Directed by: Peter Sohn
Starring: Raymond Ochoa, Jeffrey Wright, Steve Zahn and A.J. Buckley
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
In a Nutshell:
Pixar’s summer entry Inside Out earned in excess of $850 million dollars worldwide. In fact it only sits behind Jurassic World and Avengers Age of Ultron who occupy the top two spots of the year so far.
With Jurassic World being far and away the summer’s most commercially successful movie, it proved that the public still has a healthy appetite for dinosaurs on the big screen.
So take that subject and marry it with the most successful animation studio in the world, and you’ve got a sure fire hit?!…
Er no… Well in actual fact whether it will be a hit is another thing but as for it being a good film, which for me is more important, it certainly is not.
Trouble for The Good Dinosaur started to brew in 2013 when the studio dumped both the director and producer. Then added to that shock the complete cast overhaul too earlier this year, due to a major change in the story’s direction, it was obvious things were looking rocky for this film.
The problems with The Good Dinosaur are foremost due to the very weak generic story. Our main protagonist gets lost and has to get home to his family whilst meeting friends and foe, –well that’s never been done before.
Also the whole tone of the movie is sad from fairly early on and has quite a dark edge for a movie aimed for young audiences.
The other issue I have are the characters. With the exception of Arlo and the human Spot, none of the other dinosaurs they meet in their adventure are particularly nice. The best are perhaps some T-Rexes who play friendly Ranchers, a nice change from being constantly lumbered with being a movie’s main bad guy or gal. Other animals though, such as the Pterodactyls and raptors are not funny bad guys, they are just plain horrible.
This is all a great shame as The Good Dinosaur may well be Pixar’s most lusciously animated movie ever. The natural vistas are breathtaking. It is stunning to look at and take in just as one would in nature. I would say though that Arlo himself at times had too much of a rubbery look, but perhaps now I’m just nitpicking! Also, add to that a good score and the movie from a visual and soundtrack point of view deserved a much better movie to support it, rather it being as was the case, it is the other way round.
The Good Dinosaur has been on my radar since last year and I took my six-year old son. He enjoyed it for the most part but not even he missed that the movie was disappointingly sad. This movie should have been an uplifting “Fun for all the family” kind of movie for the festive holiday but it’s just not.
It’s such a shame that coming after Pixar’s triumphant summer blockbuster that their year has to end on this note.