The Good Dinosaur Review

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What if dinosaurs weren’t extinct?  How would they co-exist with humans?  In Disney/Pixar’s latest creation, The Good Dinosaur, b2ap3_thumbnail_landscape2.jpgthat notorious asteroid missed Earth and the dinosaurs survived and evolved.  In typical Pixar fashion, we are introduced to a world that is beyond beautiful, with imagery so vivid you feel like you are in the middle of that forest or swimming in the stream.  We meet a pair of Apatosaurs named Henry (voiced by Jeffrey Wright) and Ida (voiced by Frances McDormand) who have built a nice homestead that includes a cornfield, a food silo and a group of crazy chickens.  They come to have three children named Libby, Buck, and Arlo (voiced by Raymond Ochoa).  Always a little smaller and a little clumsier than the rest of his family, loveable Arlo is at the center of the story.  Henry and Ida try their hardest to instill a good work ethic in their children and focus on “making their mark” in the world.  Literally speaking, each of them earns the right to put a muddy footprint on the family silo to mark their achievements….except Arlo.

As his final chance to prove himself, Arlo is tasked with stopping the “critters” (known to us as humans) from raiding the food silo.  After a b2ap3_thumbnail_spotandarlo.jpgseries of unfortunate and tragic events, not unfamiliar in the Disney world, Arlo becomes stranded in mysterious, unfamiliar terrain.  Terrified of the world around him, Arlo has only himself and the lessons he learned from his father to lean on.  One familiar, though unwelcome face, keeps popping up – the “critter” that he blames for his recent misfortunes.  Though once his enemy, Arlo relents and pairs up with this new ally, who is more dog than human.  He names him “Spot.” 

Arlo and Spot embark on an exciting adventure to find their way home.  As expected, they run into some sticky situations and very unusual characters along the way, most notably a family of Southern T-Rexes that are trying to find their herd of Longhorn.  Butch (voiced by Sam Elliott), the father, is integral in Arlo’s journey to find bravery within himself.  Throw in a hallucination sequence, deadly pterodactyls, and a dinosaur shaman, and you’ve got a journey filled with highs, lows, and lots of laughs.  This atypical story of “a boy and his dog” shows the importance of family, no matter what form it may take.b2ap3_thumbnail_trex.jpg

I was lucky enough to attend an advanced screening of this film with my husband, 7 year old, and 3 year old.  Not one of us left untouched.  As to be expected in a Pixar film, you run through the full gamut of emotions – happiness, heartache, fear, love, and humor.  The underlying theme throughout the film of overcoming your fears will withstand the test of time.  Whether it’s a story about humans, dinosaurs, or lions- we can all relate. 

The experience began with Pixar short, “Sanjay’s Super Team,” a creative story melding a father’s Hindu culture with a little boy’s love of modern day super heroes.  Loosely based on director Sanjay Patel’s real life experiences, it was a unique and exciting look at an Indian-American family’s struggle to “relate” with one another. 

Definitely check this movie out over the holiday weekend- you will not be disappointed!

Rated PG

US Release Date: November 25, 2015