Well GO USA
Coming to Digital, Blu-ray & DVD on June 20, 2023
It looks like Chinese directors Cai Shangming and Chen Silin want to create their own dinosaur empire with I am T-Rex. This animated fantasy adventure uses proper depictions of these creatures from the Cretaceous period, and to give them a voice takes time to process. Most other films just see them roar rather than speak like humans.
What’s presented is less cartoony and more visceral. To ensure this film gets the widest audience, no blood is shed at all and that’s good for parents wanting to give their children more than their weekly dose of all things dinosaur. Without the battle scars and fright, all I can say is that this release is a lot more family friendly. Although the believability factor takes one step back, the evolutionary advantage that anyone can become better persons is two epochs forward. This story suggests these creatures have a code to live by.
In this world, just who reigns supreme is the T-Rex, and as for who is the alpha, the social pecking order has been displaced. Fang (Christopher Guerrero) wants to be king, and to keep the creatures roaming his land happy will be tough. Whether this tale takes place in prehistoric China or not, various sources (including Wired) have reported about the discovery of a feathered ancestor roaming this land ages ago. This villain thinks what he’s doing is right, but we’re dealing with reptile instincts, after all. Most of them like to hunt!
After challenging the current king, his success means that previous ruler Logan (Ben Balmaceda) and son, Jarrett (Josh Grelle), must concede. They leave the valley and are left to fend for themselves. Eventually, the tyke will be returning. But without some lessons in how to become a much feared Tyrannosaurus Rex, we have to watch him grow up for much of Act Two. He’s no Karate Kid, but I can see the moral lessons he learns about being a just king gives this film meat.
And the help he gets from Cai the Parrot (Y. Chang) is less than comic. I was concerned over about why this unusual best friend by T-Rex’s side exists at all, and overall, his inclusion only helps define the narrative. While it looks odd to see these reptiles talk, it’s no different from watching Miyna from Gojira communicate with Saeko in Son of Godzilla. Maybe the directors were taking a cue from what doesn’t work, as I’m vaguely reminded of the 90s Dinosaurs. While that TV Show is primarily a sitcom, this one is all action-drama. I found that there’s enough bite to make it worth watching through.
I’m always curious in what Mainland China produces in the animated front. And while it’s a work for eventual release on Tubi, thankfully other streaming services are picking it up for immediate broadcast.
3 Roars out of 5