Oh, Pixar – you really shouldn’t have bothered. The Good Dinosaur is a pretty average kind of an animated movie. From anyone else, that might be forgivable, but the world has come to expect better from Pixar – creators of the wonderful Inside Out, just a few months back.
It’s not a terrible viewing, but it’s a sack full of recycled ideas. Little dinosaur Arlo is a cowardly failure, but circumstances dump him far from home, requiring a long trek of redemption back to his family. Along the way he picks up a stray pet, a feral human child he names Spot, and together the pair face many (yawn) dangers and learn many (more yawn) important life lessons.
I did like the little boy in the movie – mostly dog, it has to be said, and I suppose a nice reversal on the boy-and-his-pet theme. But otherwise the characters did absolutely nothing for me. Protagonist Arlo is rather annoying, and no one gets a great deal of screen time to be anything other than two dimensional.
Does it look nice? Yeah, that’s about the best of it. But then, plonking a cartoon green dragon down on what looks like actual nature film footage just looked wrong, somehow. The dinosaurs – rather thin on the ground, tbh – all share a kind of odd half-cartoon, half-meant-to-be-realistic look that did nothing for me.
Overall, the whole movie really shows the strains of its troubled production, and comes across as fragmented and uninspired. It’s not dreadful, but ‘fine’ just doesn’t cut it from Pixar.
Released: 27th November 2015
Viewed: 4th December 2015
Running time: 93 minutes
My rating: 4/10 – high on the ‘meh’ factor