master of fear." When Rex snatches the Professor, Louie intervenes to save him, and admits that toughness is a mask for fear. Hugs ensue. The spaceship returns, beaming the shackles to free the other dinos. Gender-politics are involved in kiss-rendering, and the Pterodactyl tells Rex that "the way you look at me, it makes me want to lay an egg."

Stubbs quits the circus, and when the Captain and the rest ride off, ScrewEyes ends pathetically alone. Crows cover him and when they fly off he is gone except for his metallic eye, which another crow snatches and flies off with.

The final plan is for the dinosaurs to pretend to be statues until all adults are banned outside the exhibit; then Dr. Bleeb reveals the live dinos to screaming brats of all nations. Captain Cronkite draws the curtain, saying, "And that's the way it is." "And that's what happened," says Rex to the bird. We see photos of Louie and Cecilia, who "made up with their parents." We bid good-night to the "little tough guy," who hugs his mother despite taunts from siblings about being "momma's little birdy."

Commentary: An interesting attempt at guilt-expiation from Spielberg, serving only to damn him further to a level of repetition-compulsion Hell the likes of which Dante never dreamed. That Jurassic Park shows up on the marquee in the background and yet this cartoon serves as exposée to techniques of manipulating the masses amounts to a sort of interfilmic mutual masturbation. All the young -- both avian and Japanimation / Precious-Moments / dentist-office-poster-single-white-wedge-as-all-top-teeth brats -- scream constantly. Although he no doubt thinks he's being entertaining and Dickensianly sentimental, the half-assed attempt at paleopsychoanalysis is typical Spielbergian stupidity. Final word? Disgusting.