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​On 大恐竜時代(Daikyouryuu Jidai/Era of the Dinosaurs, 1979)

On 大恐竜時代(Daikyouryuu Jidai/Era of the Dinosaurs, 1979): This aired on TV back in the early 80's when I was bout 5 or 6 years old. I remember watching this movie about three kids who are taken by an alien and transported back into the dinosaur era, where they befriend a blue baby Triceratops and run for the lives from a malevolent T-rex. They learn a great deal about the dinosaurs of that time, and somehow are transported to some point during the development of early humans, where they encounter the exact same malevolent T-Rex who chased them presumably millions of years prior. The youngest of the time-travelling children is absolutely livid that the T-Rex (who according to the narrative is essentially a murderous asshole) has survived until now and that his friend the baby blue Triceratops did not. He whips the cavemen up into an empathetic fury and together they spear the T-Rex to death. The last scene shows the bloody T-Rex dead on the beach and the three children reflecting on the meaning of life and conflict. They are summarily returned to their modern time period where they all vow to keep sacred the earth and all life. As an American kid growing up in the early 80's where cartoons never had gruesome, bloody deaths, I think that both this movie and Nausicaa in the Valley of Wind were utterly shocking to me at the time. I remember spending the rest of the afternoon after seeing Era of Dinosaurs in a kind of somber, reflective stupor, which for a little kid is extremely disconcerting. Actually, I think I am getting a little off-topic. I don't mean to vilify the Era of Dinosaurs. Rather, I wanted to talk about it as a film that really sunk its emotional and philosophical talons straight into my heart, where they have been hooked ever since. I remember this movie being one of the most moving and emotional movies I had ever seen at the time, and no amount of toy-playing would make me forget what I had seen. Granted this was all years ago. And as one is prone to do, the titles of the shows you saw at those ages tend to elude you. Thankfully, due to google's uncanny ability to find like-minded ramblings on discarded and long-forgotten internet forums, I was able to find out the title of this film by typing in something like, "time travel anime about dinosaurs and the environment." In closing, I just wanted to record my re-finding of this anime title on Facebook since it is a defacto diary of sorts, and it has the added benefits of timestamping and geotagging. I do believe that it would be particularly difficult to find an English-language version of this film, but I will see what I can dig up in my jaunts to Nipponbashi and Ebisu-cho. Presented in the link below is someone's edited "trailer" of this old and deeply-involved animated film.

About the Author

PhD Candidate in Japan, researching Narrative in Games. Responds favorably to Thrash Metal, Karaoke, and Dungeons & Dragons.

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