I know The Good Dinosaur has been out for a while, but I felt that as the daughter of a paleontologist, seriously my dad is a paleontologist, it was my duty to talk about the dinosaur focused Disney/Pixar animated movie. Now let’s get to talking about some cartoon dinosaurs.The Good Dinosaur is set in an alternate timeline where instead of going extinct dinosaurs continued to evolve and developed human-like behaviors, while humans never evolved beyond cave people. Our main dinosaur is Arlo, the youngest and smallest of three apatosauruses who all hatched at the same time. Unlike his brother and sister, Arlo is afraid of venturing beyond their farm and finds himself failing to make his mark within the family. While trying to prove himself something tragic happens in conjunction with Arlo meeting the human critter, later named Spot. We then see a relationship develop between Arlo and Spot as well as a lot of personal growth in our dinosaur protagonist.
Honestly when I saw the cute dinosaur on the cover of the box I didn’t expect for there to be so many emotional things going on. Now there are a lot of goofy moments: Arlo gets attacked by some crazy dinosaur looking chickens, he gets attacked by a robin named Debbie, and he and Spot get high/drunk on some rotten fruit and trip out. The fruit scene gets pretty nuts, the animation gets crazy and was definitely trippy. There are also just cute moments between Arlo’s family members and with him and Spot.
Now here’s where I’m going to get spoilery so if you don’t want the movie ruined for you then you need to stop reading now. Alright, you’ve been warned, if you read any further there will be definite spoilers. While I was watching The Good Dinosaur I noticed a lot of similarities between it and The Lion King. The connection between Arlo and his father is a bit like Mufasa and Simba. The biggest similarities appeared during and after Arlo’s father dies. While chasing Spot, Arlo and his father get caught in a flooding ravine. As the water rages Arlo’s father throws his injured son up higher, much like Mufasa throws Simba into a tree to avoid the wildebeest stampede. While he saves his son, Poppa is caught in the water and dies. Later when Spot is in danger and Arlo is trapped in a web of vines, he is visited by his Poppa, much like Simba sees Mufasa before he returns to take back his kingdom. While Poppa appears more real than Mufasa did, he is still a spirit who teaches Arlo a lesson.
I thought the movie was well done and the story was interesting. The idea of dinosaurs living human like lives reminded me a bit of the show/book series Dinotopia. I think it would make for a great family movie night watch.
You can share your comments about The Good Dinosaur and other Pixar movies in the comments or on Twitter, @thenerdygirlexp. You can find me on Twitter, @kleffnotes. I also have a blog, kleffnotes.wordpress.com, and my kleffnotes YouTube channel. I also run The Nerdy Girl Express Snapchat, thenerdygirlexp.