Flawed but its Pixar. The Good Dinosaur (2015) Review

The Good Dinosaur gets a lot of things right however it could do more to stand out from the previous Pixar films.

The story is set in an alternative reality where dinosaurs co-exist with homo sapiens. Arlo, a young, cowardly Apatosaurus, accidently falls into a river and is washed away, getting separated from his family.

When he reaches ashore he meets Spot, a human child. Together they embark on an epic journey to try and get Arlo back home.

The Good Dinosaur pic
Still don’t have a camera so I took this on my webcam hence the embarrassingly terrible quality. Sorry.

For me one of Pixar’s greatest strengths is their pacing and The Good Dinosaur is another example of that talent.

The setting, tone, supporting characters and the protagonist’s desire and weakness are all established within the first fifteen minutes.

Arlo is shown to be easily scared and wanting to please his family which makes him very empathetic.

The antagonism in the story is also great because they all viciously attack Arlo’s biggest weakness, his fear. The antagonism ranges from destructive rainstorms, carnivorous pterodactyls and a band of prowling velociraptors.

The Good Dinosaur’s most unique quality is its mix of genres.

On the surface the film is obviously an animated, children’s film but the score, cinematography and the characters’ accents are very reminiscent of a Western.

Arlo’s farm reminds me of Clint Eastwood’s farm in Unforgiven and the scene where Arlo and a trio of T-Rexes round up some cattle also reminds me of the opening scene of My Darling Clementine showing the Earps rounding up cattle.

The film could do with some more unique elements like this because a lot of the story borrows from previous Pixar films.

I won’t spoil anything but the plot is very similar to the plots of Monsters, Inc. Finding Nemo and Up. The film is very predictable.

Overall The Good Dinosaur despite being not one of Pixar’s greatest films, is worth seeing for its fast pace and original use of genres.

I give The Good Dinosaur a 7 out of 10.

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I don’t have a camera right now so I had to draw a face on paint. Sorry. Sandman Dream Country (1993) Review

I found that reviewing Dream Country was more difficult than reviewing Preludes and Nocturnes and The Doll’s House.

The first two volumes had story arcs that linked all the issues together like a serial.

This volume however is simply four original, standalone stories with only a few themes and characters connecting them.

I won’t lie that I was a little disappointed at first.

I really liked the arcs that Doll’s House set up and was looking forward to seeing them continued. I then discovered when reading the introduction by Steve Erickson that those arcs are actually continued in the fourth volume Season of Mists.

Sandman 3 pic
I was going to try and buy a new card for my camera but since I didn’t have any money I couldn’t do it, I was too yellow. Sorry, that was the best I could come up with.

I put that nuisance aside and read on.

While Dream Country isn’t the third volume I anticipated its still quite magical for what it is.

It’s a collection of four great Sandman tales, each varying in character, setting, theme and tone.

Calliope is a depressing story about a muse getting enslaved by an ambitious, failing writer.

A Dream of a Thousand Cats is a wonderful fantasy about cats dreaming for a world where they rule over man.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a quirky and amusing re-telling of the Shakespeare play and Facade is another depressing story about a lonely ex-superhero wanting to die.

Out of the four stories I think Calliope is the strongest. To me there were more beats in the plot than the other stories and therefore it felt more engaging.

I also thought that the story’s protagonist was the strongest. He is a failing writer wanting to succeed with his art which I thought made him more empathetic despite the horrible things he does.

Overall, Dream Country is definitely worth a read. It doesn’t add a lot to the main arc but it makes for an impressive anthology.

Dream Country earns a wonderful 7 out of 10.

UPDATE: I’ve uploaded a teaser trailer for a project I’ve been working on. You can see it right here.