3 August 2017 | TheLittleSongbird
A prehistoric stinker
Made the decision, despite not caring much at all for the first 'Alpha and Omega', to see its follow-ups (yes there is a franchise) out of curiosity and as an enormous fan of animation, would see anything regardless of critical reception.
While the previous sequels were incredibly bad, dreadful even, for exactly the same reasons in each one (hence my reviews for them being similarly worded), 'Dino Digs' is the worst one yet. Love animation, always judge a film for what they set out to do and for what they are taking into account the target audience. It is just hard not to be hard on the 'Alpha and Omega' follow ups because they insult the intelligence of children and adults alike in what is intended to be a family film where children and adults can judge and are of such poor quality.
There is nothing that works in 'Dino Digs'. One of those endeavours that promises action, funny moments and tender moments and has none of those, as well as charm, heart or soul or any kind of suspense and excitement. In a film with dinosaurs taking on major roles, all of those were kind of important.
Let's start with the animation, which actually is so amateurishly done and is the worst looking film of the franchise up this point in the series. The animation wasn't the best in the first film but it had its decent moments. It however is 'Toy Story' compared to the animation quality here, which is not quite Video Brinquedo, Spark Plug Entertainment or 'Foodfight' bad but almost and on the same level as 'The Swan Princess' CGI films. Blocky character designs (especially for the dinosaurs, even for a film presumably made on a low budget and limited resources their design and movements were a disgrace), almost creepy expressions, very flat colours, a complete lack of fluidity in movement, endless goofs as long as your arm and less than meticulously detailed backgrounds are reminiscent of computer animation and video games in their infancy, something that one does not expect at all for 2015 even for low budget when technology has advanced as much as it has.
Can say no better for the music either. None of it fits with what's going on, stylistically it feels out of place and out of kilter, it's obtrusive and it's not even good music on its own. The writing is even worse, summing up in one word it's abominable. half-baked ideas and any parts that strive to be funny or poignant instead come across as eye-rollingly cheesy or cloying.
Worse are the "funny" jokes and dialogue, which are not funny at all, one groans at some of the wordplay/puns and older audiences who are children at heart whenever seeing animation (like me, one is never too old to appreciate animation and it is not strictly oriented towards kids only) will question the appropriateness of some of it.
Story-wise, there is not much of one at all. That it's short may be a comfort for the main target audience and older viewers, but that's saying nothing. It is short but feels longer thanks to plodding pacing and thin plotting. The prehistoric action has no excitement or suspense and feel very repetitive and both rushed and drawn out.
The characters are never engaging, they are either bland or irritating (have never been able to stand the wolf pups, here they are at their worst and most insubordinate) and some of them are completely pointless.
Voice acting is weak all round, even from prolific voice actor Debi Derryberry, the first 'Alpha and Omega' at least had Hayden Panettiere giving a pretty good account of herself and Dennis Hopper. There is nobody of that calibre here, some overdo it and some act as if they weren't even trying.
Overall, one of the worst of the 'Alpha and Omega' franchise. 1/10 Bethany Cox