I felt like there really wasn’t a lot of marketing for this movie. I figure that this movie is about a dinosaur and a human that learn to become friends and eventually learn to become a family. Honestly, from the trailers it looks like a pretty standard film, and if it weren’t for the fact that it was Pixar I don’t know if I would be that interested in seeing it.
As always (almost), I must applaud Pixar and their team. When I saw this movie in the theaters, I went all out buying an evening showing in 3D with popcorn, a drink, and a small candy. The animation was gorgeous and some scenes were just spectacular to watch. I felt that some of the scenes were definitely optimized in 3D, such as the entire view of the mountain range valley and the scenes with the fireflies in the grass and them running through the seagull looking animals. Another feature that was emphasized in 3D was the scenes that contained water. One of the things I dislike watching in movies is scenes that involve large bodies of water, especially when the water looks realistic and is moving. The water looked so good in this movie that I actually squirmed in my seat watching the storm scenes. If you watch the movie I highly recommend seeing it in 3D, Pixar does not disappoint.
There were funny parts in the movie, but interestingly enough it was not due to dialogue but due to the gorgeous animation and the interactions between the characters. The humor mostly came from the different facial expressions that the characters made. In fact, The Good Dinosaur relied more on Wall-E’s dialogue-less approach to emphasize most emotions in the movie. I grew to love the relationship between Spot and Arlo from what was not said more than from what was said.
Aside from Spot and Arlo’s relationship, the movie was rather simplistic, though that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The story is linear and is very focused upon Arlo wanting to return to his family’s farm. During his journey, Arlo meets a variety of creatures that either help or harm his goal. My favorite secondary characters that Spot and Arlo meet are the T-rex family. I really liked the idea that the T-rexes weren’t the bad guys. Pretty much in all dinosaur movies I’ve seen (which admittedly isn’t a lot) T-rexes are always the bad guys so it was refreshing to see the T-rexes not as some brainless creatures that attack any and all food sources they see, but as allies to Arlo that help instill some confidence in him.
There were two things about this movie that I really didn’t like. The first is the title of the movie and the second is the ending of the movie. In regards to the title, I felt that it was non-descriptive and feels incredibly simplistic. In regards to the second, read on if you don’t mind spoilers.
MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
After a full movie of getting to know Arlo and Spot and watching them bond and become good friends, the story artists decided that in the end of the movie Spot should go off with this random caveman family that show up. I felt like Arlo and Spot were going to be a nice little family, but then right before they are about to reach Arlo’s family farm some other humans show up and somehow Spot ends up being adopted by them! I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy that. It doesn’t make sense to me that Spot would be happier with a human family he doesn’t know instead of Arlo, who he has bonded with. Arlo even says that he loves Spot! This definitely promotes species segregation, which I know isn’t an ethical issue or anything, but I still think Arlo and Spot would’ve made a better family then Spot and some random cavepeople.
END OF SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
There have been a lot of negative reviews for this movie, but I still think it is worth watching. In all honesty, I felt like people are exaggerating with their criticism. I will admit that this movie doesn’t re-invent the wheel. I didn’t get enlightenment from the film or anything, nor did I think that this movie completely redefined the children’s dinosaur sub-genre, but the movie did what I wanted it to do; it kept me (and my family) fully entertained for an hour and forty minutes. There are a few action scenes that may be intense for really young viewers or sensitive children, but those scenes pass quickly. This movie is still a wholesome, fun movie for the whole family to enjoy.
Overall, I highly recommend going to see this movie. Despite the fact that I really disliked the ending (to me there was really nothing good about it), I still give this movie a positive review. This movie will probably entertain the kids much more than the adults, but as an adult I still find that there was much to be liked in the movie. And if you’re feeling in a festive mood you can pay for the more expensive 3D experience, I found it to be well worth the money.