Let’s imagine for a second that the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs just passed us by. They’d rule the Earth right? Well at least Pixar thinks so.
Set in what would be the USA now (some of it looked like Utah to me), the story revolves around this Apatosaurus family which is peacefully tending to its farm. The parents have just welcomed three babies into their lives: Libby, Buck, and Arlo (Raymond Ochoa). While Libby and Buck are strong and capable, Arlo is small and scared. His parents try to teach him to be more outgoing, less frightened and to “make his mark”, but it’s taking Arlo a little longer than expected.
When tragedy strikes, Arlo takes his frustrations out on the little human that’s been stealing their corn for ages. Following him, he accidentally falls into the river and is carried miles away from home. As he regains consciousness and tries to find his way back home, Arlo is repeatedly saved and helped by the human child. Eventually naming it Spot (Jack Bright) in order to keep it, Arlo decides to keep it as a protective pet.
Together, Arlo and Spot will have to find their way back in a harsh landscape that’s crawling with dangers. On the way, they meet many enemies, but also make a few friends. They also discover that they have a few things in common, and realise that they’re not altogether different from one another.
We went to see the movie with lowered expectations. First reviews were rather “meh” and after Inside Out had proved such a success, it seemed unlikely that Pixar could pull off another hit in the same year. Yet we’ve been swept away and are now total Good Dinosaur fans.
The landscapes are so realistic, we sometimes wondered if they’d actually used water or filmed a mountain. The story isn’t a nail biter, but it’s not meant to be. It’s a family movie about getting over your fears, growing up and finding your way back home. We teared up quite a bit and upon leaving the cinema, immediately purchased Arlo cups, and later Arlo stuffed toys.
Arlo is most definitely the cutest dinosaur to hit the screens since Littlefoot, and it’s reassuring to know that today’s kids will feel something similar to what we felt when watching The Land Before Time. It’s also a good way into the Jurassic Park universe. Start with nice T-Rexes. Upgrade to nasty later.
A definite must-see with your kids, friends, and fellow Pixar fans.
Pictures from, author’s own, akamaihd.net, telegraph.co.uk, comingsoon.net, rackcdn.com, comicbookresources.com