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Thread: The Good Dinosaur (2015)

  1. #1
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    Default The Good Dinosaur (2015)

    The Good Dinosaur (2015)
    Voices of Raymond Ochoa, Jack Bright, Anna Paquin, Frances McDormand, and Sam Elliott. Directed by Peter Sohn.

    The Good Dinosaur opens with that historic asteroid hurling toward Earth, only instead of hitting the planet and destroying the dinosaurs, it shoots by in a ball of fire, and dinosaur life continues even as the forces which brought humans to the planet continue uninterrupted.

    In this imagined world where dinosaurs and humans coexist, some dinosaurs have learned to clear fields and cultivate crops. By the sweat of their own labor, they feed themselves and their families even through the unforgiving winters. The humans, having gotten off to a later start, arenít quite so advanced.

    Our main character is Arlo, by far the smallest of his siblings from the same clutch of eggs. Arlo suffers from panicky fear of just about everything, and although he is treasured by his parents, his brother and sister have begun to shoulder their part of the labor, while Arlo canít feed the chickens without flying into a crazy panic.

    When a weird series of events leads to his being lost far from home, Arlo is forced to brave elements, malevolent creatures, and an orphaned human boy who sort of lands Arlo in his unenviable position in the first place. The pair strikes up a relationships, and together they seek a way back to Arloís family.

    Nothing about the trailer for this film made me want to see it. The graphics looked like shinier, smoother versions of stuff we saw on TV on Saturday mornings. Arlo and his family look like overly friendly dinosaurs you might see on a box of breakfast cereal. And whatís intriguing about a title like The Good Dinosaur?

    Itís true that the story here borders on infantile, but the animation is not at all what it appears at first glance. Yes, the foreground characters are all slick, but the backgrounds they run around in front of are amazing. I kept opening my eyes as wide as I could, in order to find some clue that what I was looking at was actually real-life video. The animation team at Pixar seems determined to present art that looks real but stops just short of total realism, and the effect is mind-blowing. There are underwater shots when a river is rushing madly toward a falls that have to be seen to be believed.

    As a fan of animation, Iíve always been intrigued by the rendering of objects responding to gravity, and it seems to be one of the trickiest things. Although the creatures donít execute perfectly as they traipse over the landscape (they have a kind of floaty look thatís still better than almost any animation yet, but it still looks like a different planetís gravity), the other elementsĖwater, rocks, dirt, and leavesĖsell the illusion about as close to perfectly as Iíve seen.

    Itís not a bad movie for children, but you may want to review it first before you take little ones. And if youíre not the sort to be smitten with the animation of twigs and muddy water in a flood, you might want to skip this. Otherwise, itís worth a look.

    7/10 (IMDb rating)
    73/100 (Criticker rating)
    But I'm disturbed! I'm depressed! I'm inadequate! I GOT IT ALL! (George Costanza)
    GrouchyTeacher.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Default Re: The Good Dinosaur (2015)

    James Gurney, the creator of Dinotopia (where humans and dinosaurs live together), has a blog that is often interesting. It's mainly about painting, and is not confined to fantastic subjects: Gurney Journey.
    Greg

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