The Good Dinosaur


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

The Good Dinosaur
"Child childs will love it"

Despite everything - and there's a lot of everything - this newbie from Pixar ticks every baby box one by sweetheart one.

Child childs will love it. Teen childs may squirm at the sentiment. Grown childs who think they know about movies will point out the multiple references to other animated classics.

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Phooee! Are you bothered?

If the story and the characters touch you in that place where belief is made you will gather up your doubts and run with it.

This is a Western for prehistoric frontier folk, except the folk are long necked and four legged. Mom and Pop Dino are farmers in the valley beside the river below the three peaked mountain. And then along comes Buck and Libby and finally Arlo, the smallest, despite hatching from the biggest egg.

Buck and Libby grow tall and work hard on the ranch. Arlo is different. He wants to please Pop, but he's scared. Of what? Everything. Especially the critters that come and steal their corn.

"Sometimes you have to get through your fear to see the beauty on the other side," Pop says.

Okay! Too much corn!

The real story hasn't started yet, but you've guessed what that's about. Arlo has to learn the hard way and so finds himself lost and alone in a vicious storm somewhere out of sight of the three peaks.

Scary animals, brutal birds of prey and fierce weather add to the terror factor. He befriends a young critter - homo sapiens in its feral all-fours phase of evolution - whom he names Spot.

And so begins the road movie without roads, a journey across dangerous mountain ranges. Spot is fast and resourceful and brave. Arlo is slow and gangly and a little nervous. Together they learn to trust each other and protect each other. Spot howls like a wolf, but cannot speak. Arlo tries to howl and speaks all the time.

Their friendship lies at the heart of this adventure. Arlo's growth in confidence and maturity reflects Spot's understanding of family. Together they fight their fights; together they cover the ground.

What is a good dinosaur? One that remains honest and true and doesn't give up? Yes, but there's more.

A good dinosaur thinks about his friend more than he thinks about himself. Arlo learns the value of self reliance and the courage to test it.

Reviewed on: 26 Nov 2015
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The Good Dinosaur packshot
An epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend
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Director: Peter Sohn

Writer: Meg LeFauve

Starring: voices of Raymond Ochoa, Jack Bright, Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, Marcus Scribner, Jack McGraw, Steve Zahn, Anna Paquin, Sam Elliott, A.J. Buckley, Peter Sohn

Year: 2015

Runtime: 100 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US


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