The Good Dinosaur (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
February 16, 2016 by Dennis Amith
“The Good Dinosaur” is a fantastic family film which some may feel is geared a bit more towards a younger demographic and too simple for their tastes. But if you enjoy Disney Pixar animated films, “The Good Dinosaur” retains the consistency of quality and being an enjoyable film for people of all ages. “The Good Dinosaur” is recommended!
TITLE: The Good Dinosaur
FILM RELEASE: 2015
DURATION: 85 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 2:39:1 Original Aspect Ratio, Color, English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and 2.0 Descriptive Audio, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish / DVD Widescreen (2:39:1), English, French and Spanish Dolby Digital and English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish.
COMPANY: Disney Pixar
RATED: PG (For Peril, Action and Thematic Elements)
Release Date: February 23, 2016
Directed by Peter Sohn
Original Concept and Development by Bob Peterson
Screenplay by Meg LeFauve
Story by Peter Sohn, Erik Benson, Meg LeFauve, Kelsey Mann, Bob Peterson
Produced by Denise Ream
Executive Producer: John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich
Associate Producer: Mary Alice Drumm
Music by Jeff Danna, Mychael Danna
Casting by Natalie Lyon, Kevin Reher
Edited by Stephen Schaffer
Production Design by Harley Jessup
Jeffrey Wright as Poppa
Frances McDormand as Momma
Maleah Nipay-Padilla as Young Libby
Ryan Teeple as Young Buck
Jack McGraw as Young Arlo
Marcus Scribner as Buck
Raymond Ochoa as Arlo
Jack Bright as Spot
Peter Sohn as Pet Collector
Steve Zahn as Thunderclap
A.J. Buckley as Nash
Anna Paquin as RAmsey
Sam Elliott as Butch
David Boat as Bubbha
Carrie Paff as Lurleane
Calum Grant as Pervis
John Ratzenberger as Earl
The Good Dinosaur” asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of.
Peter Sohn (director of the short, “Partly Cloudy”) makes his animation directorial debut with “The Good Dinosaur”.
The film would be the second Disney Pixar film to be released in 2015 (which is a first) and the film features an original concept by Bob Peterson (who wrote the popular animated films “Finding Nemo” and “Up”) and a screenplay by Meg LeFauve (writer of “Inside Out”).
“The Good Dinosaur” features the voices of Jeffrey Wright (“Casino Royale”, “The Manchurian Candidate”, “Source Code”), Frances McDormand (“Fargo, “Mississippi Burning”, “Almost Famous”), Steve Zahn (“Dallas Buyers Club”, “Joy Ride”, “Sahara”), A.J. Buckley (“CSI: NY”, “Disturbing Behavior”), Anna Paquin (“The Piano Teacher”, “True Blood”, “X-Men” films), Sam Elliott (“Hulk”, “Up in the Air”, “Tombstone”), John Ratzenberger (“Cheers”) and Raymond Ochoa.
“The Good Dinosaur” would earn $305 million in the box office, although the budget for the animated film was around $200 million. And while receiving positive reviews, “The Good Dinosaur” would be the least amount brought in the box office for a Disney Pixar film.
“The Good Dinosaur” takes place in world where a meteor didn’t hit Earth and didn’t result in dinosaurs becoming extinct.
Two Apatosaurus: Henry and Ida are farmers and they give birth to three baby Apatosaurus: Libby, Buck and Arlo.
While Libby and Buck are able to do their chores on the farm, Arlo is not as good at it as his siblings. His father decides to give Arlo some responsibility in hopes it would give him a purpose, so Arlo must guard their silo from critters and build traps.
One day, Arlo is on guard and the trap captures a little caveboy. Instead of killing the boy, Arlo sets him free and this angers his father.
So, Henry and Arlo go out to track the caveboy, but when Arlo injures himself in a ravine, Henry tries to help his boy but a flash flood occurs and while Henry was able to save Arlo, unfortunately Henry is swept away by a flood.
With his father now gone, Arlo must quickly grow up and take care of the farm with his siblings in order to help their mother. But what happens when Arlo spots the caveboy returning back to the silo?
“The Good Dinosaur” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:39:1 aspect ratio). The film looks absolutely gorgeous in HD. In fact, watching the trees, the river water and overall landscape, part of me was wondering if it was actual video footage of forests or if they were actually created in CG. Suffice to say, CG has come a long way and just watching this film, the technology and how realistic and detailed outdoor scenery looks is amazing. As for the characters, there is a bit of cuteness involved in the creation of Arlo the dinosaur and Spot the early human, but both are well-detailed, especially when Arlo has injuries and Spot gets dirty.
