Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Good Dinosaur

We saw the latest Pixar film, The Good Dinosaur, earlier this week. Below are some of my non-spoilerish thoughts.

I enjoyed the film but came out feeling a little bit like I felt about Brave; the story needed a little more depth. The Good Dinosaur intentionally tells a very simple story because, unlike most Pixar films, the target age group is lower than usual. This is absolutely meant to be a story for kids, and since it's not set in modern times, the film really can't have all the ironic subtext that makes it equally suitable for adults.

The visuals were stunning, even for Pixar. They've graduated to the next level of photo-realistic landscapes. At the beginning of the movie is a shot of a running river that looks absolutely real. They've really nailed water animation. And the same goes for the forests. Just beautiful.

The world shown in this movie, a place where the dinosaur-killing asteroid missed the Earth and dinosaurs never went extinct, is oddly under-populated. In a movie about dinosaurs, there were less than twenty ever shown (I counted them). This makes all the proceedings seem a little sad and lonely. I would have liked to see a few villages or other groups.

The voice work was fine, but I thought Sam Elliott was a little too "on the nose" for the role he voiced. John Ratzenberger's ever present Pixar cameo was unnoticeable.

I loved the character Spot. He was really well done, cute, and the highlight of every scene he was in. Arlo, the lead dinosaur, was unfortunately a little bland.

I'm not sure why it was called The "Good" Dinosaur. Almost every dinosaur in the movie is good.

As usual, the Pixar short before the movie was wonderful.

And that's about it. I enjoyed it and look forward to seeing it again, but didn't love it. It's worth seeing if you like Pixar and appreciate incredible animation. I'll see it again when it's out on video. It's quite possible it will grow on me.

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