Disney/Pixar roars into theaters this holiday season with their latest animated film, “The Good Dinosaur.”
Set in an alternate history where dinosaurs never went extinct, the story follows a young dinosaur named Arlo (voiced by Raymond Ochoa) as he becomes separated from his family and must find his way home.
Along the way, Arlo meets a feral, young child he names Spot (voiced by Jack Bright). Arlo and Spot travel their way home through the American west encountering a variety of friends and foes.
“The Good Dinosaur” relies on the classic coming-of-age story to deliver the goods. And the goods never quite show up.
The visuals remain beautiful in typical Pixar fashion, but the cartoonish dinosaurs set in a realistic world leave the viewer with a juxtaposition that never gets resolved.
The usual Pixar humor is lacking as well.
That’s not to say that there aren’t some humorous moments, but it is clear that the film takes a darker, more stark view of this period in human history.
The secondary characters that do interact with the main characters are transient. They’re only on screen long enough to make an introduction, but never become established in the story. That leaves Arlo and Spot to carry the day, and that’s just too big of a job for the main characters to pull off.
The film is not without its moments.
“The Good Dinosaur” is full of family-friendly sentiment and an ending that would give “Toy Story 3” a run for it’s money in potential of tears produced. But overall the film feels to be a B-team effort compared to Pixar’s summer release, “Inside Out.”
It’s not a Pixar flop. The quality you’ve come to expect from a Pixar film is evident and the dialogue does its job, but in the end it comes up wanting and a little vacant.
The title holds: it’s not a great dinosaur, but it is a good one.
“The Good Dinosaur” opens in theaters nationwide Nov. 25.