February 6, 2016

Pixar Review: 'The Good Dinosaur'

Hi everyone! I think it is about time to talk about Pixar's 2nd movie of 2015 and second film overall. This movie is going down recently as "Pixar's first box office flop", does it deserve that? Let's find out!

The Plot:
This movie is about a constantly worried dinosaur named Arlo, when something happens to his family he needs to team up with a young human boy named Spot to get back home.

I guess I should talk about the elephant in the room when talking about this movie, if you don't know what happened let me explain. So, Bob Peterson (one of Pixar's biggest story people and voice actors) was going to direct the movie but then the story wasn't working, thus not making Bob not the director anymore. For a long time the movie didn't have a director until Pete Sohn (director of the short film Partly Cloudy) stepped in for the director and this is his director debut. Did the story suffer from this? The last Pixar movie this happened to was Brave and I still think the story suffered because of this. But did this movie's story suffer? Lets find out.

This is probably the most different Pixar plot yet, the plot itself is very simple with a clear beginning, middle, and end, but the way they tell the plot is unique. They put in little plots in-between and sometimes it does and other times not so much. I can see that they are trying to do somewhat of a Western, which would be fun but they don't play with it that much. Also, this movie does use quite a bit of story elements from both Finding Nemo with some of what they are trying to do (which is ironic because the next Pixar flick is the Nemo sequel) and Dumbo with some of the story elements. The story isn't terrible, but it needs work.

The Animation:
This is probably the Pixar movie I feel the most spilt on. On the one hand there is cartoony design for the characters but then the backgrounds are photorealistic.

On their own, they both work well. The backgrounds are amazing and the character design is pretty good. Sometimes it did mash well, but a good part of the time it felt weird to me. It didn't look awful, but it just threw me off sometimes. I feel that if they made the dinosaurs a bit more realistic or made the backgrounds a bit cartoonier it would have worked better.
Also, the lighting wasn't the greatest at some points. I think they tried to do something new but it didn't work. I know the animators tried their best and I can respect that, I just think that these animators will shine better in the next couple of movies. I know Pixar was trying something new, but it didn't work for me ad I hope Pixar doesn't use this style again.
The Characters:
The characters are probably the highlight of the movie for me, but I do have one major problem with them, let me explain.

So before I give my thoughts on the characters as a whole let me talk about the two main ones. Arlo started off a bit generic but then he did get better as a character, he is probably the most thought out of all the characters. Spot was just okay, but then he is just basically a dog, so I thought he was likeable. Their were also fun side characters that were also likeable in their own way.
Now my big problem with the characters is that Arlo and Spot are the only ones the movie cares about, which is good because they are the main characters, but whenever they meet an interesting character they don't bother ever seeing them again. But I guess they did somewhat of a good job if they got me wanting to see more of them, so overall the characters are good.
Final Thoughts:
Overall, The Good Dinosaur is the perfect title for this movie. It isn't the greatest, nor terrible. It is just a good flick. Also, if you want to know if I like this movie more than Inside Out, I do think that Inside Out is better but you shouldn't compare them to one another.

The Plot: 6/10

The Animation: 6/10

The Characters: 7/10

Final Rating: 6/10

What did you think of The Good Dinosaur?

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