ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Good Dinosaur: movie review

Updated on December 2, 2015
popcollin profile image

Collin's been a movie critic since 2009. In real life he works in marketing and is also a novelist ("Good Riddance" published in Oct 2015).

In theaters now.
In theaters now. | Source

If all had gone according to plan, Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur would have hit theaters a few months after 2013’s Monsters University, but the studio’s decision to completely jettison the original story and essentially start from scratch delayed the project two years. Based on the finished product, that extra time didn’t actually go into creating a coherent script, though-- and instead was devoted to giving the artists the opportunity to create absolutely mind-blowing visuals.

Chronicling the tale of Arlo, a young brontosaur who has to find his way back home after he’s swept downriver, The Good Dinosaur is full of strange, generally incongruous moments. Along the journey, Arlo partners up with a feral boy named Spot, has to escape pesky pterodactyls, meets really quickly with a weird Styracosaurus, and then joins a trio of cowpoke T Rexes to herd prehistoric bison. All those moments combine to form a story that’s as herky-jerky and odd as it sounds.

Visually, The Good Dinosaur is the most artistically dichotomous of any film in Pixar oeuvre. In the past, characters and art were melded perfectly into a magical world (picture Lightning McQueen kicking up dust in the Radiator Springs desert or WALL∙E drifting through space), but there’s a severe disconnect on display in The Good Dinosaur.

Arlo looks more like something from Aardman’s cartoony stable than anything Pixar has given us before. In and of itself, there’s not a thing wrong with that, but when Arlo’s goofy, exaggerated features and spindly legs are seen against the most photo-realistic backgrounds of any animated movie ever, the film’s look is comparable to someone slapping a Mickey Mouse sticker on a (3D, full-color) Ansel Adams print. Two incredible sequences involving fireflies (rivaling the paper-lanterns scene from 2010’s Tangled) are magical and beautiful in the moment, but then we go right back to the goofiness of bug-eyed creatures tripping over their own feet.

Conclusion

At its core, The Good Dinosaur has its heart in the right place, teaching the value of confronting fears and the importance of family, and not one bit of the kooky plot or bizarre artistic choice will matter a hill of beans to the kids in the audience, who will giggle at Arlo’s pratfalls and chew their nails a bit during some fairly intense storm scenes. But adults in the crowd may continue to wonder (as with this summer’s disappointing Inside Out) what’s going on in Pixar-land and how long it will take to get back to the salad days of The Incredibles and Finding Nemo.

Next summer’s Finding Dory would certainly be a logical place to start.

Rating

3/5 stars

Worth the 3D glasses?

Absolutely, if only for the firefly sequences. The 3D may be a bit much for the youngest in the audience--particularly the intense storm scenes--but overall, Pixar has never had a problem justifying the use of 3D, and The Good Dinosaur is no exception.

'The Good Dinosaur' trailer

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)