I took the 6 year old to see The Good Dinosaur today. We both went in excited. It’s Pixar. Pixar does not make bad movies. Okay, Cars 2, I’ll give you that. We loved Wall-E. We loved Inside Out. We loved Toy Story 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ∞. We loved The Incredibles. You name it, we loved it or at least really liked it.
Today, we both left disappointed.
Part of it for the 6yo was there were a few scenes in which he got scared. The dad died like Simba’s dad — this time a flash flood, not a stampede. There were a few other scenes that kinda scared him. But overall, he was bored. Thirty minutes into the ninety minute movie and he was asking when it was over.
The scenes are beautiful. I kept having to remind myself that this was animation, not Roger Rabbit reality with animation inserted. The scenes were gorgeous. The dripping of water, the flow of water, the clouds — you name it. Pixar is the best in the business and it shows.
But the story was boring. It was genuinely boring. The opening cartoon about the Super Hero Indian gods was kinda cool, but The Good Dinosaur was not.
The basic story is that the astroid never hit earth and dinosaurs evolved first. A farming family of dinosaurs out in the Colorado area encounter a feral boy. The youngest of three dinosaur kids is afraid of everything and has to learn to be a man. Along the way his dad dies, he gets lost, befriends the boy, and then passes the boy off to Barbra Streisand and James Brolin at the end.
There were hick cowboy clichés, inbred velociraptors, and a stoned rhino sort of animal along the way. But it was lame.
For the first time I was struck by the thought that Pixar had only half a story to tell, but wanted to show off its latest CGI improvements so it made a whole movie. There was lots of zooming in on water drops and lightning and dino-heads plowing fields with the dirt rolling just so.
This is the first Pixar movie … okay Cars 2, but really can’t we pretend it didn’t exist … where I feel comfortable saying wait for it to come out on DVD or iTunes. It’s only a notch or so ahead of Cars 2.