The Good Dinosaur (2015) – Viewed 23/12/2015

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Director: Peter Sohn

Cast: Jeffrey Wright, Raymond Ochoa, Jack Bright, Frances McDormand, Maleah Nipay-Padilla, Ryan Teeple, Jack McGraw, Marcus Scribner, Peter Sohn, Steve Zahn, A.J Buckley, Anna Paquin, Sam Elliott

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Age Rating: PG

Running Time: 93 Minutes

Disney Pixar’s latest instalment asks the question of what would the world be like if the asteroid did not hit Earth’s core and crumble the world of the dinosaur millions and millions of years ago.

In this insightful journey which has all the feelings of an extended Pixar ‘short’, Arlo (Raymond Ochoa), an Apatosaurus loses his way and his home following a great family tragedy which possesses all the horrible feelings of Mufasa’s death in THE LION KING. Determined to get back home to his family, Arlo finds friendship in the most unlikely of places, a little human scavenger named Spot (Jack Bright) who he holds responsible for his failures as an Apatosaurus.

This film becomes an emotional journey between the two to try and find Arlo’s family, and an interesting adventure which brings some of the most unusual of allies. Nash (A.J. Buckley), Ramsey (Anna Paquin), and Butch (Sam Elliott) are undoubtedly my favourite characters in this film, which delves a lot deeper than the advert below initially suggests, and therefore relies on the likes of these comical predators to lighten the mood of the film.

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I wanted to see this film as soon as I witnessed the teaser below at the cinemas back in September, and I can safely say it was not exactly what I was expecting but I was still pleasantly surprised. THE GOOD DINOSAUR ticks all the right boxes in terms of intelligent animation once again from Pixar, and personally, it is a more tangible feature for children than this year’s successful INSIDE OUT was, but I can’t help that feel Pixar hasn’t hit home this year in creating a lifetime love for children of the present such as TOY STORY and BUG’S LIFE have lasted with my generation, and FINDING NEMO and MONSTERS INC. are sure to with the early 21st century children.

It certainly has the emotion, the morals and the comedy factor (although a bit limited) of any Pixar film, but it, similarly to INSIDE OUT, seems to lack the characters that a child can really grab onto and attach themselves to. For these reasons, I think it falls short in its credibility as a decent children’s film.

However, one thing is for sure, this film made me feel like I hadn’t since Andy gave his toys to that little girl in TOY STORY 3 back in 2010 (…Jees I need to grow up!), and that is something which INSIDE OUT struggled to do for me earlier this year. In addition to this, THE GOOD DINOSAUR is once again showing how Pixar go break the barriers to imagination and have created two animated worlds which we could not even consider without their brilliance.

Overall, I enjoyed THE GOOD DINOSAUR. My girlfriend may not have left the cinema with the same feelings as me (maybe she’s emotionally stronger than me!), but we both agreed that it was still an entertaining imagination of a ‘what if?’ situation. With a couple of very relatable characters, the journey of these two unlikely friends is one which makes you think and undoubtedly plays at your heart strings. However, I will always wonder did this story need a full-length feature film, or could it worked just as well as an emotional Pixar short, just like LAVA did.

 “Little arms. Big attitude.”  

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Recommendation: As always, a Pixar film which is worth a viewing. However, this, along with INSIDE OUT, did not necessarily need to be seen at the cinema. Wait for it on DVD!

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