Classic Review: The Good Dinosaur (2015)

Since I’ve started this site, I’ve written a lot of reviews. In case you missed some of my earlier ones, I would like to share an older review of “The Good Dinosaur” which originally appeared here.

Luckily for young Arlo (Raymond Ochoa), his parents (Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand) and his two siblings Buck and Libby, the mighty dinosaurs were not wiped out 65 million years ago. When a rainstorm washes poor Arlo downriver, he ends up bruised, battered and miles away from home. Good fortune shines on the frightened dino when he meets Spot (Jack Bright), a Neanderthal boy who offers his help and friendship. Together, the unlikely duo embark on an epic adventure to reunite Arlo with his beloved family.

As with most Disney/Pixar movies, it started with another short film beforehand. This one was called “Sanjay’s Super Team” (clip below)This one is about a kid who is bored with his father’s meditation so he daydreams of Hindu gods as superheroes. So this is a departure from the usual Disney/Pixar shorts I’ve seen in the past (more than because it had little to do with the film following it) and it was a welcome change. It was exciting and the animation was a little different. I personally wished it was a little longer.

For the first time ever, this is the second Pixar film released this year, the first being the excellent Inside Out. Well the plot of the film is pretty self-explanatory based on it’s title alone, a good dinosaur. To be more specific, a dinosaur named Arlo (Ochoa) who is the youngest of three siblings. He begins to fell inadequate compared to his parents (Wright and McDormand) and his siblings Buck and Libby because they are bigger, stronger, and more courageous than him. Each of them have also been able to accomplish a significant goal which has allowed them to “make their mark”. Arlo is sad because he has yet to “make his mark”. When he and his father are out hunting for the creature who has been eating their food, they are interrupted by a storm which washes Arlo down river far away from his home and his family. When Arlo wakes up, he soon finds a Neanderthal boy (Bright), which he names Spot, who he forms a friendship with. He and Spot embark on a journey to help Arlo find his home and his family. The film is pretty much him and Spot venturing though the wilderness so Arlo can get back. Of course they run into a series of strange characters along the way who add to the plot by driving it in different directions. Seeing that this is a Disney/Pixar movie, there is a message but based on what I’ve said so far, it’s not hard to guess what it is but the message I got was to stay true to myself. I don’t think I needed another film to tell me that though. Because of this, I found the story didn’t resonate that much with me so I found myself bored a lot of the time. Sure the animation, as it always is with Disney/Pixar, was great but that only takes the film so far as there has to be a decent story to go along with it. I didn’t think the level of the story matched the level of the animation. I’ve read many other reviews where people had a hard time seeing a cartoony looking dinosaur in photorealistic backgrounds but I didn’t mind. Overall, this is still a decent movie but I was still a little disappointed because I didn’t like the story as much.

Score: 6.5/10

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