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The Good Dinosaur Review

The Good Dinosaur

“The Good Dinosaur” is bottom tier Pixar.

“The Good Dinosaur” hypothesizes “what if an asteroid didn’t cause the extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago”? From that point on, the story cuts to a family of farmer Apatosauruses with a primary focus on the little guy Arlo. Arlo is a kind hearted, but fearful dino who is looking to make his mark on the world. To make a long story short, a tragic death and a misunderstanding cause Arlo to become lost with a caveboy (later named Spot). Together, these two embark on a new journey where they experience the world around them, encounter oddball dinosaurs, and face perilous dangers. Above all else, however, Arlo and Spot begin to develop a powerful friendship as Arlo tries to get back home.

The combination of Pixar plus Dinosaurs seems like a no brainer on paper. Surprisingly though, the film was not a box office hit nor did it receive the acclaim that most Pixar films do. After seeing it it’s not hard to see why it didn’t connect with audiences like say “Inside Out” did. For a majority of the runtime, “The Good Dinosaur” feels less like a Pixar film and more like a hybrid of “Ice Age” and “The Land Before Time.” It lacks creativity and comes off as generic at times. The meandering middle act doesn’t do the film any favors either as it needlessly drags the story on.

Flaws aside, the film is not without merit. In typical Pixar fashion, “The Good Dinosaur” does have tremendous heart. Even though most of the film did little for me, the ending really tugs at the heart strings. Without giving too much away, there’s a deeply moving scene without any dialogue that says so much without say a thing.

This should go without saying, but the CGI animation is also stunning here. Yes, the characters look rather simplistic, but the environments are dazzling. The water, grass, stones, sand, sky, mist, and the overall lighting is a feast for the eyes. It really transports the viewer into the world the characters inhabit.

Note: I did not receive a physical copy for review so I will not be commenting on the video and audio quality.

* 3 animatic deleted scenes (and an introduction to them).
* 5 promos/trailers.
* “Sanjay’s Super Team”- The Academy Award nominated animated short film about a young Indian boy (Sanjay), heroes, imagination, family, and faith. Easily the best extra on this set.
* “True Lies About Dinosaurs”- An extra about which parts of the movies are fictional.
* “The Filmmakers’ Journey”- An informative piece that tackles the script, crew, filming, and so forth.
* “Following The T-Rex Trail”- Director Peter Sohn and other crew members take a trip to an Oregon cattle ranch to get some inspiration for the movie.
* “Every Part Of The Dinosaur”- A look at the CGI creation of characters.
* “Recyclosaurus”- A fun look at a particular competition (dinosaur building via recycled materials) at Pixar Studios.
* “Just Listen”- An extra about the sound f/x and score.
* Commentary by Peter Sohn, Kelsey Mann, Mike Venturini, Sharon Calahan, and Sanjay Bakshi. There is a ton of behind-the-scenes information here about designs, themes, and so on, but it’s a bit dry and scripted for my taste.

Note: There are additional extras on the Blu-ray.

“The Good Dinosaur” is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and through various digital platforms.

March 4, 2016 - Posted by | Movie Review | , ,

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