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!