Pixar! What are you doing? This seems highly unusual!
They had Inside Out come out earlier in the year. The year being 2015. But this is another Pixar movie, The Good Dinosaur, coming out in the same year. Don’t they know that this will mean they are competing against themselves for animated film awards?
Oh well, that is because this Pixar film was supposed to come out in 2013. But delays occurred. Serious delays that pushed it back a year, and then another. The whole story had to be redone from what they initially thought about, as there were apparent serious problems with the script. Not only that, but the entire voice cast, except for Frances McDormand was replaced earlier this year. Some crazy shit went down into getting this film out.
Either way, this is the first time that Pixar has released two films in the same year. The next time they do this is in 2017, with the release of Coco and Cars 3. That year, however, they won’t be competing against themselves since they know that there is no way Cars 3 will win anything.
Oh no, there are 3 T-Rexs here. This just make me think of how bad Cars 3 will be, noo!
What if the asteroid that hit the earth 65 million years ago didn’t happen? Well, then the dinosaurs wouldn’t have been wiped out. And lots of other things would have happened, like we would never have had the rise of mammals, humans probably wouldn’t exist, and no one would be able to make lame Nickelback jokes anymore. But let’s ignore the many things that would change, assume they stay the same, but also dinosaurs still exist.
That way we can meet Poppa (Jeffrey Wright) and Momma (Frances McDormand), some sort of “long neck” dinosaur species (Apatosaurus). They have three eggs and they are about to hatch! We have little Libby (Maleah Nipay-Padilla, who I assume does the voice the whole time, not just the baby. Shitty IMDB stuff going on), strong Buck (Marcus Scribenr), and Arlo (Raymond Ochoa), the runt. Having kids is great, because they work a farm, and now they can expand their corn farm and get even more corn food to survive winters and have a wonderful home!
Let’s just say, eventually, some tragedies occur, due to the very explicit foreshadowing, so next thing we know, Arlo is far from home and on his own! Well, there is also this random human toddler, Spot (Jack Bright). See his name? He is basically a really smart dog.
They have to get back to the farm before it is too late. Before what is too late? Well, basically death. This area has a bit of volcanism, large bugs, scary winged dinosaurs, scary big mouthed dinosaurs, scary cryptic dinosaurs, and giant ass storms that make shit flood and get all sorts of scary. SCARY!
Also featuring the voices of Peter Sohn, Steve Zahn, A.J. Buckley, Anna Paquin, and of course, Sam Elliott.
Sam Elliot plays the whisper of the wind on the grass. Or at least that is how smooth his voice is in my mind.
Cutting to the chase, The Good Dinosaur is a very safe movie from the Pixar perspective. It was just a journey film between two unlikely entities. A buddy road trip movie. Sure they had their differences, but working together, their strengths were doubled and their weaknesses were, lets say cut down a small bit.
Early in the film was a bit dull, and I was worried it would finish with an average rating. Then we started to meet a few characters. The triceratops scene and the bad fruit scene were basically back to back and had me in stitches. Then we had the scary flying things (I don’t know if they were pterodactyls, so I won’t call them that). They were cool. But the T-Rex’s were just cowboys and a bit boring at that. Elliot voice be damned.
The Good Dinosaur had a few touching moments, but only made me barely cry just once. I was never able to connect to it emotionally like I could Inside Out. And hey, there was a death scene, and it was intense as fuck. About the same level of intensity as when Mufasa kicked the bucket in that one movie.
I was weary of the animation style, with cartoony dinosaurs/people and hyper realistic backgrounds, but it was amazing to watch it on the screen.
Again, The Good Dinosaur has some amazingly funny parts. The animation was great, but the story overall was very plain, not very original. Given their production problems, it is clear they just really wanted to do some dinosaur film. Through all the rewrites the film probably gradually became simpler and simpler, until we got the mostly unoriginal story line. It’s a shame, but at least we have Inside Out.
2 out of 4.