I had the pleasure yesterday of taking my niece to a pre-release screening of The Good Dinosaur.
My 11-year-old nieces review, "I liked it. It was happy and sad and scary and edgy all at the same time" Ok then... I asked her, "Edgy?" ... "Yeah, you know, keeping you on the edge of your seat." OHHHHH, that edgy!
My review is a little more complex but she summed it up pretty well.
The story in short without too many spoilers..
What if Dinosaurs didn't die out? And then what if they evolved to speak and farm and herd cattle and raise families in their own little huts... without every changing in form or physical limitations of massive size and lack of opposable thumbs? Yeah what if?
Well then you get The Good Dinosaur. It's the story of a young dinosaur named Arlo, who takes an amazing adventure across the land to get back home, with his new friend/pet human Spot by his side. Ok, it's a little bit of super weird, mixed with every other Pixar story that comes to mind.
The animation is truly the best part of this movie. The animation of the setting is truly the best part of this movie. Some parts are so well animated, you can't tell it's not live action. The water looks like it's going to drip right off the screen. The sun practically feels warm on your cheeks in the theater. The storm makes you shiver in fear. When the dinosaurs get wet, you literally know in your soul how they would feel if you touched their skin. Pixar truly outdid themselves with this animation.
The drawback is the dinosaurs themselves. They seem more like toy dinosaurs with their plump plastic look and their smooth undetailed faces. Arlo's family in particular is disappointing in the animation factor, although their movement is great, their look is too much "toy" and not enough "dinosaur"
Over all, my niece was right. It's a little bit happy, with Arlo learning to be brave and making friends. It's a little bit sad with lost family members a central theme. It's a little bit scary as Arlo has a lot of scary things to overcome. As my niece says, it's also a little bit, "Edgy", keeping you on the edge of your seat as Arlo tries to keep himself and his pet human alive on a treacherous journey home.
It wasn't a Pixar best, but it was all in all pretty good and a fun night out.