Film Review: The Good Dinosaur


Disney Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur is amiable family entertainment. Although it does not feel quite as distinguished as other features from the studio, the film is still an enjoyable watch.

Young dinosaur Arlo lives with his family on their farm. More timid than his sibling, Arlo worries he will never make his mark. An encounter with a young human sets Arlo off on an epic journey…

The focus of The Good Dinosaur is on Arlo. The character is similar to other Disney protagonists in that he lacks confidence, yet is endearing. The film is very much a story of developing maturity and discovering friendships. There are some classic Disney traits in the narrative; indeed the story is one the studio has told before in different guises. Nevertheless, The Good Dinosaur enchants with its wonderful animation and affable central relationship.

The main characters in the film are simply depicted. Arlo is engineered to be relatable, with his timidity making him a sympathetic protagonist. The decision to base the story from the point of view of the dinosaur, rather than the human, is certainly one of The Good Dinosaur‘s strong points. This factor turns on its head the idea of the human being suspicious or terrified of the giant beast.

Where the film falters is in its predictability. There is little that occurs in the film that is unexpected. The Good Dinosaur follows a familiar narrative tread, with each aspect continuing as expected. The story is a pleasant one, but not a surprising one. There is however, a fantastic short sequence when Arlo and Spot eat some off fruit. Production values in the film are faultless. The sprawling landscape is depicted in a most attractive manner, and the details of the creatures, especially the small ones, are marvellous. It is easy to see the appeal of colours in the film for very young viewers.

The Good Dinosaur should perfectly entertain its audience. Those very familiar with the studio’s work may wish the film to go a step further.

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