Craig's Movie Reviews

I love movies. I love writing about them. Hope you like reading what I write.

The Good Dinosaur

I’m getting this review up a little late. Sorry. Been busy. Anyway, Pixar…

That special hive of animation geniuses has now given us a simple road trip story of an anthropomorphic”Good Dinosaur” and a small human child who acts considerably more animalistic. In this reality, the meteor that supposedly wiped out the dinosaurs missed the planet 65 million years ago and thus a few million years later, those dinos have evolved to become fully sentient and capable of agriculture while the newly evolved humans are similar to cockroaches, pests to the dinosaur crops.

I've just invented a new phrase. "Prehistorical Innacuracy".

I’ve just invented a new phrase. “Prehistorical Inaccuracy”.

I have to admit, when I first saw this film advertised, I was a little concerned. Not really because I thought that Pixar would make a bad movie out of it, their track record has had only one dud and two OK movies, while when they’re good, they are really, really good (I’m still talking about Inside Out). I did however think that this story was a little beneath them. It seemed like a cross between Ice Age and Barnyard. While Inside Out received similar criticism for being similar to Osmosis Jones, it provided something new and beautiful. What would they bring to this movie that seemed so simple?

Well keep it simple is what they did and it worked pretty well.

First of all, that world I mentioned at the start of this review is a neat idea and it’s pulled off nicely. We see how dinosaurs could use their physiology to cultivate the land in the way humans did at the time of the agricultural revolution.

The story they pull off in this world, while uncomplicated and with a slightly clunky structure at times, is a nice road trip concerning two characters I cared about. I was intrigued when I found out how young they were playing our titular sauropod, for some reason, I assumed that he would be an adult. This reduction in age was actually an improvement for this character, as his personal situation seemed more appropriate.

He and his companion and adversary little human, meet various different colourful characters that range from heroic to terrifying, from funny to life-altering. These people (dinosaurs to be exact) were well-written and performed and end up showing how harsh this world is to those on their own.

That harshness is one of the biggest pros and cons of this movie. I was surprised when I learned that this was given a PG rating rather than a U when I saw it advertised. It seemed to colourful and nice for parents to be required! Now that I’ve seen it though, I agree with this rating. It’s not as scary as some family films, though I suppose there will be some scenes that will scare young kids and some rather violent and gory moments. On one hand I respect the bottle of Pixar for pushing this violence envelope and how far they were willing to go to give the point that the wild really is tough. On the other, some of it is a tad excessive. I’m always for filmmakers going up against some of the evident hypocrisies of our rating system in the name of good art, and this is good art, but there still needs to be some of restraint.

With that said the world that they do present, with all its cruelty, is staggeringly beautiful. This is some of Pixar’s best animation and compositing work since Finding Nemo. While I think Inside Out had better work on the humans, the landscapes and animals of this movie are spectacularly realized. It’s hard to believe that I thought that our dinosaur protagonist looked cheap and green when I first saw him. Now I think he’s wonderful… and green.

Is this one of Pixar’s masterpieces? No. Is it a good wee adventure movie that will satisfy kids and the adults that BY LAW have to accompany them to see it with? Absolutely.

Recommended Scenario: When you want a break from Alvin & The Chipmunks!

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This entry was posted on December 10, 2015 by in Film Review, Released in 2015.
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