Review: The Good Dinosaur

**** 4 stars | Good for the kids, parental guidance recommended.

The Good Dinosaur is a feel-good adventure story about family, facing your fears and making your mark on the world. Basically, “finding” your way through the big, wide, scary world. Tense, dramatic scenes are often followed by comic relief or poignant moments.

Stunningly impressive visual design which shows off the vast landscape. At times the cinematography made it look more like a live action film. The animation is the strongest aspect of the film. Pixar, true to form, added tear-jerking moments throughout which are enhances by the flawless soundtrack.

In some scenes, overt references are made to other films including an hommage to The Lion King and the Western genre (featuring a cameo by Sam Elliot). So, there is a bit for entertainment for the adults too.

The originality of the story and characters prevented this film from achieving full marks. Arlo, the dinosaur protagonist, wasn’t engaging enough. I was more interested in Spot the “canine-like” human character. It was missing the X factor that from previous Pixar films. Also, the “drug” reference is an odd inclusion with a young target audience in mind.

Overall, this film has an uplifting story with positive themes and beautiful imagery but lacks originality. Some scary scenes and mature themes but suitable for family viewing.

Scoring guide

  • Story – 7/10
    (Plot, Character & Themes)
  • Acting – 8/10
    (Voice acting performance)
  • Cinematography – 10/10
    (Visual imagery & animation)
  • Soundtrack – 10/10
    (Dialogue, Sound Effects & Music)
  • Editing – 8/10
    (Emotion, Story & Rhythm)
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