The Good Dinosaur

by | Dec 16, 2015 | 0 comments

An Adorable Film With Important Messages for Children… And Adults

Pixar has proven that there are various ways to make a children’s film, and we see both examples in their 2015 slate. Inside Out was an intricate film, with so many details and concepts that it had both children and adults in awe (mostly adults). The Good Dinosaur takes on a more simplistic tone, with clear-cut messages and storyline, but that will still prove to be a good time for all ages.

The Good Dinosaur has a very creative premise: what would happen if the meteor that killed off all the dinosaurs missed? This film imagines the dinosaurs and humans living side by side, but humans have stayed feral and act more as scavengers; the dinosaurs meanwhile develop speech and agricultural jobs. One particular green and long dinosaur (resembling a diplodocus) named Arlo (Raymond Ochoa), lives on a farm with his mother (Frances McDormand), father (Jeffrey Wright), and his brother and sister (Marcus Scribner and Maleah Nipay-Padilla). Arlo is a panicky dino, and as he grows up he begins to worry his parents that his fear will hold him back from maturing. One day, when trying to help Arlo overcome his fear, his father is washed away in a storm. Arlo is stricken with grief, and he blames a young feral boy that he and his father had been chasing. While seeking revenge, Arlo falls in a river and is dragged away from his home. Arlo and the feral boy, whom he names Spot, form an unlikely team in order to find their way back home.

The film is clean and clear-cut, and I was surprised given that the film’s release was pushed back a whole year due to an entire change of the directing and writing team. The story really has one clear message to the children: family. It is a very important and essential message for all children to understand, and this film puts it out in a sensible and direct way. But what I was more struck by was a subtle themes and messages that would only hit the adults. First were the incredible parallels that the film’s story has with the Western genre, in fact the music itself has a cowboy aura. The second theme, which was much more prominent, was nature. Nature is supposedly the antagonist in this film, but it is also revered and paid tribute in such a beautiful way. The shots of Arlo through his journey are of beautiful landscapes, rendered to the screen with Pixar’s ever-advancing CGI technology (the water in this film is unbelievable).

The film is a classic kids film, which are rare these days; you only see one or two of these films a year (usually coming from either Pixar or Disney Animation Studios – thank you John Lasseter). The values and story in this film are not only great for children to absorb, they also remind adults of the innocence and simplicity of life.







Kid Friendly

What animation effects impressed you most? Let me know in the comments section.

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