Overall, “The Good Dinosaur” looks amazing on Blu-ray!
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“The Good Dinosaur” is presented in English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and 2.0 Descriptive Audio, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital. As picture quality was fantastic, the lossless audio is also amazing. From the rumble of the flooding, the thunder and lightning striking the mountain top, the various weather and action sequences, this is another Disney Pixar film in which the surround channels are well-utilized and the soundtrack is an audiophile’s dream.
Subtitles are in English SDH, French and Spanish.
“The Good Dinosaur” comes with the following special features:
- Sanjay’s Super Team – (7:07) A Pixar animated short about Sanjay who is a big fan of the animated series, “Super Team” but his father is often meditating during the time Sanjay wants to watch his series loud.
- True Lies About Dinosaurs – (1:56) What is true and what isn’t true about dinosaurs featured in “The Good Dinosaurs”.
- Recyclosaurus – (6:20) Creative Competitions between Pixar employees and using garbage to create a dinosaur.
- The Filmmakers’ Journey – (7:55) Director Peter Sohn discusses his directorial debut and the staff having technical challenges to get the film done in a short amount of time.
- Every Part of the Dinosaur – (6:09) The animation crew talks about bringing Arlo and the characters to life.
- Following the T-Rex Trail – (6:58) Director Peter Sohn and crew discussed about going to a ranching factory in Oregon to learn about herding cattle in order to get the experience and showcase herding in the film.
- Deleted Scenes – (10:42) Featuring three deleted scenes with an introduction.
- Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary for the film by director Peter Sohn and various members of the crew.
- Dino Bites – (4:16) Clips featuring Arlo and Spot.
- Hide and Seek – (:59) Arlo and Spot play hide and seek.
- Trailers – Theatrical trailers (North America Trailer 2, Russian and German) for “The Good Dinosaur”.
“The Good Dinosaur” comes with both the Blu-ray and DVD version of the film plus a Disney Movie Rewards code for a digital copy of the film.
Disney Pixar films have a solid foundation and consistency of having quality animated series that both parents and children can enjoy.
Part of the problem is that Disney Pixar has set the bar so high that if a film doesn’t become a mega box office hit, then the films are not considered as successful.
“The Good Dinosaur” is rather interesting because it’s the first time Disney Pixar released a second Pixar film for the year and no doubt it was a test of will power for those who worked for the film because after working on “Inside Out”, the crew selected to work on “The Good Dinosaur” had to come up with a film in a short amount of time.
And for the most part, what director Peter Sohn and the staff were able to accomplish is nothing short of fantastic as the film looks gorgeous and its story is touching and for the most part an entertaining and enjoyable family film.
But as mentioned, Disney Pixar has raised the standard for what people tend to expect from an animated film and one can say the film is simple and clear-cut.
There are no complexities, there are no major tangents, this is pretty much a story of a young Apatosaurus and a neanderthal human boy who come together due to circumstances and with both of them far from home, must survive together and try to make it back home.
In some ways, it does have similarities to Disney Pixar’s earlier 2015 film “Inside Out” in which the protagonist and her friends need to find a way back home, but with that film, because of the way it’s crafted and how it observed emotions of individuals, it was a smartly crafted film. “The Good Dinosaur” is about friendship and survival and it all takes place in an alternative world in which dinosaurs weren’t wiped out by a meteor.
While there was no doubt a good number of competition in the box office for “The Good Dinosaur” during the Thanksgiving 2015 holiday and built-up hype and anticipation for Disney’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” which was set to premiere two weeks later, unfortunately, “The Good Dinosaur” got lost in the shuffle. But the box office numbers are not yet complete as the film will be premiering in other countries in the Spring of 2016 and for those who missed it in the box office, I wouldn’t be surprised if sales for the film do even better on Blu-ray and DVD.
The Blu-ray release features magnificent picture and audio quality and there are also a good number of special features included.
“The Good Dinosaur” is a fantastic family film which some may feel is geared a bit more towards a younger demographic and too simple for their tastes. But if you enjoy Disney Pixar animated films, “The Good Dinosaur” retains the consistency of quality and being an enjoyable film for people of all ages.
“The Good Dinosaur” is recommended!
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