Anyone who knows me or has followed this site for any length of time probably knows that dinosaurs were my whole childhood. I watched pretty much nothing but Jurassic Park, The Land Before Time movies, Godzilla, and Dinosaur. So a Pixar movie about dinosaurs? Even as an adult, I’m in.
The Good Dinosaur is Pixar’s second release of the year after Inside Out this summer. Its basic premise is that the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs missed Earth and now humans and dinosaurs co-exist. It focuses on a family of farming (?) dinosaurs, particularly on the smallest one, named Arlo. An unfortunate series of events leads to him being separated from his family. So, along with a pet human he meets along the way, he goes on an adventure to make it back home.
I’ll tell you what- 8 or 9 year old me would have loved this movie. I know this because 21 year old me really enjoyed it. It’s an entertaining adventure tail in which a lot of things keep you interested the whole time. The things that Pixar does better than anyone is make movies that are for both kids and adults at the same time and have really good themes and messages in their movies. This movie succeeds on both fronts. There is plenty for adults to enjoy and the kids will love it. And it has a really good message about facing your fears and friendship. I’ll also say that the animation in this movie is phenomenal, particularly the background scenery. There were some scenes in here that could have fooled me as being real if I didn’t know it was animated.
There were a couple things I didn’t love about the movie. For starters, the movie never explains why the asteroid missing the earth is a big deal. It shows it happening but that’s it. I understood the meaning, but I don’t think many kids will understand it. I can’t imagine a good percentage of them know an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs. I also didn’t quite get the whole “dinosaurs farm now” thing. Why do they need to? Just eat the leaves on the trees. Lastly, the human doesn’t talk at all in the movie, even though the dinosaurs all speak English. I get this was a creative choice but it felt weird to me. This is way too much nitpicking for a kids movie, but they were things that took me out of it a bit as an adult. And since adults are going to be the ones reading this, I thought I’d point them out.
Nitpicks or not, The Good Dinosaur is another solid Pixar movie. Inside Out has grown on me in the time since I have seen it. That was probably the better overall movie, but I enjoyed this one at least as much. It has some great moments for kids and adults to enjoy and has a great message. I scored Inside out too low back when I reviewed it with a 3.5. It deserves more like a 4 and I’ll score this one right under that. The Good Dinosaur gets a 3.75/5.
Have you seen The Good Dinosaur? Let me know what you thought in the comments.