Movie Review: The Good Dinosaur

Disney | Pixar's The Good Dinosaur opens Thanksgiving Weekend, 2015You HAVE to see this movie. Set aside, for a moment, the story.

Pretend that it’s not an adorable, heartwarming story about courage, friendship and family. Solely for the visual effects, you HAVE to see this movie!

I have never seen such stunning animation. There were times that I was sure it was actual video and not animation at all.

Disney | Pixar's The Good Dinosaur opens Thanksgiving Weekend, 2015The story was really sweet, though. Anna and Eric were laughing their heads off several times, and I even laughed out loud a few times. There were a few tear-inducing moments as well. I always know that if something makes me tear up, it is having the same effect on Eric. During one touching moment, I looked over and – sure enough – he was wiping tears out from behind his 3-D glasses.

The Good Dinosaur is based on the premise that the asteroid that wiped dinosaurs off the Earth in real life instead missed – and dinos became the dominant species on the planet. We meet Arlo, an undersized and fearful apatosaurus, and his family who are farming the land. A tragedy sends Arlo off in to the wilderness, where he learns about courage and friendship.

My kids, ages 8 and nearly-10, loved it. Brian and I loved it. I heard from some parents at the screening that their 3-5 year-olds were in turns bored or scared. There were some tense moments, and a disturbing predator-eating-a-cute-critter moment. It wasn’t gory at all, but the kids had a hard time seeing an adorable animal, with big sparkly eyes, get swallowed up.

The movie is set in Wyoming, and seeing the landscape treated so beautifully in the animation made us even more excited for our Grand Road Trip Adventure next summer.

The Good Dinosaur animation of the American West landscape

Stunning, animated scenery of the American West.

I recommend this movie for kids 7 and up. And grown-ups:  don’t think this is just a kids movie. You need to see it for the animation alone, but there are some fun humor bits that will fly right by most kids.

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The family and I were given complimentary tickets to an advance screening of this movie. I was not required to write about it, no compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.

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