The Good Dinosaur (2015), written by Meg LeFauve and directed by Peter Sohn

Overall Rating: 4.5/10

The story of The Good Dinosaur takes place in an alternate timeline where dinosaurs still roam the earth.  It focuses on Arlo, the son of two Apatosaurus parents, and his journey to find his way home after he is separated from his family.  Growing up, Arlo is constantly trying to gain his parent’s stamp of approval, though he is fearful.  His fear gets in the way of him doing his job and experiencing the world.  He is only able to overcome this fear through the obstacles he faces journeying back to his parents.  Along the way he meets many creatures, and becomes friends with Spot, a human child.

The film definitely had its redeeming qualities.  The animation was on another level from previous Pixar movies.  The landscapes were a sight to see and the movements of the different creatures were appropriately tailored to their species and personality.  I enjoyed the family dynamic between Arlo and his siblings.  His motivation to impress his parents is one that almost any child can relate to.

However, this film does not stand out among the other Pixar films for me.  The plot was predictable.  The concept was so creative that I felt the could’ve done more with the story. It felt like they focused so much on animation that the storyline kind of got forgotten until they had not choice but to choose the obvious ending.

I also didn’t really enjoy many of the characters in this movie.  Arlo was dynamic and had dimension to his personality, however the familial unit and most of the antagonists seemed one dimensional.  I wasn’t really rooting for the “good guys” because they didn’t have adequate “bad guys” to balance them out.

Current Ranking:

  1. The Incredibles
  2. Ratatouille
  3. Monsters University
  4. WALL-E
  5. The Good Dinosaur