the good dinosaurIt’s been around 20 years since the very first full-length computer animated film came out. It was called Toy Story and it was a big gamble for Pixar Animation Studios. Originally the film was supposed to have the character of Woody as a ventriloquist’s dummy who was the main villain of the film. However after the creation of the Buzz Lightyear character, Woody was rewritten to be a cowboy protagonist who had an odd couple type of relationship with Buzz. Due to this rewrite, the film as a whole was looked upon as a critical darling and a giant success at the box office. The film also put Pixar on the map and helped to establish itself as a contender in the animated film arena. Fast forward nearly 20 years later and Pixar has created another very unique and uplifting computer animated film entitled The Good Dinosaur.

Raymond Ochoa stars and voices Arlo, an adolescent Apatosaurus who is the smallest of 3 children. His parents voiced by Jeffrey Wright and Frances McDormand own a small farm where they crow corn and raise wild chickens. Everyone on the farm has a job to do and Arlo’s is to try and feed the chickens without getting torn to pieces. He’s a bit of a coward so his father decides to try and teach him how to live up to his ultimate potential and not be afraid anymore. One day a massive thunderstorm hits and Arlo gets swept far down the river.  While attempting to find his way back home, Arlo befriends a small Neanderthal boy who he calls Spot. Together they battle against great odds in order for Arlo to try and reunite with his family again.

Even though it does borrow heavily from other Disney and Pixar films, The Good Dinosaur is an excellent addition to Pixar’s every growing library. Arlo and Spot are incredibly  well put-together characters and are able to carry the majority of the weight of the film on their shoulders. Arlo is an amusing reluctant hero and stands in comparison to the likes of The Lion King‘s Simba. Spot is insanely cute and hilarious and reminds me of Boo from Monster’s Inc. Together they are a great paired up duo that defiantly have a bit of a yin and yang quality to their friendship.

Simply put, it’s an adventure story through and through. The animation is above reproach and for some instances the landscape shots looks almost photorealistic. In addition, it’s an altogether beautiful film with the art direction having a very fun and lively flair to it.  On the plot side, there are many twists that you will see coming from a mile away but in the end it ultimately can’t detract from the story as a whole. You will laugh and you will cry and more than likely you’ll leave the theater with a gigantic smile on your face.

The Good Dinosaur isn’t a revolutionary film by any means but it is a very entertaining and memorable film that both kids and adults will enjoy. So if you are looking for something to watch this Thanksgiving, it’s a film that I’d highly recommend to check out.

The Good Dinosaur:[usr 4]

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=daFnEiLEx70]

About The Good Dinosaur

Synopsis: A small dinosaur and a Neanderthal boy go on an adventure in an attempt find their way back home.

Director: Peter Sohn

Writer: Meg LaFauve

Stars: Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, Sam Elliott, Raymond Ochoa

Rated: PG

Runtime: 1 Hour, 40 Minutes

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