Pixar’s new film The Good Dinosaur entertains but doesn’t break new ground


Chloe Ruffennach, Staff writer

The Good Dinosaur is the latest installment of Pixar’s successful franchise, and while most Disney Pixar movies turn out to be incredible successes, this film falls short of the audience’s preset expectations.

The simple name of “Pixar” was able to gather a rather plentiful audience to witness the latest addition to their whimsical world. But despite the highly regarded franchise being behind the film, the movie itself has failed to gather the typical praise that most of the producer’s movies obtain.

When held up against such praised cinematic pieces as the Toy Story series and Up, the Good Dinosaur failed to reach the emotional evocations that usually accompany a Disney Pixar film. In fact, the movie only reached a mere 7.4 bout of 10 on imdb.com, which is a rather significant drop when compared to Disney’s 1995 classic, Toy Story, which stands at a prideful 8.3.

This is not to say that the film was a waste of an hour and forty minutes. The story itself is fairly entertaining, but it is not an adventure story that will soon become a classic, or in my prediction, ever spin off a sequel.

Where this movie truly found its strength is in its visuals. The attention to detail artistically on the characters and scenery is absolutely mind boggling to the point where towards the beginning of the film, I questioned whether the backdrops of some scenes were actual pictures. What this movie lacked in originality, it made up with the stunning art and design put into the film.

The film follows an unlikely duo, made up of the cowardly dinosaur, Arlo, and the suspiciously dog-like youngster, Spot, who can neither talk, nor does he possess the capability to walk on two feet. The story continues as Arlo must find his way home after becoming stranded with his enemy, Spot, whom he blames for the death of his father. However, as the movie progresses, the two make an unlikely pairing, and in classic Disney-style, bond over their similar situations and become good friends.

The plot mainly focuses around the two’s struggle to find their way back to Arlo’s farm. In the series of various twists, turns, and some rather marginalized characters, the nearly two hour movie admittedly flew by. In the moment, the movie was quite entertaining, with its classic Disney quirks and lovable protagonists.

However, when dissected, the film results in nothing more than a standard children’s movie based upon a simplistic plot and one dimensional characters. While I’m not asking for a Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones type of slow burn, tension building, gritty plot from a Disney Pixar movie, I was rather disappointed by the lack of originality it brought to the table. We’ve seen Pixar creatively form an original plot before. In fact, we witnessed it mere months ago with Pixar’s Inside Out. What The Good Dinosaur brought to the table was an easily written plot lacking serious threats and a rather anticlimactic climax. Not to mention the fact that the film failed to tug the heart strings as so many of their other films are infamous for doing (see the beginning of Up and the ending of Inside Out for examples).

While it was neither horrendous nor unwatchable, The Good Dinosaur lacked what Pixar usually finds its strength in. Without completely radical and new concepts, Pixar is just another production company that blends into the woodwork, and this film felt like just another trip to the movies; fun but nothing significantly memorable.


(photo provided by www.j-14.com)