There are movies that make you cry. There are movies that make you laugh. There are movies that do all of that. And those are the kinds of movies I enjoy. Lately, it seems the general movie plots are geared towards more of the crying and real feels. I’m not a big fan of those movies. Inside Out had me such an emotional mess that I did not even buy it. Don’t judge me – but I enjoy movies to escape, laugh, have fun. Last night, NDK & I were invited to a screening for Disney Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur,” and I will admit I was very apprehensive about this movie. A friend that saw it over the weekend shared that it was a good movie, but her child was sobbing in a certain part. I was very worried of being an over emotional mess. My friend was wise not to share any details of when this catastrophic overflow of emotions could happen, but I was at least prepared. With that said, let’s get on with the show!
Sanjay’s Super Heroes was the opening short. Can I just say that it was SO refreshing to have a short that was not a love story? While many are referring to “religious overtones,” I saw something much more than that. What I saw was a young boy of today, in love with his “super heroes.” He has the action figures. He draws them. You can tell he is very immersed in this. His father is a religious man, starting his day with meditation and prayer. The boy, Sanjay, starts his day with his super heroes. They are in the same room as their worlds collide. The boy sees the parallels of his father’s beliefs and his “super heroes.” When the father thinks that all is lost and the super heroes have won, he learns that his son can appreciate his teachings, in his own way. Traditions are important, but sometimes they can be updated, while still retaining the core belief. This short was also a “mostly true story” based on the artist, Sanjay Patel.
“The Good Dinosaur”
“The Good Dinosaur” asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo (voice of Raymond Ochoa) makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of.
Leave it to one obnoxious asteroid who has to bump into another asteroid, knocking it out of the belt and sending it straight to Earth. As you await impending doom, the asteroid zooms past, leaving life as normal for the dinosaurs. Millions of years later, dinosaurs have evolved, somewhat, and we see Pixar’s vision of “what if.” Domesticated dinosaurs, y’all. At first, I thought the dinosaurs were being used as farm animals, but nope! This dinosaur family has a farm, with a corn crop that must be planted and harvested, a mom, a dad, three children and a prehistoric chicken coop, too! Before you think negatively, remember this is Pixar’s vision of what if. This is an animated movie, full of imagination and fun!
Arlo is our protagonist, and the runt of the litter. Farm life isn’t his “thing,” but he does what he can to help the family. After Poppa builds a silo to “keep the critters out,” Momma and Poppa leave their mark (a muddy foot print) on the silo. The kids all want to leave their mark as well, but Poppa explains that “you gotta earn your mark by doing something big!” One day they will all help out and go above and beyond, earning their mark. The brother, Buck, and sister, Libby, have no problem earning their marks, but Arlo struggles. This movie explores his journey on “getting through his fears” and “earning his mark.”
While I do not want to share spoilers, there are a few intense scenes. And that warning from my friend? I can confirm a *flood* of sobbing tears from NDK. Keep in mind, this is a Disney movie – think intensity on the scale of The Lion King. There were many little ones around me during this screening, and for the most part, and did well throughout the movie. The intense scenes do not overpower the movie at all.
Let me also point out that the scenery, inspired by Wyoming landscape, steals this show. Honestly, we watched in awe trying to decide if any of the leaves were actually real or not. The 3D experience really immerses you in the movie.
This is such a beautiful family movie – perfect for Thanksgiving and the holidays. I highly encourage you to take the family to see this. Laughter filled the theater through so many parts. The only flaw I found was I wanted more of a storyline for Arlo. Overall, I laughed through this movie. A lot. And laughter is good.
The NDK Review
I really liked this movie because it was funny. My favorite part was when Arlo earned his mark. I think the funniest part of the movie was when Spot brought the big bug to Arlo. That was really funny. There was a sad part that made me cry. The scenery looked real – I thought they maybe added real scenes from Wyoming and added animated stuff. I want to see this movie again!