The Good Dinosaur - Lazy, Lazy Pixar
THE GOOD DINOSAUR feels like PIXAR scrapping together a movie from the pieces of a million other movies. It is well made, and well animated, but an absolute slog to sit through. It is so obvious in its efforts to be cutesy, and so hollow, that I really kind of ended up hating it. It is the weakest effort of PIXAR’s to date, but of course I haven’t seen CARS 2 yet.
I can’t even summarize this movie without sounding ridiculous. The meteor that killed the dinosaurs missed, and the dinosaurs have grown with society. Fast forward to the 1800’s and our movie focuses on a family of dinosaur farmers, the parents are voiced by Jeffrey Wright and Frances McDormand, and the little dinosaur named Arlo isn’t very brave. Arlo ends up getting separated from his family, and he has to come into his own while finding his way home and learning the true definition of family. Are you still reading?
Good movies use tropes all of the time. INSIDE OUT used PIXAR tropes and took them in new and interesting directions, teaching kids important lessons about the ties that bind family. THE GOOD DINOSAUR tries to do the same thing, but it doesn’t use the tropes in any interesting ways, it simply opts to play it straight. The problem with that is we’ve seen these tropes millions upon millions of times. It’s boring, it’s all sound and no characters. I couldn’t get out of the theater fast enough.
How does one make this work? Should it have been made? Often times it seems like PIXAR scrapped this together with parts of other, better movies just so they could say they put a film out on the holidays. There’s nothing here, there’s absolutely nothing to latch onto. However, I suppose it could always be worse. There’s nothing particularly offensive that would make one’s kid dumber for having seen it, and I’m sure many will learn these world-worn kids movie tropes from THE GOOD DINOSAUR.
However, that’s damningly faint praise.