Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Good Dinosaur
Releases November 25th 2015
1 hr 40 mins
Rated PG


Director: Peter Sohn
Writers: Meg LeFauve

Raymond Ochoa as Arlo
Jack Bright as Spot
Sam Elliott as Butch
Anna Paquin as Ramsey
A. J. Buckley as Nash
Steve Zahn as Thunderclap
Mandy Freund as Downpour
Steven Clay Hunter as Coldfront
Jeffrey Wright as Poppa Henry
Frances McDormand as Momma Ida
Marcus Scribner as Buck
Maleah Padilla as Libby
Peter Sohn as Forrest Woodbush
Dave Boat as Bubbha
Carrie Paff as Lurleane, a Velociraptor
Calum Mackenzie Grant as Pervis
John Ratzenberger as Earl

Review by Stephen M.

The Good Dinosaur follows up a tough act in Inside Out out of Pixar.  Unfortunately the cuteness of Arlo the dinosaur (Ramond Ochoa) and Spot, his pet human (Jack Bright) isn't enough to live up to that challenge.  The Good Dinosaur along with its short film that precedes it, Sanjay's Super Team is geared toward boys unapologetically.  While Sanjay's Super Team is an interesting story of a father and son mixed in with youthfulness and culture, The Good Dinosaur is just a sad imitation of many other coming of age Disney movies albeit with a twist.  The twist which you will see in the very beginning is that an asteroid that got knock into our orbit never annihilated the dinosaurs but developed into a somewhat human-like wild west society.

Arlo, the scrawny one of the litter of three dinosaurs is always a step behind his brother Buck (Marcus Scribner) and Libby (Maleah Padilla).  His life changes when he meets a "critter" in the form of a little boy and they wind up miles from their home together.  The story while having very familiar elements is not necessarily poorly told or acted.  I enjoyed the performances by each of the characters though none really particularly stands out.

And as with most Disney or Pixar movies, you do expect something to stand out and unfortunately that is the biggest problem here.  The soundtrack to the humor to the plot is quite ho hum.  The film does have its moments but they are too far and few.  The moment that stands out for me in the movie which I find abhorring in a children's animation is when Arlo and Spot seems to go on a psychedelic trip after ingesting some weird fruits.  

Overall, I would recommend the film with reservation.  It's a good animation about friendship and family, but a poor Pixar one given the high expectations you have come accustomed to seeing.  Families should be warned that there is that scene where the main characters are "high" on fruits which to mean is a no no for a children film.  For a better children's animation watch Inside Out or even better, The Croods.


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