Good Dinosaur falls well short of Pixar’s previous greats

A scene from the animated film Good Dinosaur.
A scene from the animated film Good Dinosaur. Contributed

Gympie movie reviewer Troy Spacie reviews his latest flick for Gympie cinema buffs.

PIXAR'S second film of the year has big shoes to fill as their first offering, Inside Out, was the production company's best film to date.

The Good Dinosaur follows Arlo, a young dinosaur who ends up bruised, battered and miles away from home after being washed downriver in a storm.

Good fortune shines on the frightened dinosaur when he meets Spot (Jack Bright), a Neanderthal boy who offers his help and friendship.

Together, the unlikely duo embarks on an epic adventure to reunite Arlo with his family.

Essentially a road movie (think Milo and Otis or Homeward Bound with a dinosaur), the film delivers some sound messages about family and grief but doesn't quite nail it.

The characters aren't as engaging and well-rounded as Pixar usually gives us. It's possible this is because halfway through making this film everything was scrapped and a new director was brought on board. This makes sense as throughout the film I felt like I was watching a work in progress in terms of story.

Pixar has a good track record. They pretty much hit a home run with every film they make.

As a company they focus on the story first, before the animation, and the results are often Incredible(s).

The Good Dinosaur however feels like something's missing, as if things have happened back to front.

The animation is stellar. This is the most gorgeous looking animation the studio has produced. The landscapes are picture perfect. But the story is lacking. Well, lacking may be a bit harsh but still I could easily find myself comparing this film to Disney classic The Lion King.

There are several story lines here that are drawn straight from that particular film.

From the quest to return to his family's home, to the three pterodactyls that stalk him (they even look like the hyenas from The Lion King). Hell, even the death of his father is nearly a shot-for-shot rehash of that infamous "It's a Stampede" scene of The Lion King - and yes, Arlo does get caught up in a stampede later in the film.

Whether it was intentional or not, the filmmakers of The Good Dinosaur seem to have gone back through Disney's catalogue and mish-mashed memorable things from a bunch of other films, hoping that will make The Good Dinosaur stand alongside those classics.

Unfortunately, the end result is the opposite.

The Good Dinosaur made me think all throughout the film that I was watching a recycled film from lazy filmmakers.

RATING: 3/10

Gympie Times

Topics:  cinema movie review

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