As with every Pixar movie, I had high expectations for The Good Dinosaur. Although there's a few decent things going for it, I don't know if I can quite call it genuinely good. There are some problems with it, most likely stemming from its development issues, but it also has quite a bit of heart and emotion to it, and some nice scenes here and there.
The movie follows an alternate world where Dinosaurs and Humans live together. A young dinosaur named Arlo unsuccessfully tries to fit in with his family and mark his place, despite having a timid yet cowardice personality. After an unexpected event happens, it leads him to start a friendship with a Caveboy named Spot. He becomes lost and tries to return home.
The story is pretty straightforward and some of the humour seems to be aimed more for kids, but it's still funny for adults in places. It is visually stunning, with cartoony animals mixed with realistic backgrounds and reflective waters, and the music is effective when needed to be. Our protagonist Arlo is both likable and relatable, which is always a good thing, and Spot has his moments in short bursts. As for the other characters, Arlo's father will be reminiscent to a certain Disney character, but that's not a bad thing, and the others seem to be not as important to the story, but have some development time in there.
I think my biggest problem with The Good Dinosaur is that it feels a little inconsistent and "Been there, done that" at times. The first half I feel is stronger than the second, and there's a bit of a homage to a specific genre in there. Most importantly, I cared about the characters, but maybe I was expecting more from Pixar I don't know. I seem to notice the more effective emotional scenes were either the silent ones, or ones that were kind of loosely based on previous Animated movies that popped right in my head at the time of watching, so not being entirely original could be considered a problem to some.
Despite the shortcomings, I found The Good Dinosaur entertaining. It's probably in the weaker tier of Pixar movies, but I wouldn't call it bad. It's kind of halfway between average and good, and I feel the troubled production and staff switching caused it to be a mixed bag, although good intentions are clearly shown throughout the movie. Kids will certainly like it, and adults will at the very least appreciate what the movie tried to achieve.
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