In a future where dinosaurs still exist, young dinosaur Arlo (Raymond Ochoa) struggles to earn his mark as a grown-up. When his father (Jeffrey Wright) dies in a flash flood, Arlo must carry his weight on the family farm to harvest enough food for winter. But he is swept far away from home when he falls into the community river and must find his way back with the help of his human primate friend, Spot (Jack Bright). His journey home is impeded by a group of pterodactyls who want to eat his friend. In an effort to avoid them, Arlo and Spot encounter a helpful family of Tyrannosaurus Rex who point them the right direction. Just when they find their path home, the pterodactyls capture Spot, and Arlo must face his fear of danger to rescue him. He succeeds, and returns home having earned his mark as an adult.
Though it doesn’t offer much new material from the Pixar realm of children’s films, The Good Dinosaur is still a charming family adventure. The characters are typical for a children’s film: a loving parent dies, a cute sidekick tags along, and seemingly menacing characters become helpful friends. Arlo is the common sensitive, underdeveloped child character who eventually learns to become brave. The film presents an exciting deviation from most animated films, however, in its pairing of dinosaurs with cavemen. Arlo and Spot delightfully reverse the role of a dog and its owner, as Spot sniffs the ground and sticks his tongue out as if he were a tamed pet. While predictable, the dinosaurs and “critters” Arlo and Spot encounter fit well within their entertaining journey, particularly the simple-minded triceratops Pet Collector whose fiercely protective companions are entirely unthreatening, e.g. his beaver, Dream Destroyer, keeps him from having unrealistic goals. Moreover, the leading Tyrannosaurus Rex Buck is a wonderful character to provide Arlo with a resonating wisdom. What else can you expect from a character voiced by Sam Elliott? The man sounds like he’s projecting crackling charcoal from his diaphragm.
Even with its variety of entertaining characters, The Good Dinosaur doesn’t oversell the alternate reality’s various mythical creatures. Arlo encounters extra large chickens, beetles, and cute alien rodents, but the film doesn’t exhibit that “cuteness overload” which many animated films often succumb to. Rather, the film focuses on the growth of Arlo and his wordless relationship with Spot as well as the many fun characters they encounter on the way. Arlo’s journey is family-friendly, often goofy, and though not in new form, relatable.
Release Date: November 25, 2015
Starring: The Voices of: Raymond Ochoa, Jeffrey Wright, Sam Elliott, Frances McDormand, Peter Sohn, Anna Paquin, Jack Bright
Director: Peter Sohn
Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures,
Genre: Adventure, Animation
Audience: Some Theatrical Elements
Runtime: 93 minutes
Official Social Media Pages:
IMDB Page: @TheGoodDinosaur
Wiki Link: @TheGoodDinosaur
Eoin Goyette | Writing Contributor
B.A | Film & New Media Studies | UC Santa Barbara
Eoin has loved telling stories for his entire life, with his interests ranging from Swedish films to fantasy football reports. He is in his 2nd year studying Film & Media at UC Santa Barbara, where he’s a part of the honors program, Zeta Beta Tau fraternity, and many student film productions, including ones which he writes and directs himself. When he isn’t writing or watching movies, you can often catch him lost in train of thought, berating the TV during 49ers games, or shamelessly laughing at his own sarcasm. | Instagram @eoin_goyette| View My Articles
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