REVIEW: The Good Dinosaur

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Review by Dustin Heller

The Good Dinosaur is the latest 3D computer-animated film from Pixar Animation Studios; the same studio that has brought us many classic children’s films such as the Toy Story trilogy, Finding Nemo, Up, WALL-EMonster’s Inc. and Monsters University just to name a few.  The film is directed by Peter Sohn and stars  Raymond Ochoa, Jack Bright, Sam ElliottAnna PaquinA. J. BuckleySteve Zahn, Frances McDormandJeffrey Wright, and Marcus Scribner.   2015 marks the first time that Pixar has released two films in the same year with The Good Dinosaur and the summer hit Inside Out.

A young dinosaur name Arlo is the pipsqueak of his family and afraid of everything.  He is trying to make his mark in life, but he can’t seem to overcome his fears until one day he is swept up in the current of the river and taken far away from his home.  On his own for the first time in his life, he must now fend for himself and find his way back home no matter how afraid he might be.

To help him on his journey, he meets a human caveboy and names him Spot.  Spot is fearless and has a nose for finding things, which includes trouble at times.  Along the way of their journey home, the pair encounter a number of obstacles and unfriendly characters, but they can overcome anything as long as they are brave and stick together.

Pixar has done it again, and The Good Dinosaur might just be their most visually stunning movie to date.  It is going to be a crowd pleaser for audiences of all ages.  The story is very sweet and heartwarming although somewhat unoriginal, and the characters are impossible not to fall in love with.  The animation is some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen with breathtaking panoramic views and crazy looking creatures.  The music is pretty heavy-handed, but is effective especially for the younger audience members.

Maybe the thing that surprised me the most about The Good Dinosaur was the lack of comedy.  Pixar movies are usually chock-full of laughs, but that wasn’t the case here.  The movie was entertaining enough to overcome this, but it could have made it even that much better.  When all is said and done, The Good Dinosaur is another home run from the studio that turns almost everything it touches into gold.  This is a fantastic movie for the entire family to see over the holiday season.

Grade:  B+

The Good Dinosaur opened in theaters on Wednesday, November 25