“The Good Dinosaur” enchants its audience

3.5/5 Stars


provided by IMDb

Lucas Koprowski, Sports Editor

Pixar has a history of making films with the similar story line of “What If…?” that has been told in various different ways. With “Toy Story,” it was what if toys had feelings? With “Inside Out,” it was what if feelings had feelings?


Although this movie followed that same idea with “what if non-avian dinosaurs never died and evolved to have a more advanced cerebral cortex to be able to express feelings?,” this film was able to tell a story that both brought the legendary Pixar emotional pull and crafted a captivating story that everyone in the audience, kids and parents alike, can appreciate.


The story follows Arlo, a dinosaur that was born with birth defects that put him physically behind his fellow brother and sister. After he tries to find his place in his family following a family tragedy, he falls into the river near his house while chasing off a pesky caveman-like human child, almost drowns, and wakes up far away from home down the river. He and his human counterpart that put him in this position, Spot, must find their way back to Arlo’s home by following the river back to where they came.


Throughout the film, Arlo had to move past his fear of the outside world to be able to find his way back home. His fear was introduced at birth, when he was too afraid of the new world to leave his egg. This tone helped progress the story by showing Arlo push past that fear time and time again, and work towards becoming a self-sufficient being that could help him and his family survive.  


One of the greatest parts of this film was the hyper-realistic animation used throughout the cinema. Although the characters look like cartoons, the scenery was absolutely beautiful. The water looked completely real throughout most of the film, the trees looked great both up close and in the forested overview of the countless mountain ranges and the storms looked enchanting. This is by far the most realistic and detailed animation in cinema I’ve ever seen.


One aspect that made me question the director’s vision was why the movie depicted humans to act like a hybrid between a dog and a monkey. Throughout the movie, he would climb up trees, walk on all four limbs, and would howl to the sky when he was trying to express remorse or communicate his emotions with others.


In addition, the movie attempted to use symbolism to show Spot finding other, more evolved humans in the wild while going to Arlo’s home by using white hair on the older male human. Later in the film, they show an entire family of humans, with both the parents and children looking albino with grey hair and red eyes.


My only problem with that is the family would have probably died by time they found Spot. With these people being albino, they would probably thrive in a more arctic climate. Even though that’s what their traits expressed, they were found in the middle of a green and luscious field. Shouldn’t they stay where they are able to thrive and survive? Even if they wanted to come out to the field just to find another human to enter their clan, wouldn’t it be hard for them to hunt due to their camouflage being compromised?


Looking past those flaws, this is overall a very enjoyable film. Although this isn’t as great as “The Lego Movie” in terms of the message and storytelling, this film is able to show a unique storyline with both the classical Pixar and new storytelling elements that spiced up how the movie’s presentation.