Recently, the husband, kids and I screened the new Disney Pixar move, The Good Dinosaur. The movie takes place on an Earth in which the asteroid that hit the planet and sent the dinosaurs into extinction never happened. In this version of Earth, dinosaurs are “evolved;” they speak to one another and maintain families and relationships while still maintaining some of their less evolved attributes like being hunting carnivores.
The film follows Arlo, an apatosaurus, who as the runt of his family continuously struggles to make his mark among his siblings. Through a string of events Arlo finds himself traveling through a scary, harsh and mysterious landscape with a human sidekick in which he must confront his many fears and truly make his mark.
The Good Dinosaur pushes animation where it has never gone before with landscapes and nature scenes that surpass what you’ve ever seen on the big screen. There were times in which I swore I was looking at real images and not animation. It was an interesting choice to have a cartoon-style dinosaur against such a real looking backdrop.
In true Disney-Pixar fashion, there are tough decisions, the death of a main character, an adventure leading to self discovery and friendship at the film’s center. I found much of the film’s themes and story to be very similar to The Lion King, so if you like the story of The Lion King, you will also like The Good Dinosaur. Keep in mind, however, this movie is not a musical like The Lion King.
What ages are best for The Good Dinosaur?
In my opinion, if your child can handle the themes and tones of The Lion King, they will be ok with The Good Dinosaur. Keep in mind there is an intense scene reminiscent to the wildebeest stampede in The Lion King in which a parent dies. There is also a scene in which two characters eat some fruit and “go on a psychedelic trip.” I think this was an odd choice for film makers, but it just went over my kids’ heads. They had no idea what was going on.
For an extra dose of Good Dino fun, I recommend getting the kids The Good Dinosaur Roarin’ River board game. My three boys (ages 5, 8 and 10) have been having a lot of fun playing this game together for over a week now. Yes, together… which is a beautiful thing.
The game includes a spinner that indicates which rock color to move to while trying to out run the flood or how far up the flood moves behind the players. Kids have fun spinning the spinner and get really caught up in getting rock colors as opposed to flood marks that can “wash” players out of the game. The game board is not like traditional “board games” in that it is a long, thin board, so plan your space accordingly.
I was supplied the Roarin’ River board game and a family screening of The Good Dinosaur in order to do this review. All opinions are my own and truthful. The link to Target is an affiliate link. I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking. This is at no cost to you and helps offset the cost of my blog.