The Bland Before Time: A review of The Good Dinosaur

the good dino.jpg

No, that wasn’t fair, not to Pixar nor the film, I just liked the title.

The Good Dinosaur isn’t a bad film, it has many great things about it, but sadly the story is not one of them. In fact, most of the time it feels like someone Pritt-sticked the plots of Ice Age and The Land Before Time onto a beautiful painting and you keep trying to look at the picture, but things keep happening in front of it.

Whilst this is definitely one of THE most beautiful and breathtaking films Pixar has ever produced, and I am never 100% going to stop loving this studio, the film does feel like it’s dragging its hooves. As I said before, it literally feels like it’s those two films stuck together. Dead parent? Check. Animal looking after child? Check. Great journey? Check. Animals being Humans? Checkarooney.

Which can be all fine in different ways, but here it just becomes too cutesy and serious. There’s no usual sly Pixar grin that makes it all feel jolly and original, and without many actual jokes, it’s all a bit too stale.

The lessons are about growing up and taking responsibility, and the main character must impress his father, and put his mark on the world, but then his father dies and he’s thrust into the world to learn it by himself.

There’s a lot of posturing and speaking like a book of life quotes, but it’s done in such a serious manor, with such a Western tang that it feels like you’re half expecting them to begin singing.

I grew up with The Land Before Time, and the great circle of life, so this all feels very familiar, then you add in the child/dog, and it becomes a perfectly fine adventure, but one that you know every single inch of.

The film had troubles coming to the screen, production troubles and replacement cast have all taken a toll on the finished product.

Still, there’s much to like. The animation really is stunning, the music is nice and very American Western. There are also some nice scenes. Anything with fireflies, the scene with the sticks in the sand and the villains (A group of ‘Terror’dactals) doing a reverse Jaws, and having their wings brush under the clouds like the fin of the titular shark are all great.

Yet, even though it looks great, sounds great and is really not harming anyone, it feels like a bit of a waste to be honest, and coming after Inside Out, it’s a shame.

Ah well, I still love Pixar. Bring on Finding Dory.

Rating: B-  6/10



One thought on “The Bland Before Time: A review of The Good Dinosaur

  1. I also grew up with The Land Before Time so I had great expectations for this film and I have a lot of time for any film made in this time period but reading some reviews it sounds like it was a decent film but didn’t quite execute a signature move that Pixar often do. Still looking forward to reviewing it though!

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