The Film (3.5/5)
Pixar’s 2nd film of 2015 (following up on the utterly fantastic Inside Out) sees the asteroid that theoretically brought death to the dinosaurs narrowly missing Earth. This causes evolution as we know it to happen much differently. The dinosaurs lived on, and become an intelligent society that is able to build homes, develop agriculture, and use verbal communication. Human beings have also evolved to live alongside the now civilized dinosaurs.
Into this world comes a tiny dinosaur who hatched from a large egg named Arlo. As Arlo grows up in the company of his family including Mother, Father, and brothers, he finds that he considered the weakling of the bunch due to his nervous temperament. One day Arlo’s father task him with ridding the families farm of a nuisance that has been eating their corn crop from under their nose. When he sees that it is a young human boy, he lets the child soon to be known as “Spot” go. This infuriates Arlo’s Father who views this as another sign of Arlo’s weakness, and forces Arlo to go with him in pursuit of the child. They never quite catch up with him, as a storm begins to roll in, and they begin to head back to the farm. Unfortunately, on the way the storm causes the river to rise and Arlo’s Father drowns when a tidal wave scoops him away. A few days later Arlo would see the boy Spot again, and angry over his Father’s death attack him, but the attack sees them both taken away by the river. Arlo must now befriend Spot in order to survive in the wild, and make it back to the farm.
OK, so Pixar has this reputation for being an American animation powerhouse. That is not lost here as the animation for the Good Dinosaur is seriously top notch. They also are known for making animated films that bridge the generational divide. Animated films typically fall into one of two categories you have films that made for children, and those for adults, with very little cross section outside of the occasional Pixar or Studio Ghibli film. Pixar, however, during their career has made a few films that has skewed purely on the younger side of their demographic such as the Cars films, and I feel that is where the Good Dinosaur lies in their filmography.
The film is a delightful and entertaining fun time, but most of it for many adult viewers will be territory that has already been covered in 100’s of films before. However, watching it through the eyes of a child is a different story, and it’s from that perspective that the Good Dinosaur is a resounding success.
It should be no shock to anyone that a Pixar looks stunning on Blu-ray, but I’m here to tell you that it does. The Good Dinosaur is presented in a 2:35:1 1080p AVC encoded transfer that preserves the original aspect ratio. The level of detail here is absolutely stunning, colors pop, everything looks really fantastic here.
The audio is presented with a DTS-HD MA 7.1 track in English, and like the corresponding video transfer the audio sounds fantastic. The dialogue comes through strong, as does the films score, and the ambient sound.
Pixar has put together quite a solid extras package for their Blu-ray release of The Good Dinosaur. The Blu-ray kicks off with an informative commentary track lead by director Peter Sohn and featuring a lot of the technical crew who worked on the film. We also get a wonderful short called Sanjay’s Super Team that is a lot of fun and offers an interesting perspective on Father-Son issues. There is also a slew of documentaries some on the made up things Pixar made up in regards to their version of Earth for the film. Others show the Pixar gang making dinosaurs out of recyclables for a contest. We also get deleted scenes and other assorted documentaries, and goodies on the set that should keep any fan of the film quite pleased.
Inside Out was one of Pixar’s finest accomplishments in their long career, and it was going to be difficult to follow that up. The Good Dinosaur doing just that had an unenviable task, and though it does not quite live up to the lofty expectations of it’s predecessor it still quite a solid and fun film. The Blu-ray looks and sounds fantastic, and it is loaded up with extras. RECOMMENDED.