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The Good Dinosaur

Starring: Arlo
Directed by: Peter Sohn
An underrated Pixar adventure.

The Good Dinosaur is one of Pixar’s most embattled production efforts. While it might be considered Pixar’s first official flop, that’s not exactly fair with this film. The reason it flopped had more to do with it’s release schedule than anything else. It was Pixar’s second new non-franchise film to come out in 2015 and it came out in an odd month theatrically.

The Good Dinosaur follows a family of dinosaurs – Apatosauruses – that are farmers. They farm corn during the summer so they have food to eat during the winter. The family of dinosaurs has three kids – Buck is the big brute that’s rough and tumble and all things with the farm come easy for him. Libby is the smart sister who’s also a rascal that gives her siblings all they can handle. Arlo is the runt who struggles to find himself and develop during his childhood and later in his adolescence. With Arlo, nothing on the farm comes easy. So when a critter is stealing the family’s crop, Arlo’s father sees this as a job for Arlo and a chance for him to make his mark on the farm. It’s when Arlo finds the critter that turmoil takes place and through it – Arlo makes a new friend in a human boy named Spot and he grows up more than he ever thought he could.

The Good Dinosaur immediately speaks to me because of the animation. It’s one of the most beautiful Pixar movies to date. Character models are terrific and original even if they’re a little different from the concept of what we think a dinosaur should look like. The characters are cool, but what’s most impressive with the movie though are the landscapes and the scenery. The animation of mountains, rivers, forestry, and anything else involving scenery with The Good Dinosaur is absolutely breathtaking. The setting of the movie is supposed to take place in Wyoming, and I have to say as a native of the state, they were on target with what they were going for. The scenery is breathtaking and the landscapes are on point.

I also loved the story with The Good Dinosaur – it’s the story of an outcast finding his way and overcoming self-doubt. It’s something that most people can relate to. Even though the story and how it’s told are both a touch predictable, that doesn’t make it less emotionally gripping than it is.

The digital version of The Good Dinosaur is awesome. With Disney Movies Anywhere you can watch it across platforms and across different devices. My preference for digital movies is the Apple TV because of the menu interfaces and the extras that are super easy to browse. For extra content with The Good Dinosaur – I have to say that I’m a fan. You really get to know and love director Peter Sohn for how good of a supervisor and boss he is. You also get to see the inner workings of Pixar and how they have everything from costume competitions to set competitions. It’s an innovative place to work at and you get to see that in the extras. There are features here about some of the different research trips that the crew behind the movie took to study what they could do for the film including a ranch in Oregon and a trip to Jackson, Wyoming. You also get to see a few different dinosaur-centric special features too. As far as digital extras go, The Good Dinosaur has some great content and plenty that you’ll love to watch outside of the movie.

The Good Dinosaur doesn’t get the credit it deserves but a lot of that is outside of the control of the creators. You can chalk most of the movie’s misfortune to bad luck. I’m thinking that years from now the film will be looked at differently than it is now. I love the work that director Peter Sohn did on the film and how he let his creative people do their jobs on the movie. I really hope he gets another shot to direct another Pixar film, because he truly deserves it. This is a great family film.

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