A truly heart-warming coming of age tale, The Good Dinosaur hit the silver screen this week, and like its Pixar predecessors it did not fail to live up to expectations. After the meteors that wiped out the dinosaurs just sail past the Earth in the opening scene, dinosaurs are left to live with evolving humans. A meek and timid Apatosaurus named Arlo, voiced by Raymond Ochoa goes on a journey of self-discovery with Spot (Jack Bright), his unlikely human companion. After the loss of his father Arlo gets swept away with the river and has to find his way back home to save his family.
The film takes sections of its plot from other famous animated films; the death of a parent mimics that seen in classics Bambi and The Lion King, with young Spot resembling Mowgli from The Jungle Book.
Thus the plot may be a tad predictable and not as original as the previous Pixar masterpiece Inside Out, but it is still an emotional rollercoaster. The final scenes of The Good Dinosaur are on a par with the first seven minutes of Up. It may lack the depth of other Pixar films; unlike others it is marketed towards children rather than an expansive audience of teens and adults, and it is not going to replace the classics like Toy Story and Monsters Inc., but it is definitely on a higher playing field than previous Pixar flops such as Cars and Planes.
The animation was visually stunning; the shots of scenery were some of the best I have ever seen in an animated film, with the water looking more realistic than what comes out of my tap. The expensive CGI effects really make an impact on the audience and it is one of the only films worth watching in 3D in order to truly appreciate the animation. The juxtaposition of the hyper realistic scenery and the cartoonish anthropomorphised animals works surprisingly well and makes the film enjoyable to watch. Whilst it may not be an instant Pixar classic, The Good Dinosaur is a definite must watch, just remember to bring tissues!
Image: Bago Games; Flickr.com