Film Review “The Good Dinosaur”

The_Good_Dinosaur_posterStarring the voices of: Jeffrey Wright and Frances McDormand
Directed by: Peter Sohn
Rated: PG
Running time: 1 hr 50 mins
Walt Disney Pictures

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

65 million years ago a rogue meteor hit the earth, changing the world drastically. One of the big changes was the extinction of the dinosaurs. But what if that meteor had missed?

Meet the Apatosaurus family. Momma and Poppa welcome the arrival of three eggs and their contents. Soon, the family is complete with Libby, Buck and Arlo. These particular dinosaurs are farmers, and they’re bodies allow them the opportunity to act as both the plow and the sprinkler system. Brainy Libby helps out, as does brawny Buck. Sadly, tiny Arlo can only feed the chickens (or at least the prehistoric version of chickens) and help fill the silo with corn so the family can survive the winter. Things go well until, like most films, tragedy strikes and Arlo finds himself on his own. Cue the sad music.

From the PIXAR division of Disney, “The Good Dinosaur” is a visual treat for the eyes. From the ice covered mountains to the rushing river waters it is amazing the advances that have been made in computer generated animation. Like most Disney films, the hero soon finds himself in trouble, where he is rescued by a young boy that Arlo names “Spot.” The best way to describe Spot is to ask if you remember the Feral Kid from “The Road Warrior.” If so, you now have an image of what I’m talking about.

The film follows Arlo and Spot as they make their way back to Three Claw Mountain. Along the way they meet some colorful creatures, including a trio of T-rex’s led by Sam Elliott. The many characters are vividly rendered and all are memorable. And frightening. I have no idea how this film received a PG rating. There is death in and around the story, including a scene where a cute, saucer-eyed animal is suddenly gobbled down and then torn to shreds by a pair of dueling pterodactyls! If you’re taking children under the age of 7 prepare to dry their tears.

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