What if Dinosaurs never died out? This question continues to plague minds to this very day of a world where the gigantic lizards reigned. Fortunately Disney/Pixar have decided to take a crack at answering this with another culmination of their animation studios. Today’s review is on the Good Dinosaur. With all the advertisements, Disney certainly has faith in this film not only in their overzealous trailers, but also making it in 3-D much like their last movie (Inside Out). Does Pixar strike gold, or is it only fool’s gold being sent to the masses? As always, read on to find out.
- The Animation: No surprise that Pixar continues to push boundaries of computer animation. Once more the team has crafted characters that not only move as expected of their anatomy, but also integrate human like qualities to them that represent the western theme of the movie. Watching the Apatosaurus family farm the land or seeing the T-rex galloping as if they were on horses, added that spunk Pixar is always known for. Even more impressive for this reviewer was the scenery. Whether it was designing a forest strewn with bugs or unleashing the ferocity of storm upon the prairie plans, Pixar captures the details in extraordinary definition that it is difficult to determine if it is real footage.
- The Emotions: Recently Pixar has missed the mark in eliciting any real emotional response in me, but in the Good Dinosaur that is not the case. Disney tries their usual tactics to get you to cry, but those overdramatic moments are old hat to me. However, this movie uses the animation and a killer soundtrack to craft a number of scenes that radiate the feelings of our characters. I felt myself feeling the excitement as our characters ran through the plains, felt the fear of being caught in situations that pushed your limits, and mostly the love between friends. So many emotions ran through me as I watched these two grow scene by scene. Those with strong bonds to their pets will fully appreciate what Spot and Arlo have, overlaying their experiences into the movie, perhaps to the point of shedding a tear.
- The Cuteness/Laughs: Pixar keeps the cuteness rolling in this movie not only in the design of the characters, but in their antics. If their design doesn’t get you, then the relationship between Spot and Arlo will certainly melt your heart. As for comedy, little kids were screaming in delight throughout the movie, primarily at Spot biting Arlo. Eventually the tactics got old for me, but the more clever jokes kept me chuckling throughout the movie, especially from Forrest Woodbush whose craziness was well timed.
- Formulaic/Predictable: No surprise here The Good Dinosaur is not the most original tale. Disney’s throws out the usual tactics to establish our character’s background and get the story rolling. Some of you may cry, others may be like me and laugh at the illogical elements in this tale. Even after the cliché opening, the tale doesn’t throw many surprises at you as Arlo and Spot go through the typical character building elements we’ve seen time and again. This normally isn’t too bad when it comes to Pixar movies, but in this film it left me bored at parts.
- Loose ends: The point of this movie is obviously a character building one centered on Arlo, but that doesn’t mean we get sloppy on other plot elements. In this film there are a couple of elements left untied that were a bit annoying. A few of the characters were in the film for mere minutes before disappearing from the story. Family, side characters, even villains vanish hastily in an all too convenient manner that was a little sloppy for Pixar’s team. Even the ends they did tie up felt a bit rushed and again illogical if you’ve seen other movies (I guess evolution didn’t favor them in this case.) Fortunately the emotional aspect of this movie makes up for the lacking plot, but not the best for Pixar.
- Scary to Kids: This factor all depends on the kids, as well as the parents, but I want to warn parents about the scarier aspects of the movie. Unlike other Pixar creations, this one is not afraid to dive into the darker elements of story telling. Those with a fear of thunder and lightning may end up wailing through the movie providing a grand distraction that is very irritating.. The high definition surround sound amplifies the sounds further, and the dinosaurs fierce roars were able to shake the younger audiences.
The Good Dinosaur is certainly a cute addition to Pixar’s library. The adorable characters and heartfelt relationship are certainly the strongest elements of this movie and the animation further amplifies the emotions of this movie. Unfortunately it isn’t their most entertaining tale lacking some of the fun surprises and elements that we love in their creations. Therefore I can’t say this one is worth the trip to the theater (especially in 3-D) and would recommend a home rent for this installment.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 7.0