Okay so I got my hands on The Good Dinosaur, and before we begin with my review I just want to say this movie got absolutely TERRIBLE reviews, and for almost universal reasons. I will discuss those reasons later, but for now let's carry on, shall we?
So what exactly is The Good Dinosaur? It's a classic "boy-and-his-dog" story. Only now the "boy" is a Brontosaurus (or Apatosaurus, they are very similar dinosaurs) named Arlo, and the "dog" is a feral human child that Arlo decides to name Spot.
So I have to get this out of the way. As far as Disney protagonists go, Arlo is... Okay. I see a lot of hate for his design being "mascot-y" (as in, looking cartoon-y and and fake compared to other characters). His design doesn't bug me that much until I look at the knees, which are weirdly proportioned to the rest of the body. And when I do look at the knees the only thing I can think of is that "I used to be and Adventurer once... And then I took an Arrow to the Knee" meme. Even though that meme kind of died down in popularity in recent years.
Anyway, moving on to the actual movie. This film is ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!!! The environments are absurdly pretty and simply breathtaking.
OMG SO PRETTY!!!
And the dinosaurs themselves are nicely designed as well. Although obviously inaccurate in a lot of areas, the dinosaurs aren't that bad to look at on a visual level. If you came here for a children's movie with FINALLY biologically accurate dinosaurs, well... You came to the wrong place. Granted, it IS a children's movie after all.
At least they put feathers on the raptors, something the Jurassic Park films have blatantly ignored for over 23 years. Also granted, the feathers look more like hair than actual feathers. Oh well. At least the film is kind of acknowledging the truth that the majority of dinosaurs had some form of feathers on them!
Brace Yourselves! The Feels are Coming!
Okay so in addition to being a "boy and his dog" story The Good Dinosaur is also a "kid goes on journey to get back home" story. 2 very overused tropes in family features. But hey! As Undertale has taught us, anything can be good if it breaks tropes and cliches in a interesting way. This movie doesn't even attempt to flip a trope or two. This is the problem that everyone UNIVERSALLY hates about this film.
It's predictable. It's surprisingly formulaic. Basically if you seen literally ANY Disney movie ever, you know exactly what's going to happen in this movie. They even killed off Arlo's dad (who I shall forever refer to as "Dinosaur Dad", much like how everybody calls Toriel "Goat Mom", even though I still have a hard time believing she is based off a goat. Seriously was I the ONLY person in the whole Undertale fandom that thought Toriel was a dog!?). And we ALL know how overused that trope is.
Ignoring the (admittedly predictable) travesty of #RIPDinoDad, the film actually does break a small trope. The trope that Tyrannosaurs are bad guys.
You know what's better than having a movie where T. Rexes are NOT evil? When said T. Rexes happen to be kick-butt cowboys (and cowgirl as is the case of one). And you know what's better than that? When the leader of said cowboy T. Rexes gives the main protagonist life advice.
I think we can agree that Butch is awesome. He is definitely my personal favorite character from this movie. Why? Because he is a FREAKING COWBOY T. REX WITH KICK-BUTT BATTLE SCARS AND HE GIVES YOU AWESOME LIFE ADVICE!!! Seriously Butch is like Chuck Norris but as a T. Rex. Which is the second best thing to ever exist. What's the first? *Dreemurr Reborn, fools!
Speaking of awesome stuff, in addition to the visuals being breathtaking the music is just plain amazing. It's surprisingly good.
Also, this film did something I was not expecting was this film is surprisingly violent. From Spot decapitating a beetle for the lols, to Arlo bleeding from a raptor slash, to a Nyctosaurus, who happens to be a **zealot, ruthlessly devouring a raccoon whole and threatening to kill his own minions if they stand in his way. Yeah. If you want to watch this movie with a child I recommend this film for ages 10 and up. Random fun fact! One of my friends is 8 years old and he saw the Deadpool movie (which is rated "R" for VERY GOOD REASONS) And he be like "lol yeah, it's no big deal" and I be like...
In case you wondering what exactly is a Nyctosaurus, here it is.
This, my friend, is a Nyctosaurus, NOT a Pterodactyl.
Notice the Head Crest. Only Nyctosaurus(es) have
It looks like you need to PATCH things up!
I can clearly see the HOLE problem of your predicament!
It appears someone is HOLED up at the moment!
(I need more hole puns)
Overall, this movie is actually a lot better than what most reviews make it out to be. I think the problem is that people have been spoiled with complex stories, where there is an substantial amount of character development and plot twists, that people were setting their hopes to high on this movie. For what it is TRYING to be, a dinosaur-ized boy and his dog story aimed at children, this movie succeeds. Just because it's predictable doesn't mean it's BAD per say... Just that it's just that. Predictable. But I am that guy that gets satisfaction placing predictions down for a movie and seeing how close I am to getting it spot on. Like when I was playing Undertale and- *gets dunked on before he can spoil the biggest reveal in the entire game* Anyway, my point is don't expect this to be Star Wars level quality (ignoring the prequels lol). Just take the movie with a grain of salt and a buddy who loves dinosaurs as much as me!
I give this film a 8/10. The Pros are Amazing visuals, amazing music, the T. Rexes, and giving me a good laugh at some bits (that scene when Arlo builds a tent though!). Oh, and the feels. The ending will make feel.... The feels. Unless you have expert level control of emotions, happen to be a homicidal plant, or generally don't have a SOUL.
*- Dreemurr Reborn. A fan made Undertale comic series starring a certain Absolute God of Hyper Death. A lot of people agree that this is the best thing the Undertale fanbase cooked up since Undertale was released. I have read bits and pieces of it in my spare time. It's actually really good!
**-Zealot. A fanatic of religious or political ideas that has an uncompromising pursuit of said ideas. In this film's case Thunderclap the Nyctosaurus religiously worships thunderstorms and is stubbornly convinced that "The Storm provides". The more you know! *twinkle*
P.S. Can you confirm you are indeed a human being and NOT a homicidal plant? Specifically one that lacks a SOUL.