The film originally started shooting with anamorphic lenses, but cinematographer John Alcott switched to spherical lenses early on because he did not think anamorphic gave him the sharpness and depth of field he wanted. The anamorphic footage - young Dar's encounter with the bear in the forest - was later cropped to match the 1.85:1 final aspect ratio of the spherical footage.
Young Dar's Father: Dar... the gods have put that mark on you, and someday, you'll find out why. 'Til then, this mark will be your guide. My sword and my caber will be your trusted companions. Protect Emur, your home. And if anything should happen to me, look for our enemies, the Juns... and you may search for your destiny in the Valley of Aruk.
What are the differences between the Theatrical Version and the Director's Cut?
At first the movie was only released in a tightened version that doesn't really feel right at some points. Years later a Director's Cut was released. It is a lot more logical as it develops the characters a lot better. Right at the beginning a large part of the plot has been put back in place. It explains the details for the fight between king Zed and Maax as well as the reason why Dar can talk to animals (he was transferred to a cow's belly as an unborn). Additionally, some beautiful landscape views seen through the eagle's eyes now delight the viewer. In total more than 20 minutes were added to the Director's Cut. A detailed comparison between both versions with pictures can be found here.