The Good Dinosaur *Review*

Image courtesy of Walt Disney Studios

Image courtesy of Walt Disney Studios

What if the asteroid missed?

So I just got to see Disney•Pixars newest film The Good Dinosaur. I was actually invited to an advanced screening that was held at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank. A dream come true to be on such a magical studio lot! (I will share some of my visit on a separate post so for now back to the movie review)

The Good Dinosaur answers the question “What if the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs missed?”, but at the heart of this is the classic tale of a boy and his “dog”. The main character is Arlo, a young Apatosaurus. He and his family are a simply farming family just living life in the “Old West”. Their lives are changed by an event, which has the biggest impact on Arlo. Arlo’s father has taught his family that in order to earn your “mark” you must do something that is greater than yourself. After a series of mishaps, Arlo is thrust into a journey of growth and self discovery. He is joined on his journey by a foe turned allie, a little human boy named Spot. Arlo must face his fears and learn to put others before himself to make his journey back home. He meets some colorful characters along the way and learns that you cannot judge others by their outward appearance. Through each encounter his strength, friendship and loyalty is tested. And in the end he learns how to truly make his mark and that it’s alright to be afraid but that you can’t let your fears hold you back.

While this is described by Disney•Pixar as a boy and his dog story, I have to disagree a little. The relationship between Arlo and Spot is so much more, it’s like a bond of best friends who are more like soul mates. Even with a language barrier they are able to understand each other completely, they would even risk everything for the other. There are so many powerful messages in this film, I have to admit my daughter and I (and possibly the whole theater) were left in tears at the end. But that is because this film touches on some very emotional and deep subjects. I would suggest this film for older children since some scenes can be pretty intense and may be frightening for younger children. *Update November 28th – My 4 year old just viewed this movie and had no issues and enjoyed the film but digression is up to parents, you know what your child can handle and what they cannot. I would suggest viewing with older children first then judging whether your younger child should view this film.* But over all this was a wonderful film. It touches on the bond between father and son, the bond between best friends and finding inner strength. The imagery of the landscapes are just gorgeous, they seemed so real. Making me want to take a trip out to Yosemite right now. And the lightning bug scenes are so magical, reminding me of the lantern scene in Tangled. My daughter and I truly enjoyed this film and cannot wait to see it again with her brother and dad.

Disney•Pixars The Good Dinosaur

Parental Advisory

*Spoiler Alert*

Like I stated above I would definitely suggest this film for older children and to use disgression with younger children. The film is rated PG, so there is some intense imagery and there are a few deaths; one from a main character and a couple nature being nature ones (i.e. a pterodactyl eating a small creature) that may not be suitable for little ones. There is middle violence, a few I guess you could call them fight scenes. They are no more intense than good and evil struggles in other Disney•Pixar films but they can put you on the edge of your seat for a little bit. My 9 year old had nothing but positive things to say about this movie. Though she shed a few tears, but what Pixar film now and days doesn’t make you. She and I had a wonderful advance viewing.

Have a great Thanksgiving and be sure to catch The Good Dinosaur in theaters this Thursday!

Cruzin Mama

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