Pixar's recent poor offerings - Monster University, Cars 2, Brave - are sadly looking like the norm, with gems like Inside Out now the rare blips. The Good Dinosaur is the studio's worst offering to date: a tepid, boring, witless effort without a trace of magic or verve. Removing all the dialogue, plus the pointless secondary characters, and creating a wordless parable of man-meets-beast might have saved it.
The Good Dinosaur's success is in its choice of a simple story to which we already know the resolution. What matters is the journey, how you show it, and how you make that ending mean something. I love the CG landscape, the scenes with no dialogue, the reworking of the Jaws scar-sharing scene with the T-Rex in a western setting, and the against type role the T-Rex get.
Good enough for kids, perhaps, but as predictable as sunrise. The stunningly rendered landscapes are sadly a wasted effort -- line drawings with a substantive story would outshine any bleeding-edge CG. Making this without dialogue might have been more interesting. Creationists not paying attention to exposition must think this film supports their ideas.
Although its weak plot (so many cliches being brought back), I simply love the design choices and character personalities. It does emulate a bunch of Disney and Pixar stories, but it's nevertheless emotional. The visual aspects are worth watching, and humans being dog-like is a very cool decision. I recommend it for kids and grown ups.
Has strange rhythms and a segmented narrative, but it ultimately won me over, barely, with its sweetness. It certainly lacks the structural and emotional polish of other Pixar films, but it delivers Pixar's visual beauty. As a fan of Westerns, I appreciated the film's attention to rendering beautiful vistas and a range of earth tones that really pop.
Can we at least give this film half of the undeserved hate "Cars 2" gets (which is still the second weakest Pixar film behind this one)? Not only does this feel like a 1990's "Land Before Time" sequel that got buried under a pile of other screenplays, but the long stretches without dialog and Disneynature/photorealistic backdrops add a lot of unnecessary elements in efforts to disguise a remarkably unremarkable story