This Monday night, my family and I had the chance to attend a screening of Disney•Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur. This Good Dinosaur review is my own opinion about the movie – photos and movie information are courtesy of Disney.
The Good Dinosaur Review
I’ll start my Good Dinosaur review at the end of the story. As we were walking out of the theater, my 16 year old turned to me and asked, “How many times did YOU cry?” She has since made plans to see the movie again with her friends. It was that good.
The Good Dinosaur is a story that can be appreciated by a lot of different age groups – from the young to the old. There are a few scary scenes and an emotional death that may effect little ones. The youngest kids in the theater gasped a few times and I heard a few cry out when the shocking death occurred, so I would recommend parents of very young or sensitive children to screen the movie first.
The Good Dinosaur was full of funny moments, adventure, and breath-taking scenery. I saw the movie in 3D, and would highly recommend it – you literally feel like you are in the middle of the scenes with Arlo and Spot. Granted, if you want to save a little bit of cash and skip the 3D, you’ll be just fine, too.
The Good Dinosaur is a coming of age story about a very relatable character learning who he is and what his strengths are. It is a story of believing in yourself and the strength of family bonds and friendships. In true Pixar fashion, even though I knew the basic story line, I was totally surprised by the story and the characters. I fell in love with Arlo and his unlikely friend, Spot. Bring your tissues!
About The Good Dinosaur
Disney•Pixar’s “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? Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend named Spot. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of.
“From the moment Arlo is born, he’s afraid of the world,” says first-time director Peter Sohn, a 15-year Pixar veteran and graduate of CalArts. “He’s fun-loving and determined; he’s got a lot of fire when it comes to his desire to help his family. And his father is his biggest supporter. But Arlo is scared. His fear holds him back.
“Spot is the opposite of Arlo,” continues Sohn. “He’s tenacious, brave and an animal in every sense of the word. It’s the story of a boy and his dog—only in our story, the boy is a dinosaur and the dog is a boy.”
Inspired by the American Northwest, filmmakers found that even towering dinosaurs could feel small in the right surroundings, which worked to intensify Arlo’s fears. According to producer Denise Ream, the stunning and often overwhelming landscape that artists created ultimately played an important role in the story. “Nature can overcome anything,” she says, “including a massive dinosaur.”
This original story catapults Arlo into a vast wilderness, where he struggles to face his fears and survive. Arlo encounters a host of unique personalities who all contribute to his evolution—whether they mean to or not. But the friendship he builds with Spot has the biggest impact. Spot can’t speak, yet he gives Arlo the kind of loyalty and unconditional love that fuels his self-discovery. “Arlo has a lot to overcome,” says Sohn. “His father always knew he was capable of much more, but it’ll take this emotional journey for Arlo to realize it.”
About the Characters
The last to hatch among his siblings, 11-year-old ARLO has yet to make his mark on his family’s farm. Though he is eager to help out with chores, this sheltered Apatosaurus just can’t seem to get past his fear of everything.
SPOT is a wild, tough and tenacious human boy who has lived alone in the wilderness for much of his life. He speaks in only grunts and growls, but his strengths are clear: he’s fearless and confident. “This is very much a wilderness movie,” says screenwriter Meg LeFauve. “Spot is the wild animal who shows up to help the boy—in this case, Arlo—in need. Spot is of this place. He is a survivor.”
ALTERNATE UNIVERSE – In the world of “The Good Dinosaur,” where dinosaurs never became extinct, but instead evolved, herbivores—like Arlo’s Apatosaurus family — became farmers, and carnivores— like the T-Rexes—became ranchers.
PHOTO REAL? – The landscapes and environments in “The Good Dinosaur” are extraordinary, transporting audiences to a world where they can almost feel the raindrops. But filmmakers say it isn’t photo-real—just detailed in a way advanced technology and style decisions allow. S
H-2-OH! – “The Good Dinosaur” features more water shots than any Pixar feature before it, including more than 125 shots of the river alone.
NEW The Good Dinosaur Activity Sheets
To download these activity sheets, simply click on the image previews below to download the full-sized PDF files.
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