An epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend.
|Release Date||:||November 14, 2015|
|Genres||:||Adventure, Animation, Family|
|Production Company||:||Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios|
|Production Countries||:||United States of America|
|Writers||:||Erik Benson, Bob Peterson, Kelsey Mann, Peter Sohn, Meg LeFauve, Meg LeFauve|
|Casts||:||Raymond Ochoa, Jack Bright, Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, Maleah Nipay-Padilla, Ryan Teeple, Jack McGraw, Marcus Scribner, Peter Sohn, Steve Zahn, Mandy Freund, Steven Clay Hunter, A.J. Buckley, Anna Paquin, Sam Elliott, David Boat, Carrie Paff, Calum Grant, John Ratzenberger|
|Plot Keywords||:||tyrannosaurus rex, friends, animation, alternate history, dinosaur, fear, storm, family, nature, human, journey, pixar|
After being blown away by Pixar's previous film 'Inside Out' (which is one of their best too), while not really deserving of so many 1- star reviews 'The Good Dinosaur' disappointed on many levels.
Not just lesser Pixar but a contender for their worst too, even more so than the often panned 'Cars 2' (which to me while not great was not that bad). It is a long way from an awful film, certainly much better than several reviews have lead you to believe (seeing as 1- star indicates no redeeming qualities, which is not the case here), but considering Pixar's usual incredibly high standard I was expecting so much more.
There are a number of good things here in 'The Good Dinosaur'. Much of the animation is spectacular, including some of Pixar's most gorgeously vivid colours and some of their most stunning and rich- in-detail backgrounds. The music score is both whimsical and energetic, and the film also benefits from some clever casting and very strong voice acting, Sam Elliot in particular stands out. Many have complained of Arlo's voice work, it wasn't a problem personally.
On top of those, 'The Good Dinosaur' does have some genuinely funny moments (mostly visual), parts that are genuinely touching, some thumping, thrilling action, a beautifully realised central friendship, an endearing lead character in Arlo and an inspirational main message (as a matter of fact, all the lessons and messages the film teaches are great). So a lot to admire.
However, 'The Good Dinosaur' does fall short. While there is much to admire in the animation overall, it also contains the least appealing character designs in any of Pixar's film, the photo- realistic look looks cartoony rather than realistic and jars against the vivid backgrounds . While keeping things simple can work in a film's favour, 'The Good Dinosaur' is rather too simple and straight-forward that the storytelling while not completely dull lacks momentum and veers on being too paper-thin and simplistic as well as being too predictable and familiar. Target audience is also an issue.
Adults may find themselves checking their watches, not that it's completely dull but unlike much of Pixar's other films it is not consistently captivating. And with children, while this viewer usually tries to not complain about anything being too dark or unnecessary and has been known to defend films criticised for that 'The Good Dinosaur' is an example of a film where that criticism is valid and understandable, because there is some dark and disturbing content (like a decapitation and a drug reference) that added absolutely nothing and quite frankly had no place in a family film. The violence is similarly gratuitous. The script is inconsistent in the laughs and emotional investment factors and is not as clever, witty, insightful or as intelligently structured as the writing for Pixar's best, coming across as even more paper-thin and simplistic than the storytelling and the dialogue itself is often cheesy and clichéd.
In conclusion, not as bad as most have made out but very much a lesser Pixar. Has enough good merits to make it watchable, but it's the only Pixar film to date to disappoint me. Very hard to decide between a 5 or 6, as it was actually not easy to rate, so it's got a 5.5/10 (somewhere in between). Bethany Cox