ByHussain Talib, writer at
Hussain Talib

This review may contain SPOILERS...

Note: This is my first review and my first contribution to MoviePilot so I am aware that once I look at this in the near-future, I would find flaws within myself. In addition, negative comments are welcome if there is constructive criticism involved. And lastly, NO flaming or harsh replies to me or to anyone...

Speckles the Tarbosaurus (Or "The Dino King" in the US) is a 2012 Korean animated film directed by Han Sang-Ho and, as the title suggests, stars a Tarbosaurus named Speckles.

The First time I watched "Speckles the Tarbosaurus" was back at late 2012 when I was surfing across the Primal Carnage forums and I found an article surrounding this movie. I was curious back then, so I decided to give myself a try and I watched it on YouTube.

It... Wasn't as bad as I though..."

I looked at reviews and surprisingly, most were pessimistic about the film, so I decided to take in action and defend the film (Maybe I'm just a biased dinosaur fan, but whatever). But despite liking this film, I have a good deal of issues for this film and thus, I would like to talk about it...

To start off, "Speckles the Tarbosaurus" is about the eponymous character of the same name and species who's family just happen to be rulers of their own territory. Speckles seems to enjoy his life until a Tyrannosaurus named One Eye emerges and inflicts tragedy towards the infant Tarbosaur, forcing him to fend for himself. Alongside, he meets a similar companion, Blue Eyes and live and hunt together, whilst constantly dealing with One-Eye and another set of tragedies...

Now that I'm set, I would like to talk about this in a critic's point of view:

The Good:

Speckles is a good character. I like the way his character develops and since the film acts as a "Coming of Age" film, it works as Speckles grows from an infant to an adult and the anthropomorphism surrounding the primary characters works as they are not presented too human-like and still act as they are supposed to be in nature. The antagonist, One Eye is an overall decent villain and portrays a sense of fear quite well towards Speckles and being persistent and intimidating by appearance, it's certain that something bad would happen, should One Eyes presence be felt. Blue Eyes is also another decent supporting character and helps to bring light inside Speckles's character, considering she's the only companion Speckles has during adulthood.

The story is formulaic, but I don't have a problem against it as most dinosaur films tend to be simplistic. As a Coming of Age film, it works as it attempts to portray the life of an oddball dinosaur and the hardships and trails he has to encounter as he matures. Overall, the story helps to develop Speckles's character and how he would take responsibility during his time as an adult.

The music is actually great and sadly, this is overlooked. I won't say it's awe-inspiring, let alone a masterpiece, but it is executed really well and brings out atmosphere to a world of dinosaurs. The best song is played during the opening and towards the end of this film. Don't believe me, just go watch the film and see for yourself...

The animation is the best part about this movie. For a foreign film, the dinosaurs look really realistic and the background environments look wonderful. This is by far, one of the best-looking dinosaur films out there and It's a shame to see how shunned and overlooked the film is. This is THE best looking dinosaur movie (To me at least) made in the 14 year gap between Jurassic Park III and Jurassic World and I'm not exaggerating. Go look how many Sci-Fy or low-budget films have been made during that time. You'll know what I'm talking about...

The Bad:

A palaeontological inaccuracy here, but many of the dinosaurs shown in the movie are not from Korea if you think about it. Torosaurus, Pachycephalosaurus, Ankylosaurus and Tyrannosaurus (Who just happens to be the antagonist) are all from North America. In addition, a 100 foot long Tylosaurus seems to make me laugh. I mean come on, they're only 45-50 feet long. However, I won't take it very seriously as this is a movie which is meant to be entertaining and is not supposed to be fully accurate.

However, what I could take seriously is the TERRIBLE NARRATION! Gosh was Infant Speckles's voice narration so annoying. I felt distracted because of it and It sometimes takes away the emotions you are supposed to be feeling about Speckles. The narration of Adult Speckles is done much better, but still, it does go a bit over the top at times. But anyway, at least it's somewhat bearable.

Funny how it kind of resembles "The Lion King" if you think about it. Scar and One Eye seem similar. Speckles and Simba, Blue Eyes and Nala, you get the point. But I'n not gonna say "Speckles the Tarbosaurus" is a rip-off and I'm evaluation the film on it's own. It at least has enough differences to make it seem somewhat original.

Overall, "Speckles the Tarbosaurus" is one of the better dinosaur films made between Jurassic Park III and Jurassic World and I find it sad to see this film being heavily overlooked. It's a 7.4 for me and I wish there was a feature in the Blue-Ray where I could omit the narration.

What I mean by "Tragic" early on, yeah, this film is kind of depressing for a kid's film so I wanted to warn you of that.

Also, I'm pretty surprised to see a sequel coming out in Summer 2016. I'll look forwards into it and lastly, thanks for watching :).

(What was your favourite dinosaur movie released between Jurassic Park III and Jurassic World? Comment below and let me knew :).)


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