RELEASED 2015 RUNTIME 100 MIN LANGUAGE ENGLISH DIRECTION PETER SOHN SCREENPLAY MEG LeFAUVE STARRING RAYMOND OCHOA, JACK BRIGHT, SAM ELLIOTT, ANNA PAQUIN, A. J. BUCKLEY, JEFFREY WRIGHT, FRANCES McDORMAND, STEVE ZAHN MUSIC MYCHAEL DANNA, JEFF DANNA
I have to be honest here. This movie was just ok. I know, it’s crazy to say. After all it’s Pixar, right?!
Ok let’s start at the beginning. The premise is that the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs missed the earth and and now we have an alternative timeline. The dinosaurs have become farmers and can talk, while all the mammals and humans are being domesticated by them. Well, it already starts here. I had a tough time to invest in the environment because in my opinion that’s just reaching. To see dinosaurs domesticating humans sounds like a fun idea because let’s be honest, humanity is a piece of shit. But ultimately it doesn’t work for me.
The story is pretty generic. Our main protagonist, a young dinosaur called Arlo who is quite a scary-cat gets thrown onto a journey to find back home and conquer his fears.
It sounds ok and I have no problem with it being a simple story about a scared dinosaur, but man, he is just a coward! I mean, a HUGE coward! There were times I was just annoyed by him and that’s never a good sign when you don’t sympathize with the main protagonist.
Then there is Spot, his human companion he meets along the way. As I said before, he behaves like an animal, a dog to be more specific. He barks and runs on all fours and stamps on the ground with his feet when tickled. I mean, really?!
So far my review sounds pretty negative, but there were good things that I really liked and justify my score why it’s still above average. For example I really enjoyed the western feel of the movie. All the characters/dinosaurs feel like they were taken out of a Clint Eastwood film and set into a prehistoric environment. Also all the side characters are pretty likable and have some really cute dialogue, especially the T-Rex family!
The movie looks amazing. The technology and animation is the best I have seen from Pixar to date. The environment looks so realistic, especially the water. There are times The water looks so real, I wouldn’t have been able to distinguish it from a real photograph. Unfortunately the creatures look very cartoonish and this creates a sort of clash between realism and abstraction. But you get used to it.
So, overall it was an alright film. I still enjoyed it to an extend, but I also believe that the movie is aimed for kids and, therefore, hard for me to judge. I can just look at it from an adult perspective, so keep that in mind. It is not as clever and the jokes are very childish. On the other hand Pixar has always been known for movies that work for kids as well as for adults. Therefore, you go into a Pixar film with these kind of expectations and become disappointed when you realize that you’re not the target audience. As long as you keep your expectations in place and don’t go in thinking to see something along the lines of Wall-E, The Incredibles or the recent Inside Out you will probably have fun with this movie.