Thursday, January 21, 2016

Jason Watches THE GOOD DINOSAUR

But first there's a short SANJAY'S SUPER TEAM. A cute story (loosely autobiographical) about a little boy who loves his cartoon about superheroes, and his father who tries to teach him to meditate at his simple Hindu shrine. In his mind, the two worlds combine. This should have been the short in front of INSIDE OUT instead of THE GOOD DINOSAUR. And not just because it was soooo much better than that stupid singing volcano, but because there's a common theme of stories taking place inside a child's head.

So now to the feature. Well, as a friend of mine said, there's a reason it's not called The Great Dinosaur. A lot of it really is impressive. The landscapes are amazing, practically photo-realistic. Which clashes strangely with the crudely crafted characters. Even so, the characters are likable. In an alternate timeline, a meteorite did not destroy the dinosaurs, and they progresses at least as far as an agrarian society. A family of Apatosauruses run a farm. Momma and Poppa and their three kids, a prankster daughter, an athletic son, and...Arlo. Arlo is...a good dinosaur. He's just kind of a screw-up. Everyone else "makes their mark" but not him. In fact, instead of killing the critter (a dog-like human) that's eating their food stores, he has a heart and let's him go. And that launches a wacky adventure with Poppa dying, and Arlo and his human Spot trying to find their way home. There's a good--even great--setup here, and then...it all fizzles out. The ending...just kind of ends, and doesn't make a lot of sense. It reminds me a lot of Disney's BROTHER BEAR (2003) which had a lot of heart, was setup to be a beautifully emotional story, and then reeked of unmet potential. That was near the last of Disney's traditional animation features, and the fact that THE GOOD DINOSAUR reminds me of it is not a good sign for Disney/Pixar....

Total Running Time: 100 minutes
My Total Minutes: 413,845
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