‘The Good Dinosaur’ is an above average Pixar romp

Even in lesser efforts, no animation company creates films like Pixar.

“The Good Dinosaur,” directed by Peter Sohn and starring Jeffrey Wright and Raymond Ochoa brings the emotional depression and good storytelling of any classic Pixar film while only missing the mark a few times.


This world is different than the one people know. Instead of a meteor hitting Earth, it misses and goes farther into space. Dinosaurs never get killed and are still the planet’s dominant species.

Arlo is an apatosaurus just trying to make his mark on the world. After getting lost in the wilderness and befriending a wild human, the young dinosaur figures out everyone’s journey and destination are different.

Since the dawn of “Toy Story,” Pixar has been the cornerstone of animation and kids movies. They do not pander and tell rare, compelling stories.

“The Good Dinosaur” portrays a subtle and deep story, but doesn’t go much beyond that.

In telling a visually understandable story first, Sohn shows long before he tells. Everything involving emotions, growth and backgrounds of characters happens organically, making it feel more earned.

“The Good Dinosaur” has one of the best character arches in Pixar history.

The coming of age story is no new tale and this film hits a well-treaded road, but it does it well.


Arlo’s journey from a little, somewhat cowardly kid to a brave adult feels genuine — even if it is from a dinosaur’s perspective.

Everyone can relate to it in some fashion.

However, the movie has some weak, sentient villains.

There are a lot of obstacles and most are done well. When the film sticks to dinosaur versus nature, it succeeds. When it tries using a conscious antagonist, it does not.

With all of the floods, and inner turmoil, Arlo has to fight off random attacks from religious pterodactyls, none of which feel engaging.

The talent of Steve Zahn tries to bring up these villains, but it ends up being a lost cause.   

Stars: 4.5 out of 5.

Jacob Pierce can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @JacobPierce1_DE.