Disney and Pixar movies should have a warning before showings – May Cause Emotional Breakdowns.
Before we get into the emotional rollercoaster that was The Good Dinosaur, let’s talk about the short film beforehand.
I love the shorts just as much as I love the full length feature. They’re heartwarming, creative and always tell a superb story with often no dialogue.
‘Sanjay’s Super Team’ started with a quick message to say it was based on a true story. It is the first Pixar film directed by a person of Indian Heritage and it’s the first movie that Pixar has created that had a central character who wasn’t white.
It tells the story of a young boy who lived with his parents in a motel, and every morning he would watch the TV while his father sat behind him and prayed. His father tries to involve him in the prayers, but the young boy’s mind wanders and creates a story in his head where his superheroes replaced the Hindu deities , In the end the boy learns to appreciate his religion and bonds with his father. The colours are gorgeous in this short and I love the innocence of the storyline. I would only say that it didn’t pull on my heartstrings as much as Feast or Lava, but it was a gorgeous concept and it was great to see Pixar try something new and take things in a more accepting, multicultural direction.
We then move onto the The Good Dinosaur.
I just have to say that above everything, the animation was incredible. The characters themselves had that cute, soft edged animation we’re used to in Pixar films, it’s part of the escapism to have these adorable characters to lose ourselves in for a couple of hours.
However, the scenery is phenomenal, to the point in some points I could not tell you if it was real or animated. The team at Pixar has really outdone themselves this time. The creative minds behind this movie said they wanted the scenery to make our dino look tiny, and that they did. But not in an unrealistic way which only makes it more amazing.
The plot was not the best I’ve ever seen come out of Pixar. It is nothing in comparison to that of Big Hero Six, which subtly dealt with problems like depression, loss and growing up, all while keeping it hidden behind hilarious and heartwarming characters.
However, as usual, Pixar uses it’s power to remind us what is important in life.
The Good Dinosaur is about a young cautious dino, Arlo, who is teared away from his family (literally) by a raging river. He makes friends with a human boy who takes on the form of a puppy type friend for the dinosaur.
He finds his bravery on his way home and learns what he’s made of throughout his adventures.
But that’s the problem. They didn’t really have many adventures…he meets three tyrannosaurus Rex who he stays with for a couple of hours, seemingly days away from home, which we assume is the beginning of a huge adventure. But within 10 minutes he is back in sight of his home and is on his way back. Oh.
Well maybe something stands in his way that puts him back to square one? Not really he deters from the path for a few moments to save his human puppy from pterodactyls then he’s basically home.
There are some gorgeous scenes that almost had me in tears. One of which I won’t ruin because it’ll ruin half the film. If there wasn’t a young family sat right behind me, I would have been crying. The other is when he is reunited with his family, but that’s because I’m an emotional sop.
The young human boy ‘Spot’ is an instant lovable character. Definitely going to be the next big selling cuddly toy in Disney stores. He’s lovable, adorable and a cheeky sidekick for our Arlo.
If I had to compare The Good Dinosaurs to other movies. In terms of characters and character relationships, i would say it was quite similar to The Lion King. In terms of plot, Ice Age definitely comes close.
If only they had pushed it a bit further and compared his adventures to that of Marlin from Finding Nemo, it would have been on an entirely higher level.
I would rate Sanjay’s Super Team a 8/10 and The Good Dinosaur a 8.5/10.