The Good Dinosaur is emotional, endearing, and overwhelmingly adorable at times.
The Good Dinosaur asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely, and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? In this epic journey into the world of dinosaurs, an apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of.
The beginning of the film, I will admit, did not set up the premise very well and was not very realistic like most Pixar movies. While others Pixar films do feature talking fish or toys that are sentient, that are least bound by their biological actualities. However, in The Good Dinosaur, we see the dino’s farming, building huts, and living in makeshift houses – something that I am reasonably sure is not accurate. At least in other Pixar movies the animals were pretty accurate in their ecological circumstances. This may be picky of me but it did bother me a little bit. Maybe this is due to the meteor not hitting earth and they evolved but if that is the case, it was not explained (and the whole meteor bit was barely explained and mostly had to be inferred by the audience.)
BUT all that washed away with the complete adorableness of the characters and the great message that the movie tries to convey.
The main character, Arlo, is a scared dinosaur, picked on by his siblings, living in a world where he doesn’t just think he won’t amount to the greatness of his family but he feels it. But after getting separated from his home and getting entangled with a young fearless human, he learns just how strong he really is and how much he can accomplish when pushing himself.
The movie tackles some hard truths about life – that it can be hard, it can be unfair, and things don’t go the way he want or need them to but that doesn’t mean we have to give up or more importantly that we should give up. Arlo doesn’t give up even if he needs a little help from his from Spot – that is okay – sometimes you don’t have to do things on you own. But when his helping hand is gone, Arlo doesn’t give up then either, instead he finds the courage that has been building the whole film and lends a helping hand to Spot. Its endearing in a way that a lot of movies can’t quite capture.
I like that Pixar and Disney are undertaking two very different themes in this movie – loss, grief, self-perception and hardships while at the same time friendship, courage, and finding yourself. All while having essentially only one character who can speak.
Also I HAVE to mention that The Good Dinosaur is ABOSLUTELY gorgeous. Every scene and every second looks like something you would have as screensaver. And I mean that in the best possible way. Every moment is serene and beautiful. The animators did a spectacular job creating a setting that is intensely three dimensional and felt like something you wanted to sink into.
Outside of the movie itself, the Blu-Ray combo pack includes some of the best bonus features yet. My favorite was the “True Lies About Dinosaurs” segment. I have always loved dinosaurs since I was a little girl so being able to see a little bit of the truth behind the dinosaurs from this movie and the real life ones they based them on was really interesting. I also loved the “Every Part of the Dinosaur” story. It followed the filmmakers as they spoke about how the different difficulties in animating dinosuars and Spot. I had NO idea how much every little inch had to be thought about and animated to make it look so life like! I loved watching every second of that featurette because I felt like I had a new appreciation for how much work went into The Good Dinosaur
You can see the full list of bonus features below!
Digital HD*, Blu-ray Combo Pack & Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA)
- THEATRICAL SHORT – Sanjay’s Super Team – Sanjay loves the world of cartoons and comics, while his father tries to draw him into his Hindu traditions. Reluctance quickly turns into awe-inspiring adventure as the boy embarks on an amazing journey, returning with a new perspective they can both embrace.
- TRUE LIES ABOUT DINOSAURS – We know – it’s preposterous to think Apatosaurs spoke English. Learn more about what separates the fictional dinosaurs of “The Good Dinosaur“ from what scientists know about real dinosaurs.
- RECYCLOSAURUS – Pixar takes creative competition seriously. Maybe a little too seriously. Watch as “The Good Dinosaur” crew competes to see which department can create the best dinosaur ever…using only discarded items from the studio’s “free table.”
- THE FILMMAKERS’ JOURNEY – Finding your way from an idea to a film takes a lot of exploration. Director Peter Sohn and his fellow filmmakers talk about the challenging, inspiring, and unexpectedly emotional experience of making “The Good Dinosaur.”
- EVERY PART OF THE DINOSAUR – The filmmakers talk about the special animation challenges of “The Good Dinosaur” – including figuring out how to animate a dinosaur who’s really a boy, and a boy who’s got the spirit of a dog.
- FOLLOWING THE T-REX TRAIL – Follow the filmmakers as they travel to a working cattle ranch and meet the McKays, a close-knit family whose work ethic, generosity, and stories inspired the T-Rex ranchers of the film.
- COMMENTARY – Commentary from director Peter Sohn, story supervisor Kelsey Mann, supervising animator Mike Venturini, director of photography/lighting Sharon Calahan, and supervising technical director Sanjay Bakshi.
- DINO BITES – Montage of original animated pieces produced to promote “The Good Dinosaur.”
- HIDE AND SEEK – A short animated clip produced to promote “The Good Dinosaur.”
- DELETED SCENES
- The Attack – An idyllic introduction to the family farm is cut short when a savage predator attacks the newborn Arlo. With an introduction by Director Peter Sohn.
- Building the Silo – An admiring Arlo is thrilled to follow along as his father builds a silo for the family farm. With an introduction by Director Peter Sohn.
- Waiting for Poppa – Arlo awaits the return of his beloved father on a stormy night, only to be greeted with tragic news. With an introduction by Director Peter Sohn.
Blu-ray 3D & DVD:
- THEATRICAL SHORT – Sanjay’s Super Team
- Digital Exclusive:
- JUST LISTEN – Trace the development of the unique soundscape of “The Good Dinosaur,” from the wilds of British Columbia as Sound Designer Craig Berkey collects sounds, to the recording studio where Jeff and Mychael Danna use instruments from around the world to create the music.
*Digital bonus offerings may vary by retailer