Title – The Good Dinosaur (2015)
Director – Peter Sohn (feature debut)
Cast – (Voices of) Raymond Ochoa, Frances McDormand, Jeffrey Wright, Steve Zahn, Anna Paquin, Sam Elliot
Plot – Young timid dinosaur Arlo (Ochoa) must find his way home alongside a human child his named Spot after they both find themselves swept away from safety by a raging river.
“If you ain’t scared, you ain’t alive”
Review by Eddie on 2/08/2016
Pixar as a company have enough runs on the board that the mere mention of their name on a product is usually enough for the average cinema goer to expect a certain degree of quality control over a product and even while their recent ventures like the so-so Brave and the misguided Monsters University haven’t exactly lived up to their lofty standards, there was still relatively high expectations of their 2015 Xmas treat The Good Dinosaur, expectations that were sadly not delivered upon.
For the first time in the decorated life of Pixar, the company has with The Good Dinosaur produced their first legitimate stinker and while box office receipts remained relatively high for the film, there’s little doubt sentiment towards the product was muted at best and while Peter Sohn’s (who took over the film late into the piece from original director Bob Peterson) film often looks fantastic in a CGI perspective, the films somehow boring plot line and unmemorable characters work against a typical tale that could’ve been something quite special but as a finished product is only something the smallest of tykes are going to enjoy.
Light on for decent jokes for anyone over the age of 10, barring a particularly random horned dinosaur that has a numerous array of friends accompanying him, while the films message of acceptance and finding oneself in the big wide world feels relatively forced around a story that could’ve been told far better in a short film format. The other main issue is that scaredy cat young dinosaur Arlo and his eventual travel companion in the form of cave man child Spot aren’t overly endearing road (mountain) trip buddies and scenarios like an awkward acid trip and run in with some annoying winged beasts are more weird and annoying that inventive and charming.
It also must be mentioned that the design work also of Pixar’s team on Arlo and his dinosaur family is some of their weakest work to date, the dinosaurs look cheap and nasty where around them is wonderfully designed landscapes and carefully created scenery, it was no doubt a struggle coming to terms with the looks of these creatures and a struggle that was clearly not won.
Not the worst animated film going around but very far from something special, The Good Dinosaur is a distinctively dull entry into Pixar’s anything but ordinary catalogue of films and an event that even the most diehard of Pixar fans would be better off avoiding rather than enduring for the 90 minutes of mediocre material on offer.
2 dinosaur homesteads out of 5