THE GOOD DINOSAUR

★★★

Dir: Peter Sohn (2015)

Pixar‘s latest drops the emphasis on the adult themed undercurrent which has made them a talking point with us grown ups to tell a staple animated story for our children. The Lion King, Bambi and other Disney heartbreak and growing up tales are pilfered deeply here as we’re introduced to an alternate reality where dinosaurs were left free to roam the earth; The opening sequence (and one of the best) sees the meteor that wiped out the huge beasts skip off our atmosphere and hurtle towards infinity.

The Good Dinosaur is Arlo (Raymond Ochoa), a meek and scared runt of the litter. He burly brother and go getting sister take direct traits from their farming father (Jeffery Wright) and mother (Frances McDormond) ; Archetypal padres. It’s a weird world where the award winning animation company ask us to believe that these long necked herbivores could develop the skills to farm; And we do. When tragedy strikes (in a very Disney fashion) young Arlo is swept down the river away from Claw-tooth Mountain to face his fears, meet some friends and avoid other enemies.

As simple (and in some ways, disappointing) as The Good Dinosaur is, it is Pixar’s best looking film. It’s not filled with laughs or deeper meaning. It won’t induce guffaws from pop cultured parents in the cinema but what is wrong with that? This “what if” picture is a chase film, packed with jaw dropping scenery and sweet moments which many have already viewed as a dumbing down or a departure; But at the most basic level it is a film aimed at an audience which has been hijacked by big children instead of being enjoyed by the little ones. The Good Dinosaur certainly isn’t great on as many sophisticated levels as Inside Out, but it certainly is for kids and what’s wrong with that?

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