What if an astroid never hit Earth and the Dinosaurs never were extinct? In The Good Dinosaur, we get to see how Disney and Pixar’s take of that scenario.
The story follows an apatosaurus named Arlo as he journeys to find his way home. Struggling to find his way home, Arlo makes an unlikely human friend named Spot. The two must go through harsh conditions and unfamiliar landscapes, and Arlo has to face his fears in order to get back home.
This film turned out to be a very unique film, something familiar to Disney and Pixar, but this one is quite different from the rest of the animated films in the company’s history.
Let’s start off with the main characters, Arlo and Spot. Rather than having both characters talk to one another, Disney Pixar decided to reverse the roles in this film by making Arlo (the dinosaur) the talking character and Spot (the human) more like a dog-like pet. This was a very risky thing to do but Disney and Pixar are known for making risks and most of the time, they pay off. This particular risk did pay off. With Spot having dog-like tendencies, it made for most of the comedy in the film and it made the relationship between the two characters unique. A dinosaur having a pet human/friend, isn’t something we see in films very often. I haven’t seen that type of thing since the 90’s TV series, Dinosaurs.
The plot itself isn’t as unique. It’s the usual find your way back home story and find yourself during the journey. The feel of the film was also kind of unique for a Pixar film. It felt to me like the tone of the film was mostly driven by emotions rather than having it be a good balance of emotion and comedy, like the usual Pixar films. There is some comedy but not as much as we are used to seeing. Also, there are a couple of scenes in the film that I felt maybe were too scary for younger audiences.
Another thing about this film is that it didn’t have a huge all-star cast like Disney Pixar films normally do. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely some big names in the cast like Sam Elliot, Anna Paquin, John Ratzenberger and Jeffrey Wright, but most of the cast are newcomers or not exactly household names. There’s nothing at all wrong with that but I found it quite unusual for a Disney Pixar film to be centered around unfamiliar actors.
The backgrounds of the film and the all the different landscapes, looked absolutely amazing. At times they looked so real, that I thought maybe they combined real world footage with animation. Everything from rivers, trees, rocks and grass looked totally real. The animation team did a terrific job in the film.
Just like all the other Disney Pixar in-home releases, this one is packed with extras. Included with the Blu-ray combo pack are: “The Filmmaker’s Journey”- Director Peter Sohn and team share their experience of making the film, “Hide and Seek”- a short animated promotional clip, “True Lies About Dinosaurs” – an educational look at what separates the dinosaurs in the film from real dinosaurs, “Recyclosaurus”- The crew competes to create characters from the film out of discarded items, “Every Part of the Dinosaur”- Exploring the movie’s special animation challenges, “Following the T-Rex Trail”- Meet the family that inspired the T-Rex ranchers, Deleted Scenes and more.
What I loved most about the bonus features were that they showed a lot of the behind-the-scenes work, including an inside look of Pixar studios. Also, some of the features were both comical and educational. To top it off, getting to know the family that the T-Rex ranchers were based off of was really a treat and inspirational in many ways.
The extras add over two hours to the film.
The Blu-ray combo pack comes in the standard 2 disc case, covered by a cardboard protective slip. You also get a digital code for the film, which also doubles as Disney rewards points.
The Good Dinosaur was a good film. Though the premise of the plot wasn’t entirely original, it is still unique in many ways. The animation looked amazing with almost life-like backgrounds. I’m not sure if it would say this film would be for all ages because of some questionable scenes. I would say this film is more suitable for ages 6 and up.
I give The Good Dinosaur Blu-ray Combo Pack, 7 fridges out of 10.