I love dinosaurs as much as the next person, but I was concerned about the concept for this film. Admittedly, this is mostly because to my mind any alternate history that’s missing the Chixulub impactor will also be missing any mammals larger than a rat, and certainly won’t feature sapient hominids, but the concern is there nonetheless, even if it’s just me.
The movie did just fine for me in spite of this. It wasn’t amazing, or even particularly surprising, and my son said that he felt like he’d seen this movie before, except in live action (a good indication that the formula is showing,) but I had a good time.
Plot formula aside, the film was beautiful. The ultra-defined realism of the environment balanced the caricatured forms of the sophonts, and those caricatures were pretty brilliant. Especially the T-Rex, voiced by Sam Elliot. We’ve all seen a T-Rex run by now, but Pixar did it differently, and with delightful effect.
The Good Dinosaur enters my 2015 list at #17, below the Threshold of Awesome, but still worth catching in 3D at the theaters. I wish I could get some screen-grabs of the environments to use as desktop wallpapers… so beautiful.