Making friends is easy, keeping them is impossible.
A young fatherless boy makes friends with a strange alien creature and tries to shield it from the authorities. Throw in a suburban setting and a bunch of plucky kids on bicycles, and this low-budget Australian fantasy adventure’s debt to Spielberg’s E.T. is blatant. And in case we haven’t yet taken the hint, at one point Jordan Dulieu’s hero even uses sweets to coax the creature out of hiding.
Unsurprisingly, special-effects whiz turned writer-director Matt Drummond (maker of 2014’s Dinosaur Island) only conjures up a fraction of the magic, charm and wonder found in E.T., and his Aussie cast’s American accents aren’t that convincing, either. Yet the dinosaur-like critter itself – an impressive bit of CGI given the film’s resources – is cute enough to make My Pet Dinosaur a tolerably entertaining time-passer.
Certificate PG. Runtime 90 mins. Director Matt Drummond
My Pet Dinosaur available on DVD & Digital from Signature Entertainment.