Favorite

Review: The Good Dinosaur 

click to enlarge good-dinosaur-concept-art-sc-pub16-2014-11-12.jpg

THE GOOD DINOSAUR

**

DIRECTED BY Peter Sohn

STARS Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand

It’s a situation worthy of an Alanis Morrisette song. Isn’t it ironic that in the same week I pen an article ranking all the previous Pixar movies and noting that all of them are recommended to some degree, along comes the first Pixar movie to score a negative review? That’s the case with The Good Dinosaur, a crushing disappointment from an outfit generally known for its exacting high standards.

Forget such modern gems as this summer’s Inside Out and the Toy Story trilogy – The Good Dinosaur makes even such indifferently received efforts as Cars 2 and Monsters University look great by comparison.

Pixar pictures have always been for adults as much as for children, yet this one marks the first time that grown-ups have been left out of the mix, with the studio fashioning a film designed to play only to the small fry (or as Tim Robbins’ Norville Barnes would say in the Coens’ The Hudsucker Proxy, “You know, for kids!”).

That’s all well and good, but I’m not even sure the target audience will warm to a film so bereft of humor or excitement (or, should I say, warm to it as much as to other family films, as most kids will invariably watch anything as long as it involves bright colors and loud noises).

The film begins with a “what if?” scenario: What if the comet that wiped out the dinosaurs missed the planet? The only reason for this supposition is so a human protagonist – a feral boy – can eventually be added to the story, since this opening act doesn’t impact the film in any other way.

Mostly, the plot centers on a young dino named Arlo and how his life is irrevocably altered by a tragedy lifted straight out of The Lion King. And like another lion, the one taking the road to Oz, Arlo needs to finds his courage, and he only does so after getting lost and teaming up with the aforementioned boy, a lupine lad named Spot.

The story is suffocating in its simplicity, and while the backgrounds are gorgeously rendered, the characters are a visually drab lot (as my wife accurately noted, Arlo and his family members look like animated cucumbers). Thankfully, The Good Dinosaur never indulges in the sort of scatological humor seen in other studios’ toon efforts.

Still, that’s a consolation that only goes so far, given that innovation and imagination prove to be as extinct as pterodactyls in the modern world.

Trailer


Now Playing

Sorry there are no upcoming showtimes for The Good Dinosaur

Favorite

More by Matt Brunson

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Connect Today 08.17.2017

Latest in Film Reviews

  • Review: Step
  • Review: Step

    More straightforward than many other documentaries about kids in competition, Step isn’t as richly detailed or narratively mutable as something like Hoop Dreams or Spellbound.
    • Aug 8, 2017
  • Review: The Dark Tower
  • Review: The Dark Tower

    Stripped of dramatic heft, the film mainly plays like the YA-sanctioned adventures of a young boy who gets to hang out with a gunslinger and fight a wicked sorcerer
    • Aug 1, 2017
  • Review: Atomic Blonde
  • Review: Atomic Blonde

    The sort of movie in which nothing is as it seems, with a full menu of double-crosses, triple-crosses, false identities, and startling character revelations.
    • Jul 25, 2017
  • More »

Movies This Week

More Filmtimes

or

Right Now On: Twitter | Facebook

Copyright © 2017, Connect Savannah. All Rights Reserved.
Website powered by Foundation