The Good Dinosaur

Out Now On-Demand

Prehistoric Pixar family adventure following the friendship between Spot, a young human boy, and Arlo, a giant friendly Brontosaurus.

Pixar veteran Bob Peterson (Up) was previously set to direct, but troubles with the third act saw him falling out of the project. A total overhaul in the story and its direction meant The Good Dinosaur never made its original release date, thus 2014 never saw a Pixar film. The world shed a single tear that year…

Trailers

Directed by

Studio

Disney / Pixar

Animated, Comedy, Kids & Family

101mins

Rating: PG Some scenes may scare very young children

USA

After ditching its original director, its voice cast and basically everything else a few years ago, Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur has gone through quite a bit of damage throughout its development. You’d hope the studio would have been able to find the diamond in the rough. Unfortunately, the end result feels more like a diamond-shaped lump made out of rough.

In this alternate Earth, the dinosaur-killing asteroid completely misses the planet, allowing a lost little Apatosaurus named Arlo to become buddies with a tiny human wildling as he tries to find his way home. It’s an interesting premise that flips the ‘boy and his dog’ genre, and their friendship is cute in parts. However, the only other mildly interesting thing Pixar does with the concept is show dinosaurs farming – and I can’t imagine herding and agriculture making the top of any kid’s ‘stuff that’s awesome’ list.

A strong story can triumph over weak world-building, but while The Good Dinosaur wants to preach a noble message about the value of family, it gives us hardly any time to see Arlo actually valuing his family. He only connects with his Poppa in the film, and even then, it comes off feeling like a damp rehash of Simba and Mufasa’s relationship. You’ll get a greater sense of father-son bonding in Sanjay’s Super Team, the seven-minute short that plays before the feature.

Even viewed as a film solely for children, The Good Dinosaur doesn’t deliver many light-hearted laughs or introduce many colourful characters. But hey – your kid might just want to see a movie with some cartoon dinosaurs in it. In that case, The Good Dinosaur does have some cartoon dinosaurs in it.

Guardian (UK)

press

However much it may delight on a scene-by-scene basis... never comes together as a coherent whole, a crucial flaw for a film by Pixar, which has always put story first.

Total Film (UK)

press

This is a rich and rewarding family film.

Los Angeles Times

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Antic and unexpected as well as homiletic, rife with subversive elements, wacky critters and some of the most beautiful landscapes ever seen in a computer animated film.

New York Times

press

Charmingly different, but its oddness sneaks up on you only after the filmmakers lay out some storybook bona fides.

Empire (UK)

press

Shows the marks of a rushed production - though not the landscape and environment design, which is gorgeous - its central pair have enough heart to make the film's shortcomings fade away.

Time Out New York

press

Sun-dappled streams, swaying trees and an almost palpable sense of weather shock with their photorealism-if this is what animation has become, the computers have won.

Hollywood Reporter

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A visually breathtaking work of computer-generated animation that is ultimately unable to compensate for a disappointingly derivative script.

Variety (USA)

press

Cross-species bonding may have its limits, but it's hard not to find beauty in a boy-meets-beast saga that, by the end, has made it hard to tell which is which.

Nothing special but an enjoyabke flick

This was a nice story of courage, growing up, family and new friendships. The animation is beautiful, the story is nice and the characters are likeable and relatable.


Dino-mite!!!!

I loved this film, it's bright and gorgeous and it has the most heartwarming story of acceptance and tenacity and despite what haters say it's one of my favourites.


A mediocre one

Just the stunning visual effect. Excuse me again for what the heck it's talking about?


Arlo the good dinsaur

Very sad at the star rating this movie got. Went to see this film with four children in and another adult and it was a very enjoyable experience. Different style from other animated films that I have seen, but this is only pretending.

Go and see it if you have not already.