Released 11/25/2015 Rated: PG
All the feels! Disney and Pixar have tugged at its audiences’ heartstrings once again with The Good Dinosaur. In my opinion, this is more of a movie for older children, and grownups who are fans of the film studio. I feel this film runs much along the same vein as how their 2009 film Up dealt with more of an adult story. While there are elements kids will like, the overall story is a drama, which adults will appreciate more so than the little ones. By no means is it too old for children; I only mean that it might not hold the attention span of a four-year-old who is easily entertained by funny voices, faces, and slapstick.
What if the asteroid that hit the Earth sixty-five million years ago, resulting in the extinction of the dinosaurs, missed our planet? Flash forward, and now dinosaurs and humans coexist. An Apatosaurus family expands from two to five when their three eggs hatch. Libby has brains, Buck has strength, and Arlo…tries to be brave, but it’s not so easy for him. They work together to keep up their farm, but tragedy soon strikes. And when Arlo gets swept away from home, he has to learn to overcome his fear to get back before winter comes. With the help of an unlikely friend, he just might be able to get there.
One of the first shots of this film is the rushing water of a river, and I could have sworn it wasn’t animated at all. The level of animation attached to this feature is just amazing. And I’m not just talking about the backdrops, I’m mean everything. Before the feature began, the director, Peter Sohn, had a message about going to the movies when he was little. He would often have to translate what was going on on-screen for his mom, who didn’t speak English. But there were moments where he didn’t have to explain anything, because everyone understood on the visual level. Every tear-jerking moment in The Good Dinosaur is exactly that: visual only. And it’s so much more powerful for that! For instance: the scene where Arlo is trying to explain to Spot that he misses his family. Spot understands the visualization Arlo creates, and then responds in kind. We learn something about Spot in that moment, from a character who doesn’t talk. Then they both howl at the sky because they find they share something in common. Heart-wrenching!!! If you don’t shed a tear during that scene, there’s something wrong with you. If this scene had gone down any other way, it wouldn’t have been so impactful.
Go see it!