Thursday, 25 February 2016

Blu-ray Review - The Good Dinosaur

Rated - PG; $39.99; 94 minutes; Amazon
Now available to purchase on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD and Digital HD, is Disney's & Pixar's second computer-animated film from 2015 (the other being Inside Out), titled The Good Dinosaur. Directed by Peter Sohn, with a screenplay by Meg LeFauve, the film features the talented voice-cast of Raymond Ochoa, Jack Bright, Sam Elliott, Anna Paquin, A. J. Buckley, Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand and Steve Zahn.

The Good Dinosaur is set in a world where the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs completely missed the Earth. Millions of years later, the dinosaurs have evolved and can now talk. The film centers on a young Apatosaurus named Ario (voiced by Raymond Ochoa), who is the runt of his family. He is much smaller than his sister Libby (voiced by Maleah Padilla) and his brother Buck (voiced by Marcus Scribner), so small that he can't help his father (voiced by Jeffrey Wright) with the chores on the farm. To make matters worse for the Ario, he's deeply afraid of everything!

After a tragedy occurs, Ario must fight his fears to trap the creature that has been eating the food from the family's silo, which turns out to be a young caveboy (later named Spot). Ario chases the boy and accidentally knocks them into the river. He becomes unconscious after hitting his head against a rock. When he comes to, he learns that the river has taken him away from his home and beyond the mountains.

To find his way home, Ario must befriend Spot, as well as a few Tyrannosaurus, to venture into the unknown prehistoric land and finally defeat his own fears.

The Blu-ray is loaded with bonus extras:

The Filmmakers' Journey - Director PeterSohn and team share their experience of making the movie. 

Hide And Seek - Watch a short animated promtional clip. 

True Lies About Dinosaurs - Learn what separates the movie's dinosaurs from real ones! 

Recyclosaurus - The crew cempetes to create the best dinosaur ever... from discarded items!

Every Part Of The Dinosaur - Explore the movie's special animation challenges.

Following The T-Rex Trial - Meet the family who inspired the T-Rex ranchers.

Deleted Scenes With Intros - View scenes developed for previous versions of the movie.

Dino Bites - Montage of original animated pieces produced to promote “The Good Dinosaur.”

Commentary - Commentary from director Peter Sohn, story supervisor Kelsey Mann, supervising animator Mike Venturini, director of photography/lighting Sharon Calahan, and supervising technical director Sanjay Bakshi.

Short FilmSanjay’s Super Team

Final Thoughts: While it did make over $300 million at the box-office, The Good Dinosaur was the lowest grossing Pixar film, mostly thanks for being released to theaters in-between The Hunger Games: The Mockingjay - Part 2 and Stars Wars: The Force Awakens (which was also released by Disney). While I'm not the biggest fan of prehistoric cartoons, the "what if the asteroid missed Earth" premise intrigued me.

Like all Pixar films, The Good Dinosaur is family-friendly, but there is a "Bambi" moment at the beginning of the film, which might upset little kids. The computer-animation landscapes look great, though I wished the dinosaur characters were less cartoony. The voice-cast is topnotch; my favorite is Sam Elliot as the Tyrannosaurus rancher, Butch. The "finding your courage" plot works well in this tale.

If you're into special features, then you're in luck here as there are plenty of bonus extras on the Blu-ray, including the cute theatrical short, Sanjay's Super Team, and several featurettes that give you a behind-the-scenes looking into the making of The Good Dinosaur. Yes, the plot might look familiar, but Pixar puts their own twists on it, giving us something new. Overall, The Good Dinosaur is a surprisingly entertaining and heartwarming film that will appeal to both children and adults.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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