We had seen some posters for "The Good Dinosaur" after the past several months but didn't really know too much about it. When we were invited to an advanced 3D screening Thanksgiving week we were curious to see what would unfold.
Official film synopsis:
"The Good Dinosaur" asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo (voice of Raymond Ochoa) makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of.
Directed by Peter Sohn and produced by Denise Ream (“Cars 2”), Disney•Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur” opens in theaters on Nov. 25, 2015.
The Good Dinosaur starts slow but moves pretty well once other characters are introduced. The first thirty minutes of the movie is slow enough that quite a few kids in the theater started to become restless. After the first third of the movie, they started to calm down and pay more attention.
The visuals in the movie are absolutely stunning, especially when you contrast the cartoonish way the characters are drawn to the way the landscapes are animated. There are scenes in the movie where the animation of a mountain ridge or the water would be hard to distinguish from live video footage. Add the music to some of those beautiful landscape vista scenes and the movie is very well done.
The story for The Good Dinosaur isn’t as strong as other recent Pixar offerings such as Inside Out and Up. While I found myself cheering for Arlo and Spot, I didn’t get sucked in like I have in recent movies. Having said that, Pixar has yet to make a bad movie and The Good Dinosaur keeps this streak alive.
"The Good Dinosaur" introduces you to a dinosaur family living in a time that seems to parallel the wild west (with interesting character accents throughout the film). The family works on a farm and each young dino works on "making their mark" by taking on a challenge. Poor little Arlo is naturally timid and when his father tries to teach him how to get over his fears, Arlo is suddenly thrown into a big scary new world and has to try to find his way back home. He discovers many new creatures along the way including a human pet named Spot.
The movie is a bit slower paced reminding me of a movie like "Homeward Bound" where you experience a long journey with the characters. There are times of challenges that build character as well as some amusing and heart warming scenes thrown in. There are some story lines that are familiar in other family films such as family, growth and friendship. What really struck me was the visual beauty of this film. The landscapes were unreal. From water that looked like you could jump in, grass blowing in the wind and foliage with detailed leaves it looked immensely real. The 3D effect made Arlo's world look amazing. As an artist I really got sucked in to the detail. Overall this movie is cute and touching, some other stories are better. But I was really glad to experience this is 3D to be immersed in the awesome effects.
This movie is best for: experiencing the beautiful 3D landscapes
Official movie site: http://movies.disney.com/the-good-dinosaur