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Published On: Mon, Nov 30th, 2015

‘The Good Dinosaur’: Pixar amazes again, but a predictable story

Imagine a world in which the dinosaurs were not extinct; a world in which dinosaurs are farmers and ranchers. A world where humans are the critters. This is the setting for The Good Dinosaur.

This captivating coming of age story begins with a runt struggling to earn his mark on the family silo. Little Arlo is smaller than his brother and sister and scared of everything. The simple tasks on the family farm terrify him. His Papa tries to give him a new job which sets off a chain of events that sends Arlo out into the world. Lost and alone the terrified dinosaur has to find his way back home.

The Good Dinosaur photoThe feral, dog-like human boy that Arlo names Spot is there every step of the way. As Arlo works through his fears Spot changes from antagonist to friend and protector. Together they outrun crazed pterodactyls, help ranching Tyrannosaurs and survive the awesome challenges of prehistoric Mother Nature. Arlo learns that you cannot get rid of your fear, but you can get through them. Spot is fearless, adorable, and brings humor to every scene he enters.

The general themes of the film are overcoming fear and the importance of family. While entertaining, these themes are not new to film. The graphics, however, were truly breathtaking. The water, rocks, landscapes; all of it looked as though it had been filmed in high definition. In my humble opinion, graphically this is the film of the year.

Through the eyes of a child this was a time stopping event. I viewed this with my 5 year old daughter whose nature is to move and fidget. For the duration she only moved to grab my hand during intense scenes or squeeze my arm during emotional ones. She laughed at Spot’s antics. She rooted for Arlo as he struggled against his own fears. She cried when Spot and Arlo parted. When we left the theater she insisted that we see it again with her siblings.

The Good Dinosaur receives 4 1/2 out of 5 stars

A predictable story can’t be ignored in a spectacular film with amazing visuals.

The Good Dinosaur movie poster

 

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