Film Review: The Good Dinosaur (2015)
It was 65 million years ago. A time when an asteroid was rocketing at high speed towards Earth… narrowly missing the Earth’s atmosphere. Since that insignificant moment, life went on as normal for the almost-extinct dinosaurs, including the Apatosaurus family.
Directed by Peter Sohn (The Incredibles, Wall-E), THE GOOD DINOSAUR revolves around a young Apatosaurus named Arlo who is the weakest and shyest member of his family. Always looked down by his two siblings, Arlo was desperate to be acknowledged by his parents and make his mark on the family rock. But when Arlo gets strayed away from home after chasing a small caveboy, Arlo suddenly finds himself on a quest that will forever change his life. Travelling through the harsh landscape of river and mountains, can Arlo overcome his fears and find his way home?
Possibly one of Disney-Pixar’s finest creations in their portfolio, The Good Dinosaur is one of the rare animated films with dinosaurs as the subject.
As The Good Dinosaur sweeps into view on the cinematic screen, we are automatically blessed with spectacular photo-realistic backgrounds. From panoramic aerial views of forests, mountainous terrains and magnificent geysers, The Good Dinosaur will take you on a majestic adventure from a dinosaur’s point of view. From left to right, the glorious cinematography allow Arlo’s world to feel overwhelmingly immense, and with such fine details for its backdrop, it makes the film a highly immersive experience for the audience.
Focussing on an unlikely friendship between two polar-opposite individuals, The Good Dinosaur is an awe-inspiring film that will ignite a cluster of emotions within you. A strong reminder of Disney’s old-school favourite The Lion King, The Good Dinosaur will tug sentimental emotions from desolation to euphoria without any hesitation.
Many Disney-Pixar fans may criticise The Good Dinosaur for its generic and predictable narrative aimed at a young audience but that doesn’t mean the film lacks emotional depth. For a children’s film, the film is surprisingly explicit in the way ~graphic scenes are visually depicted, and the messages that it aims to execute throughout the film.
As we embark on a journey with two outcasts in society, the audience learns about the significance of one’s identity and abilities as an individual. Spot, a fearsome yet carefree Neanderthal, does whatever he pleases in order to survive. Arlo, inspired by Spot, slowly builds the courage to be braver than before. With the help of some wise (and rather eccentric) friends along the way, Arlo and Spot realise they share many things in common and the two friends eventually form a unique bond like no other.
Before returning home and proving his worthiness to his family, Arlo needed to overcome his fears and put everything right. But Nature wasn’t going to let Arlo and Spot have it easy. With many life-threatening twists and challenges obstructing their journey, The Good Dinosaur is an endearing story which will resonate with every fan from start to finish.
Overall: THE GOOD DINOSAUR isn’t groundbreaking or creatively inventive like Disney-Pixar’s Inside Out (and its other predecessors) but this film still has plenty of charm that will trigger laughs and tears. Despite targeted at a much younger audience than usual, The Good Dinosaur‘s universal messages about overcoming one’s fears will hit home with fans from all walks of life. Although it is a shame that The Good Dinosaur was not well-received amongst fans and critics, we personally think The Good Dinosaur is one of the finest animated films in recent history.
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