Prehysteria! 2 (1994)


Like every studio, Moonbeam and Charles Band were seeking their fortune with their own version of “Home Alone” that would bring in the big bucks. With sub-par efforts like “Remote,” there was also the “Prehysteria!” movies which always featured the owners of a foursome of miniature dinosaurs battling evil grown ups of some kind. Set immediately after the original, the foursome of dinosaurs now live with their new family The Taylors in the green house. Seeking to have their chance to feast on the family’s large crop of raisins, they’re accidentally scooped in to a large crate and sent off for shipping by local farmers. Luckily, they’re discovered by bratty but lonely rich boy Brendan, who befriends the miniature dinosaurs, and tries to keep them a secret from his mean house keeper Miss Whitney.

The deal with Sun Maid must have been a huge break for Moonbeam, as the Sun Maid logo is prominent in a few scenes, even playing a very crucial importance in the diets of the miniature dinosaurs. At one point when one of the obligatory evil adults finds a stack of raisins he makes a big deal out of them. You can’t fault Moonbeam though, since I imagine the puppetry and stop motion animation for “Prehysteria 2” was tricky. Even the pterodactyl Madonna is taken out of commission for the sake of cutting the budget, prompting main character Brendan to mainly just play around with more easily working puppets like T-Rex Elvis and the long necked Paula. Truthfully, the miniature dinosaurs don’t play much of a role in this sequel, and they’re rarely shown in the last half of the movie. It completely defeats the purpose of sitting through the movie, making them feel very easily cut out of the narrative.

You could have cut out the miniature dinosaurs from script and instead just ended up with a simply kids film about the relationship between a rich boy and his pauper friend. The only time the dinosaurs come in to play is when a pair of eccentric exterminators come to the house to kill off whatever character Brendan’s aunt is allergic to. They’re very easily disposed of and never seen until the utterly silly finale, prompting the movie to once again go off the rails and forget that the primary appeal of this sequel is that it features four miniature dinosaurs. “Prehysteria 2” is a very sub-par sequel that unfortunately suffers from an even lesser budget than the original film. Had the budget been larger, I imagine the miniature dinosaurs would have played a more significant role in the narrative adding to the charm and excitement. Sadly, they feel pretty perfunctory to the overall film, making this a very sub-par effort all around.