There was a time, not too long ago, where a film that had Disney printed anywhere near it, would bring excitement for families. A clean movie with a good message and some hearty laughs. Then, slowly but surely, it began to change. I believe the change started with the horrid film released in 2007, Enchanted. The wholesome and family friendly fare had to change to meet the demands of the warped minds of the new generation coming into chief positions. Ridiculous feminitwit ideals began to sink in and the hero male character became a laughing stock and an out of touch moron. Next, there needed to be political messages that would alienate half the country to push some idiotic agenda. Whether it be subtle like Wall-Eor less subtle like the Muppets or the Lone Ranger. There would be gems here and there, like this year’s Cinderella, but the Disney we grew up with seems to have succumbed to the rotten culture around it. That would be the mindset I had going into The Good Dinosaur.
The meteor that supposedly destroyed the dinosaurs misses its mark at the beginning of The Good Dinosaur. Fast forward millions of years and dinosaurs are now farmers who can talk and raise families. One Apatosaurus family is trying to raise three young children while keeping outside pests from eating their crops. Their youngest, Arlo (Raymond Ochoa) is the runt of the family who is scared of his own shadow. His father tries to raise him to make his mark in the world like the rest of the family. After the sudden death of his father, Arlo finds himself separated from his family and with a young child he calls spot. As he tries to return home to his family, he must struggle to get over his fears and maybe make his mark in the world.
The Good Dinosaur had a very long and drawn out production process. Starting in 2009, it’s on again off again status made it seem as if the movie would never be made. But finally, story points, directors and everything else came into place and 6 years later it saw its theatrical release. I don’t know a lot about the problems of the production, but it seems, just by watching the movie, that maybe they were never really corrected. The animation is fine, nothing ground breaking, but it’s the muddled story and the all over the place structure that makes for one boring movie going experience. There are no stand out or even memorable characters for the audience to care about. The voice work is fine by everyone involved but again, nothing special. The humor is off and there is sparse, if any, laugh out loud moments throughout the film.
It’s hard even to understand what the theme is or what the movie is trying to say. Not only does it seem all over the place, the themes are so ridiculous it hurt my head. Making your mark in the world? While not only a selfish theme, also made no sense and was all over the place in what it even meant. One of the dinosaur kids does a lot of farming, so they get to make a mark on a wall. Another dinosaur creates a big rock silo for the crops, so make that mark. Kill the critter that eats the crops and then you can put your foot in the mud and mark that wall over there. Huh? How are these great milestones? The story is just awful. It seemed like the creators just took bits and pieces from other Disney films and slapped them together on paper and said, “Let’s do it with dinosaurs, that’ll be enough.” Along with this, there seems to be a veiled critique of Christianity. The supposed critique shows group of religious types praising the sky and then go about rescuing the helpless just so they can devour them. Sounds like a Hollywood understanding of our faith. But it could also be nothing.
Stay away from this film. It is very bad, slow, boring and downright unpleasant.
1 star out of 4