The Good Dinosaur: Movie Review

Historically, things look tumultuous for "The Good Dinosaur". It's a film that has been delayed, canceled, re-written and re-cast several times in its six years of development. In fact, we are more than surprised that the film's release actually pushed through. The actual product feels as though this is the case in some regard. The story is simplistic and straight to the point - it lacks that usual Pixar touch - but this doesn't mean "The Good Dinosaur" is a rotten egg. It's actually the reverse as we found ourselves enjoying, laughing, crying and seriously emotionally attached by the time the credits rolled.

What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? In this story, it didn't and we find ourselves in a world where dinosaurs roam and rule the Earth. Our story begins with a fearful Apatosaurus named Arlo (Raymond Ochoa) who makes an unlikely human friend, Spot (Jack Bright), when he finds himself being drifted away by a raging river away from his home. Arlo must find his way back to his family while learning the power of confronting his fears as he discovers what he is truly capable of.

The first thing you'll notice about "The Good Dinosaur" is its a technical wonder. This is probably Pixar's best film in terms of animated 3D visuals. While the characters look cartoonish, the backdrops themselves are astonishingly real. The weather changes such as storms are scary, the landscapes photo-realistic, even the water looks potable. As much as the visuals are ambitious, "The Good Dinosaur" somewhat lacks the same vigor in the story department - usually an aspect Pixar doesn't struggle with. The story in itself isn't bad. It's actually emotionally engaging. We found ourselves laughing, crying, and being attached to Arlo and Spot. These are the moments that "The Good Dinosaur" really shine. But we cannot deny that the film had pockets of under-developed patches. These includes scenes where our characters eat a bad berry and have a psychedelic experience or where Arlo meets a weird Triceratops who wants to get Spot. They start and end abruptly and worse, doesn't really add any value to the story. The film isn't tightly-woven and feels as though we drift from one story line to another. Overall, we still loved "The Good Dinosaur" - just don't expect it to be as deep as the usual Pixar film - and you'll leave praising it.

Rating: 4 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- the film is a visual and technical masterpiece
- even with a bare story, it was deeply engaging emotionally

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the story is pedestrian and simple

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