'The Good Dinosaur' [Blu-Ray+DVD+Digital HD]
(Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, Raymond Ochoa, Sam Elliott, A.J. Buckley, et al / Blu-Ray+Digital HD / PG / 2016 / Walt Disney)
Overview: From the innovative minds of Disney-Pixar comes a hilariously heartwarming adventure about the power of confronting and overcoming your fears and discovering who you are meant to be. THE GOOD DINOSAUR asks the question: what if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely, and giant dinosaurs never became extinct?
Blu-Ray Verdict: Well, I sat down to watch/review this new Walt Disney/Pixar movie with my kids, expecting to find it childish, or perhaps a little predictable (given the cover art), but it was far worse than I could ever imagine! Parents, please be aware: 'The Good Dinosaur' is NOT suitable for kids, and absolutely terrible for adults! It practically is a very, VERY bad imitation of The Lion King, along with a bit from Brother Bear, Ice Age, A Bug's Life etc., but completely lacking the heart and meaning of any of these movies.
The movie doesn't even explore the implications of dinosaurs existing along with humans, to the point where it made me wonder why they didn't just pick some random animals to tell their story and let go of the whole alternate reality of dinosaurs and humans co-existing altogether.
There isn't really much of a plot to begin with. It's a road trip kind of movie (like most recent Disney and Pixar movies), during which Arlo, a young dinosaur, meets a human child with whom they become unlikely friends (surprise surprise), and many random characters along the way, who do very little to move the story forward. There is too much unnecessary violence, as well as a very weird drug scene, neither of which seem to serve the (limited) plot in any way. In addition to all that, the film isn't that visually beautiful either: the backgrounds are extremely detailed, whereas the dinosaurs look very "cartoony" and out of place.
Almost every scene of it felt familiar, from the human boy stealing the dinosaurs' food and them going after it, resulting to Arlo's father's death (Brother Bear), to Arlo and his father having 'meaningful' conversations about bravery under the, well, fireflies (The Lion King), to the supposedly bittersweet moment in which Arlo lets the little boy stay with the other humans (The Jungle Book/Ice Age).
The Lion King kind of moments in particular where countless; Arlo even roars at some point, to little effect, until he manages to do it properly towards the end of the movie, for heaven's sake! Also, for some reason I do not seem to comprehend, the human boy was behaving, not like a human or an ape, but more like a dog, much like Maximus in Tangled and Sven in Frozen. In conclusion, I can see what they were going for, but they fell short. Maybe for kids around 10 and up, but for the demographic it was targeted at ... no way! This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Theatrical Short: "Sanjay's Super Team"
The Filmmakers' Journey - Director Peter Sohn And Team Share Their Experience Of Making The Movie
Hide And Seek - Watch A Short Animated Promotional Clip
True Lies About Dinosaurs - Learn What Separates The Movie's Dinosaurs From Real Ones
Recyclosaurus - The Crew Competes To Create The Best Dinosaur Ever ... From Discarded Items!
Every Part Of The Dinosaur - Explore The Movie's Special Animation Challenges
Following The T-Rex Trail - Meet The Family Who Inspired The T-Rex Ranchers
Deleted Scenes With Intros - View Scenes Developed For Previous Versions Of The Movie
With regard these wondrous special features, the stand out has to be when the first time director Peter Sohn, along with his Pixar buddies Kelsey Mann (story supervisor), Mike Venturini (animation supervisor), Sharon Calahan (director of photography and lighting) and Sanjay Bakshi (supervising technical director) bring us a well educated (within the confines of the movie - and optional) commentary track. It quite literally covers everything from the first scene onward and is no let down if this movie turns out to be your cup o' tea.
One of my favorites though is the team-building exercise where Pixar staff compete with each other to build dinosaur models using junk accumulated at the studio. The featurette even shows how far they went to get things right, for they are shown visiting a working cattle ranch to inspire their designs for the T-Rex family!
The disc actually starts off with a delightful 7-minute, Academy Award-nominated short “Sanjay’s Super Team.” Through a heavy mix of various styles of animation, the story is about a young boy stuck in the midst of a battle with Hindu gods.
Own 'The Good Dinosaur' on Blu-ray+DVD+Digital HD on February 23rd!