Last night I sat down and finally found some time to watch the only Pixar film I’d yet to see, The Good Dinosaur.
Reviews were mixed and although it was one of their less profitable films ($332m only…ONLY!) I was still excited to see what the geniuses at Pixar could do with this interesting concept.
In this film, we find out what would’ve happen if the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs millions and millions of years ago, missed? And from here, we follow the story of a young Apatosaurus called Arlo and after a tragic event, he must find his way back home with the help of a young human called Spot.
Now, for a film that is supposed to be primarily aimed at a younger audience then I take my hat off to any child who can get through this without sobbing at least once (three times for me). This is arguably the most gut-wrenching, heart-string pulling, emotional rollercoaster I’ve seen from Pixar, and I’ve got to say, I liked it.
Visually, the film is stunning, I mean “Jungle Book” stunning. During the opening scenes (and throughout the entire film) I found myself questioning whether it was filmed on location and not created on a computer. The characters are much more cartoony so maybe that helps to bring out the realism of everything around them, I’m not sure either way, but it worked.
It’s your typical story of a boy who gets separated from his family and needs to find his way home, and in doing so, learns lessons in life with the adventures he has and the characters he meets.
The human, who he names Spot, helps him along the way and at first are enemies but ultimately become best friends, almost brothers.
They run in to all kinds of problems including mother nature herself and some weird dinosaurs that either want to eat Arlo, eat Spot, or eat both. Not entirely alone, they do get help from a family of T-Rex who welcome them in to their life’s and help Arlo understand that you can’t get rid of fear, you have to learn to overcome it.
This was new territory for director Peter Sohn and I thought he did a fantastic job, he seems like a great guy and with the help of a fantastic team around him, they made a truly wonderful film that hits you in all the right places, both happy and sad.
Pixar are very good with the messages they send out through their movies, and this was one of their best. There must have been thousands of kids watching it who felt they were in the same situation as Arlo, and Pixar is so effective in identifying and solving issues like those found in The Good Dinosaur. Even if it helps just one child overcome something that they have been scared of or are lacking in confidence for, then Pixar have done their job. And in some ways that is the task of these types of movies and you’ll find it hard to disagree that no-one does it better. They not only effect the lives of children, but adults as well and I hope they carry on doing it for years and generations to come.
Overall I’m going to give this a roaring 3 out of 5 stars. But it’s a very high 3, maybe a 3.8. It ranks in my top half of all Pixar movies, I just feel that it misses the charm and magic of other films.
So if you’re after a movie that will make you laugh and cry then this will tick all the boxes, as long as you’d prefer to do slightly more crying than laughing.
Thanks for reading.