Dinosaur film warms the heart

The Good Dinosaur Poster

“The Good Dinosaur” has one of the most confusing openings I’ve seen in a Disney movie.

Director Peter Sohn appears in front of some concept art to tell the audience how he’s created a movie with the intention of telling a story so well through nonverbal communication that you could watch it in a language you don’t know and still understand its message.

A noble intention, if not poorly presented.

Asking the audience to think about how smart this film is for telling a story through non-verbal communication is as questionable as if J.J. Abrams popped up in front of his “Star Trek” reboots and told audiences he was super proud of how many old “Star Trek” references he’d written into the film.

The audience is then blackmailed into looking for that specific thing.

For what it’s worth, “The Good Dinosaur” does deliver on Sohn’s outlook in spades with a tiny voice cast of 19 people, three of which are “young” versions of main characters. This might not seem like a small cast until compared to a more mainstream Pixar film, “Inside Out,” for instance. While the main cast seems to be only eight people, supporting voice actors bump the count up to over sixty different speaking roles (both main and incidental background) throughout.

“The Good Dinosaur” does a wonderful job of telling a coherent story through nonverbal communication.

If there are any legitimate problems with “The Good Dinosaur,” they lie within certain Pixar tropes that I cannot discuss in the review for fear of spoiling the plot. Without running the risk of giving any plot away, I’ll simply say that if you’ve seen several computer animated Disney movies in the past decade, you can easily guess what’s going to happen to each character within minutes of meeting them.

The story itself is interesting and moving at times, but sometimes the film leans a bit too heavily on tricks Pixar knows has worked from using them in past movies.

That said, any kid you take will love it, even if they bawl their eyes out during certain scenes.

3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)