A simple illustration of a toothy green T. rex

Vintage Dinosaur Media | Dinozaury or Dinosaurs: The Age of the Terrible Lizard

Vintage Dinosaur Art

Time for another trip to the educational films of the past, and this one is a doozy! 1970’s Dinosaurs: The Age of the Terrible Lizard is an edited English translation of an animated Polish film called Dinozaury, written and directed by Witold Giersz and Ryszard Slapczynski. It was digitized by IU Libraries and made available to the public via Media Collections Online. It was also featured by Rifftrax (available to subscribers).

This edit is only 6 minutes long, but is still plenty entertaining. It’s full of touches that date it even if you missed the copyright year. Perhaps my favorite is the not-too-subtle implication that herbivores are failed carnivores. They’re not adapted to a widespread and varied nutritional resource. They just can’t hack it as hunters.

But even as I chuckled at the anachronisms and odd choices in the script, I was rapt by the utterly charming animation, like the tyrannosaur who walks through the frame at the 5:32 mark with a very human gait. It’s hard to pick a favorite moment when just about every second of the film offers something fun or bizarre.

Fortunately, the original Polish film is also available on Youtube, in two parts. Enjoy the filmmakers’ original vision, complete with all of the footage the American version unceremoniously cut!

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  • Reply
    Szymon Górnicki
    October 5, 2022 at 6:36 pm

    Strange. It is written in Polish subtitles that Ryszard Slapczynski was only the director’s assistant.
    Great film, its entertaining even now when you are an adult. These were the golden times of Polish animation.

    • Reply
      David Orr
      October 5, 2022 at 7:09 pm

      Strange! Yes, the film is extremely entertaining. Would absolutely love to see something modern done like this.

  • Reply
    T.K. Sivgin
    October 6, 2022 at 6:38 pm

    Just watched the Polish original and the scene where the Triassic dinosaur chases the Cynognathus has a hilarious gag that’s cut in the English version. After hiding in its burrow, the Cynognathus shows the dino the fig sign (putting the thumb between the index and middle finger). I’m not Polish but in Turkish culture we also use that sign to say “go fuck yourself.”

  • Reply
    Yasmin Foster
    October 15, 2022 at 11:48 am

    Good Lord, the way that T-Rex goes up to attack that Triceratops. Who knew kicking one in the face would be so effective.

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