A dinosaur learns that life is not fair and you have to be strong. Audiences learn that dinosaurs can farm and build homes, but still have no idea how to make tools.

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What is it?

In an alternative timeline where dinosaurs were not wiped out, a young Apatosaurus named Arlo is separated from his family. Befriending a wild human child, they set out to get home. Along the way everyone learns a few lessons.

I would like it if I like…

Well, animated movies. The Good Dinosaur is decisively more child-like than other Pixar films, so it gels more with the very familiar tones and themes that you’d expect in a Dreamworks of Sony Animation film.

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Is it good?

Tough question. As a Pixar film it feels pretty flat. Even the most divisive of Pixar films, Brave, had a lot of flair and originality. But with The Good Dinosaur you really feel like it’s been done dozens of times before – because it has. The main character’s quest for absolution and the silly hound-like human sidekick are fun, but their adventure never seems to find new terrain to explore. The Good Dinosaur is mostly a better version of The Croods, except Nick Cage’s jungle family had the better set pieces and jokes. The film is still charming and looks fantastic – this is Pixar, after all. Yet it’s also a bit underwhelming. Kids will probably love it, but older Pixar fans might feel they watched an elaborate demo reel with a slapdash script to keep it together.

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Should I watch it?

If you are a serious freak for Pixar or animated films, why not? It’s not bad, just not as good as it could be. The Good Dinosaur is better than Cars 2 and maybe A Bug’s Life. But it really feels like Pixar phoned this one in. On the other hand, it is amazingly pretty and still shows why the studio is the best at the animation game. If this was made by anyone else, it would have scored lower.

Last Updated: January 21, 2016

Summary
7.5

James

A total movie glutton, nothing is too bad or too obscure to watch, unless it's something like The Human Centipede. If you enjoyed that, there is something wrong with you. But bless you anyway - even video nasties need love...

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