The Good Dinosaur

What would happen if that big old catastrophic asteroid that collided with Earth actually missed the planet completely and dinosaurs never became extinct? Well, the Good Dinosaur shows us exactly what.  Families of dinosaurs would be found working the land, using their size and strength to sow and harvest enough food to keep their whole family fed for the year and they would have to have the determination and grit to ‘make their mark’ and do something great.  Something Arlo the Apatosaurus struggles with but when he makes an unlikely friend everything starts to change.  A story of courage, determination, friendship and families.

This month’s cinema experience started with a short film called Sanjay’s super team, which didn’t have anything to do with The Good Dinosaur.  Showing short films before the actual film is something I’ve noticed is now becoming the norm.  Not a bad thing – unless your child is impatient!  This was pretty scary for pre-schoolers and just-started-schoolers – not sure if this is show before every showing of The Good Dinosaur, but my 5-year-old (our little man has turned 5 recently!) asked me to let him know when it was over so he could uncover his ears and look up from where his eyes were buried in his knees. A nice little story but a bit too scary for my 5-year-old and made him jump in his seat a number of times.

Saying that, the Good Dinosaur had one or two potential jump in the seat moments but when I looked over to my son they didn’t seem to faze him so either he scares less easily than he did a month ago or I’m over eager about those potential moments.  Although what this film did have was a lot of emotion.  My little boy not only cried twice during the film but then cried on the way home too as, SPOILER ALERT, he missed his Daddy. The film made him think about what it would be like if he lost his dad and had a real emotional effect on him for the rest of the day! Bonus snuggles for Daddy though!

Rated PG this film does have some adult themes in it which I couldn’t work out if were an attempt to target the adults and give them a little humour or not.  For example, SPOILER ALERT, eating wild berries and tripping out and then hitting come down.  My 5-year-old asked what was happening at this point and so the conversation ensued about the effects some ‘berries’ can have on the body and mind.  Even later on he told me that we shouldn’t eat berries from trees or bushes if they are red, blue, orange or yellow as they can make you feel funny and might make you poorly.  Brilliant advice taken literally!

Written by Pixar, this isn’t the usual animation you’d expect from them but I thought it was a nice refreshing change and added something a little different to this film.  Others might disagree.  In all, a lovely film with issues to discuss around the death of loved ones, friendships, making judgements and facing your fears.  Has a feel of the Lion King about it, bar the evil uncle, so felt somewhat unoriginal in story line but it kept my 5-year-old stuck to his seat the whole way through.  If you’re looking for something to see at the cinema with the kids then a good one to watch, if not or time is short, then I reckon you could wait till it comes out on DVD or download.

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