Just look at that. Man, the landscapes here were just spectacular!
I recently re-watched 2008’s Bolt and I was surprised how much detail animation were put into that film back in the day and it still holds up today (for me, anyway).
When I first heard about this project and the development process I was wary of the quality of this movie. Being pushed back is not that huge of a deal but when the director is gone and the entire cast except for one person is recast? That’s a different story.
But regardless, I went to this because it’s Pixar.
So yes the best thing about this movie is the landscape and the texture design for all the close ups. The quality is top-notch and it was awe-inspiring when that rock looks so detailed and just really great looking.
I really wish I could say the same for the rest of the movie.
Let’s start off with the good stuff.
Spot. He’s great. No lines but still convey a lot of emotion and attitude. I enjoyed every part of it with him in it.
Next we have is the atmosphere. I don’t remember the last time a Pixar film was this dark (The Storm provides) and sad (Run, Arlo, run!). I mean sure, Up‘s opening is pretty sad and I can’t think of a parent dying like that in a Pixar film (though it’s a complete rip-off of The Lion King without all that greatness). However, the atmosphere is different but not amazing and I’m really being optimistic when I’m adding this to the good stuff of the film. It’s snippets of the atmosphere here and there where I wished they did more with it; sadly, they didn’t.
Okay, the other stuff.
It just lacks. It lacks in every department except for clichés. I mean coming off a movie like Inside Out, this just cannot compare. Sure, it’s the first time that Pixar had two movies in one year but it doesn’t mean it can totally drop in quality in the second one. I mean look at Studio Ghibli, The Wind Rises and Princess Kaguya both came from different teams and were totally different films but they both can stand alone on their own.
This lacks in the most crucial department and it’s in the name. Dinosaurs. I mean seriously, Pixar has always created vibrant atmosphere and settings that just felt real and authentic and actually operational despite how big or small the actual narrative is. This movie just felt empty and felt like each set piece was written individually and was never meant to be brought together. (Brontosaurus farmers? Sure. T-rex cowboys? Sure. Pterodactyls as religious nuts (I say the worship the storm)? Sure. A stoned triceratops simply there just for laughs? I guess? .) But how they meet? How they help each other? Did no one really think of that? It just comes off random and not organic.
Maybe that’s the best way to describe it. Things felt random and it was not a natural progression of character.
Speaking of characters, it was just boring and full of cliché. I didn’t care for anybody except for Spot in the sense I just wanted to see him being animated; I didn’t really care about him as a character. And that’s just too bad for this film.
I don’t really have much to say really. The Good Dino is totally forgettable. I mean even with Cars, at the very least that concept was interesting and an update on an old idea and its memorable in a sense.
I guess you can blame this largely on production and their insistence on doing a dino movie despite all the setbacks they had for this. I read how the original story had a dino society. They didn’t want to do that because it felt like the society was the bad guy when it shunned Arlo but whatever. I would be more interested in that rather than this.
Anyway, I’m done here.