The Good Dinosaur (2015)
Featuring the vocal talents of Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, Raymond Ochoa, Steve Zahn, Anna Paquin, and Sam Elliott
Directed by Peter Sohn
The story has some strong similarities to The Lion King, although it obviously pales in comparison. A young dinosaur named Arlo (voiced by Raymond Ochoa) is the runt of his family with a brother and sister bigger and more capable than he. His father (Jeffrey Wright) decides to take Arlo on a journey to try and make him braver and more confident in himself. However, on this journey, a horrible flood rushes down a riverbed and carries Arlo's father away. Pushed to safety in his father's final courageous act, Arlo finds himself on a journey home where he meets several unique creatures including a dog-like four or five-year-old human he names Spot who he befriends on his trek.
Yes, humans and dinosaurs co-exist here and I just couldn't help but think that the potential for this premise could've been more fully realized. While it's true that Spot is the most engaging character in The Good Dinosaur despite the character not speaking a word, the co-mingling of these two species is disappointingly developed. Obviously, it doesn't help that the film's main character - Arlo - is bland, paling in comparison to the amusing Spot. Sure, Simba in The Lion King may not have been the funniest or most unique character, but we cared about his plight. Arlo's plight lacks a captivating thread for some reason.
Although there are certain aspects of the film that are stellar - a great score by Jeff and Mychael Danna and some beautiful environmental imagery, the story (by a slew of people) and the design of the dinosaurs feel pre-schoolish which doesn't allow for anyone older than the age of ten to really connect with the proceedings. The Good Dinosaur is a big disappointment and quite possibly my least favorite Pixar film to date.
The RyMickey Rating: C-