The Good Dinosaur

Movies, Animation
3 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)
The Good Dinosaur

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Pixar’s latest is half evolved, half fossilized.

Even with the psychologically playful Inside Out still visible in the rearview mirror, the vistas of Pixar’s second film of the year manage to take your breath away. Sun-dappled streams, swaying trees and an almost palpable sense of weather shock with their photorealism—if this is what animation has become, the computers have won. (The Good Dinosaur says more about the influence of Steve Jobs than the recent biopic that bears his name.)

Do those landscapes match the creatures trampling over them? Another matter entirely. After the famous meteor that brought about the Ice Age misses the planet by miles in the film, we’re plunged into an alternate timeline of dinosaurs who work their own farm (and crack jokes in English), while Homo sapiens, still howlers at the moon and barely erect, have a way to go. The strain of peerless execution chafes against the movie’s slightly tired story of an anthropomorphized boy dino, Arlo (Raymond Ochoa), who, separated from his prehistoric family, must go on a journey of self-discovery. His companion is a grunting human child (imagine an early ancestor to the Feral Kid from The Road Warrior). 

Together they wander into scenes that play, charmingly if weirdly, like grungy moments from a Sam Peckinpah Western, complete with savage hillbilly raptors, chatty campfire boasts (some voiced by the tangy Sam Elliott as a ranching T. Rex) and herds of cattle. Elsewhere, the film falls into weird lulls and regrettable sentimentality, not to mention a bizarre scene of hallucinogenic fruit eating. Notably undisciplined for a Pixar plot, it feels like a lot of heavy lifting to get to the same old lessons about kinship and finding your clan.

Follow Joshua Rothkopf on Twitter: @joshrothkopf


Release details

Release date:
Wednesday November 25 2015
100 mins

Cast and crew

Peter Sohn
Frances McDormand
Jeffrey Wright
Steve Zahn

Users say (2)

3 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

2.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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1 person listening

Despite the great premise – What if?... What if the dinosaurs never became extinct – the film doesn’t live up to expectation.

Of course there’s a great starting point and of course the visuals are stunning, but without a compelling story, it gets boring. The script is very disappointing as it starts threading an awfully familiar path. Everything revolves around facing your fears, getting to know who you are… This has been done a million times before and would need to be done in a very unique way to work.

It’s not a bad movie, just a common family movie with familiar themes. But not what you’d expect from Pixar…

Staff Writer

Even when the moral of the story is as subtle as a brick, you can usually rely on Pixar for the deftness of their delivery as well as the requisite graphic wizardry. There's magic to making a movie which appeals to vastly different age groups. But this time around, someone decided to teach children that life is hard and reached for the proverbial hammer to do so. This one (at least in my house) went down like a roller-coaster without the laughs.