Film (1985; vt Dinosaur ... Secret of the Lost Legend). Touchstone Pictures/Buena Vista Distribution. Produced by Jonathan T Taplin and Roger Spottiswood. Directed by Bill L Norton (credited as B W L Norton). Written by Clifford and Ellen Greene, based on the juvenile storybook by David Lee Miller. Cast includes William Katt, Patrick McGoohan and Sean Young. 95 minutes. Colour.
Two young married Scientists, George Loomis (Katt) and Susan (Young), are in Central Africa investigating tribal legends of living creatures which resemble Dinosaurs. Highly unethical scientist Dr Kiviat (McGoohan) is on the same mission, planning to capture and exploit the creatures if they exist. George and Susan find a family of living apatosaurs; Kiviat discovers them at almost the same time. With help from corrupt military units, the adult male dinosaur is killed with a heavy barrage of gunfire, a surprisingly graphic scene for a film intended mainly for younger viewers. The adult female is captured using knock-out gas, the plan being to float her down the river to a seaside port. George and Susan escape with the infant, but are finally captured by Kiviat. They help the adult dinosaur to escape from its confinement on the barge, though: it chases down Kiviat and kills him. Finally the dinosaurs return to the swamp and the Loomises decide to keep their existence a secret.
Baby was not popular, perhaps owing to its relatively low budget: the dinosaurs were created by animatronics rather than CGI effects. Unusually in a 1980s film for younger viewers, some nudity is depicted. [GFi]
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