I finally watched The Good Dinosaur, and while I may be in the minority here, I felt it was a better movie than Inside Out. You may be surprised by this statement–I was certainly surprised by the revelation.
Seeing the previews, I kind of thought the movie was just going to be a cutesy story about a kid and a dinosaur. Really, the kid doesn’t even need to be there. He ads to the movie’s emotional pull for sure, but the story could have been largely the same without him. But that doesn’t matter. What this story is really about is the dinosaur losing a parent, getting lost, and then finding his way home.
Sound familiar? Of course it does, because it’s the plot of a lot of movies. But most importantly, it’s very similar to the plot of a very famous and amazing dinosaur movie, The Land Before Time. And this is probably one reason I liked this movie so much.
And I have a bias–When I was at the Austin Film Festival the first year I attended (four years ago?), I met a few Pixar folk at the barbecue. I told them about one of my stories (Back by Sunrise), which is about a girl whose father dies and she becomes a bird with the help of a magical necklace, gets lost, and does learns to deal with her grief through the journey of finding her way home. As I told them, it was my attempt to do a modern version of The Land Before Time. I expressed my interest in them doing a movie that hits the emotional levels of The Land Before Time, and the creative executive told me she hadn’t seen it, because she didn’t like scary/ sad movies (or something like that). Lucky for me and people with similar taste in movies, someone at Pixar did and they apparently already had this in the works!
So yes, I was kind of waiting for this movie.
My one complaint: It was too scary for my children. Both of them freaked out an made me turn it off half-way through, after a few scary moments. Go make my movie (you can read the book on Amazon) Back by Sunrise, and I think you can get a better idea of how to have fun action that matters without scaring the kids–if you want some help there, Pixar. 🙂