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The Good Dinosaur (3D)  : Good enough to take home
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Friday, December 4, 2015
Animation Film
Peter Sohn
Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, Maleah Nipay-Padilla, Ryan Teeple

You could take Arlo the baby dinosaur home to play with except that he and his family are judicious farmers. They plough the land with their noses and spray not fire but water through their nostrils over the crops.   

Here’s a good old kid-friendly animation film from Disney where you forget you’re wearing 3D glasses and settle comfortably into a world with characters that start feeling like real flesh and blood.


Dinosaur parents are as eager as any other watching their eggs hatch. Siblings bursting out of their shells are different from one another, especially Arlo the youngest, the smallest, the one who has fears and insecurities.


When Ma, Pa and the older brothers get to imprint a paw mark each on the wall for pulling off a big achievement, only fearful little Arlo doesn’t qualify.  


There’s a Lion King moment when Pa dies saving Arlo. In Lion King, there was a stampede, here it’s a river storm that takes Pa away.


Arlo tries to help Ma but soon comes a time when he’s lost and all alone.  And much like the lion cub, Arlo too finds a new friend in Spot, a tiny four-legged human who sniffs around like a hound.


Adults would find director Peter Sohn’s Dinosaur inferior in many ways to Lion King and comparisons are inevitable. Nature’s fury is repeated in the form of dust storms and sea storms. An overdose of sentimentality is also noted. One wonders too, if the moment of epiphany with the dead Pa would be understood by small kids who are the target audience.


But the animation is sound and there are appropriate messages about family, bravery and sticking your neck out for a friend. So this one’s for all the kids in the family to go and enjoy the adventures of Arlo the dino.


For a film that sends the right messages to children while it entertains them, The Good Dinosaur gets a 3* rating.


Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Journalist & Author


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