Friday, 4 March 2016

Good - Movie Review, The Good Dinosaur

Sunday night was movie night, so we decided to see if any of Chris or my childhood obsessions with dinosaurs could possibly rub off on the minions, cause how awesome would that be?  We decided it was time to check out Pixar's 2015 release of The Good Dinosaur.

The Good Dinosaur Promo ad Courtesy of Pixar Wikia

Movie Review: The Good Dinosaur

What's in it for the Kids?
This movie is a fairly predictable coming of age story where runt of the litter Dino Arlo tries to face his fears, and find his place in the world and on his family farm.  Along his journey he finds an unlikely friend in a human boy, who essentially acts as a human version of a pet dog.

What's in it for the Adults?
The concept of this movie is pretty cool, especially for dinophile adults. Basically it explores an alternative universe of what would have happened had the asteroid it is believed to have destroyed the dinosaurs took a slightly different path.  In this re imagined worlds many dinosaurs are farmers and ranchers, with less evolved cavemen humans co-existing as feral animals. As a stickler for theorized accuracy it bothered me enormously that the aerial view of earth was not presented as Pangea, but as current day multiple continents. Voice talents of Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand and Steve Zahn make things a little more entertaining for older viewers.

Best Parts of the Movie
There is some good messaging along the lines of "don't judge a book by its cover".  As Pixar's 16th film has the fantastic artwork they've become known for continues in ways visuals that are innovative, clever, and at times breathtaking.  My favourite scene in the film artistically involves the introduction of the T-Rex characters (any more info then this would qualify as a spoiler).  The movie features relatable themes like the importance of family, friendship, loss, bravery, and the challenges of discovering your own strengths and weaknesses.

Worst Parts of the Movie
This is a story that we've all seen before, but likely the kids won't be as sick of it as the adults. SPOILER ALERT: In a typical children's story plot device, Arlo's adventure begins as a result of the death of his father.  This particular scene could be scary for little kids and eye-rolling level cliche to the adults.  Molly spent a good portion of the movie talking about "how she'll need to find a new daddy when Chris dies", naturally he was thrilled.

Overall Rating
I would rate this movie 3/5.  It's watchable, but nothing I'd ever purchase for regular viewing rotation and neither kid has asked to watch it again or to own it.  If you can see it for free, if your kids are crazy about dinosaurs, or you stumble across it on TV or online check it out.

To read my review of Kung Fu Panda 3 click here.

To read about villains and the ways they fit into a child's moral development of black and white issues click here.

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