The confused child o Pixar studio is here and he doesn't know what's going on. Ill conceived in a production hell, from character design and background contrast to every dinosaur movie ever, not only it doesn't make any sense, it also tries to make up for it with the most formulaic, Hollywoody's 10 steps way to success. But it was a necessary film if just to let Pixar know we won't take anything they make just cause.
Why can't dinosaurs keep "unevolved" humans as pets? Does Spot have to go with his family so they can all learn to walk bipedally together in hopes of one day subjugating their dinosaur overlords? Tries to do for fear what Inside Out does for sadness: it is important for you to grow, young one. What a times to be alive.
Even bad Pixar still shines in certain ways. The horrible story execution still carved out a few great moments like crafting the T-Rex as a cowboy or pretty much anytime Spot was on screen. But Arlo is easily Pixar's most irritating lead character of all time. The message about "leaving your mark" is bizarre and poorly detailed. The animation is still gorgeous though. Not a bad film, but bad by Pixar standards.
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.