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BABY: a bigger mythical creature than Disney offered last spring, but one which makes a much smaller splash. Two steps forward, one step back: for after the success of Ron Howards mermaid movie, this tale of a brontosaurus baby slides into the old Disney formula and does anything but move Walt Disney Productions back into the mainstream.

BABY recounts the tale of a young zoologist and her husband who, not so deep in Africa, discover a brontosaurus family, and set out to protect it from a captivity-happy professor. An interesting idea, and one which starts out interestingly.

Our heroes are led to the area by a report of food poisoning. Senoufu natives have eaten an unusual animal not natural to their diet. Other fresh ideas follow, such as when Susan and George first meet the fierce Kaleri tribesmen: Susan snaps her camera and the Kaleri, instead of fearing for their souls, delight in the pictures, an impromptu group shot soon gathers.

These scenes are peppered with clever dialogue, such as Georges culinary critique: "This is absolute craparama. Dead ants. Live ants. I think Im gonna die ... Here, trya little half-eaten hippie food;" Cephu finds the granola bar unworthy of digestion. Even fairly mundane moments become nice touches due to their direction, such as when George rolls his face into Susans letter of: goodbye, or motorcycling after her helicopter, stops abruptly at piers end.

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