#REVIEW: “THE GOOD DINOSAUR”
Review by Siobhán Rich for Mr. Will Wong
In the world of entertainment, the story of a boy and his dog is hardly anything new. The latest Pixar offering from Disney attempts to take on this trope with a twist in The Good Dinosaur: a tale of dinosaur and his human.
The Movie opens by asking its audience to change prehistoric history and wonder what would have happened if the asteroid hadn’t hit Earth and the dinosaurs had survived. The result is an old west-style agrarian society where carnivorous dinosaurs run ranches and vegetarian ones farm.
Arlo (Raymond Ochoa) is the runt of his litter; not as strong as his brother Buck or as capable as his sister Libby, the one thing Arlo wants in this world is to “make his mark” so his Poppa (voiced by Jeffrey Wright) will be proud of him. When his father dies suddenly Arlo lashes out against the creature he blames for bringing this tragedy upon his family – a wild human boy he eventually names Spot. Separated from his family, Arlo longs to find his way home and meets an array of colourful characters along the way. Notable standouts in the cast include a family of R-Rexes voiced by Anna Paquin, AJ Buckley and Sam Elliot as Butch.
Pixar enthusiasts will be pleased to hear that Pixar lucky charm John Ratzenberger returns to stamp his voice of approval as a cattle-rustling Velociraptor named Earl.
Writer Meg LeFauve’s script seems at times cobbled together from the plots of superior Films from the Disney vault. With elements almost blatantly cribbed from sources including the Lion King and Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey.
The score provided by Canadians Mychael and Jeff Danna helps the story along while carefully skirting the dangers of becoming overpowering or manipulative.
Director Peter Sohn’s beautiful, rich pallet and photorealistic backgrounds are the true stars of this movie. Pixar’s animation experts appear to have been given the task of challenging the team at Disney Nature and may have outdone their documentary counterparts.
A lovely new Pixar short, Sanjay’s Super Team, which was also scored by Mychael Danna, precedes the Movie.
As the 2nd Pixar Film this year The Good Dinosaur is sure to be held-up to impossible standards created by the success of Inside Out. But it shouldn’t be. Rather than a Movie about the pretend voices in our heads, The Good Dinosaur reflects on the real problems we all have living up to expectations set by other and ourselves. It just so happens that the people in this movie happen to look like dinosaurs.
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada release The Good Dinosaur on Wednesday, November 25, 2015.