Wednesday, December 2, 2015

[Review] The Good Dinosaur

For the first time ever, Pixar has released two feature-length films in the same year. The Good Dinosaur follows the wonderfully imaginative Inside Out, and it's a sweet, seen-it-before journey.

Arlo is a newly born Apatosaurus. He's a scaredy-cat saur--the runt of the family (when his eggshell popped open, his parents didn't think he was in there at first). After a couple of devastating scenes at the beginning involving Arlo's parents (Oh, Pixar), he gets lost and befriends a little wild-ling human, similar to Donnie from Nickelodeon's "The Wild Thornberrys", but much cuter (Oh, Pixar). From here on, they journey to find their way home. Sound familiar?

Still, this might be Pixar's most impressively animated and visually beautiful film. The colors are both vibrant and earthy, and the textures are so incredibly vivid and detailed. From the sky to the dirt, some of the landscape views actually appear to be so realistic that they look like they were pulled from an Animal Planet or National Geographic documentary. Things get pretty at night time when the scenes glow with a surreal luminance. It's all aided by a wondrous musical score (if you listen closely, it has a major Lord of the Rings vibe to it).

The plot is not a bad one at all, but it is certainly less innovative or original, not just by Pixar's standards but also in general. Whether it's The Lion King, The Jungle Book, or Ice Age--it's all in here, not just because of the settings and creatures, but also because of the narrative paths. Even with that in mind, this is still a finely enjoyable tale. One of its commendable qualities is that it contains stretches where not much dialogue is said, and it's a refreshing break from a lot of the motormouth tendencies that a lot of animated films for young kids seem to have. And as expected, there is a nice amount of humor and heart. I've never been one to stray away from a good dinosaur story.



  1. I totally agree with your thoughts on the plot! I feel like it had all been done before. I even would bring in movies like Land Before Time and Finding Nemo. Just seeing the trailer with that overdone plot turned me off to the movie. Nevertheless, I was dragged by three guys to see it last night. It was a well done movie overall. A drug reference reference and some suggestive language wasn't really necessary to the plot could have been left on the cutting room floor. I was surprised to see/hear it was PG just based off "peril, action and thematic elements" (gotta love MPAA).

    1. Definitely agree about Land Before Time and Finding Nemo.
      The "drug scene" was a strange choice. I actually chuckled during it, but was also surprised that it made it into the movie.
      Otherwise, a beautiful if derivative film.