What It's About
The familiar Disney theme of "Family is everything" is the foundation of the latest Pixar animated adventure, "The Good Dinosaur."
Taking place in prehistoric times, an agrarian Apatosaurus family farm a patch of land in a pioneer setting. However, it is actually a revisionist story, for the meteor misses Earth, not killing off the dinosaurs, and they advance in the evolution process.
The runt of the litter, Arlo, isn't as developed as his two siblings, so he isn't much help at the homestead, and needs to grow into his role. When a tragedy occurs after a task from Poppa, Arlo must find his way back home.
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A caveboy, whom he nicknames Spot, is in tow. They bond while confronting peril and dangerous weather elements, protecting each other.
The movie's best segment is an encounter with a T. Rex trio trying to herd longhorns. Reminiscent of westerns from days gone by, with the soaring cinematic score to match, these scenes are the most memorable.
Pixar might not have scored the home run that was the profound and magical "Inside Out," but this effort is a warm, well-intentioned film with sensational visual realism sure to please family audiences.
The majestic grandeur of the old West is evoked in the animation, and the vistas are gorgeous.
Sam Ellott elevates the film with his unmistakable deep husky voice, and his scenes have true grit.
What Doesn't Work
The character animation is more exaggerated than usual for a Pixar movie, with the apatosaurus family reminiscent of "The Flintstones." This is a sharp contrast to the stunning landcapes.
A few dark and scary scenes aren't appropriate for younger viewers.
Inevitably, this movie will be compared to "Inside Out," and will suffer because of such an extraordinary achievement. But it's an enjoyable, solid effort, if not a cut above in the "Toy Story Trilogy" and "Up" realm.
‘The Good Dinosaur’
- DIRECTOR: Peter Sohn
- CAST: (Voices) Sam Elliott, Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, Raymond Ochoa, Anna Paquin, Steve Zahn, Don Rickles, Judy Greer, John Ratzenberger and Bill Hader
- Rated PG (peril, action and thematic elements)
- 100 minutes