When we first heard of THE GOOD DINOSAUR the concept seemed so intriguing. What if the meteor had missed the earth? What if dinosaurs were still roaming the planet? For me, the first look at the film raised so many questions. What we were shown was so beautiful so what went wrong? How did something so promising become PIXAR’S least successful movie? Is it still worth getting the Blu-ray?
Interestingly, despite the disappointing box office the home release for the film offers quite a bit of bang for the buck.
The movie follows ARLO a dinosaur that is literally afraid of everything. So when he gets lost from the rest of his family he meets SPOT, a human boy, who he must rely on to get home. Spot and Arlo go through incredible obstacles to try and find home, including sending us on an emotional rollercoaster.
THE GOOD DINOSAUR could have been a great boy meets dinosaur movie, but it tries to hard to be so many things. It feels like a mix between THE LION KING, LAND BEFORE TIME, and THE WIZARD OF OZ all trapped in one movie. The one thing going for it though, it is visually the most stunning PIXAR movie to date. The animation and backgrounds are just breathtaking. It’s just a shame that the story can’t live up to it’s potential.
What does save this Blu-ray is thankfully the one thing I’m always complaining about with the recent Disney/PIXAR releases, and that’s the BONUS FEATURES. The Blu-ray is jam packed with features. The first of course is PIXAR’S newest short SANJAY’S SUPER TEAM. This short played before the movie in theaters, and is an absolute joy and visually stunning as well.
TRUE LIES ABOUT DINOSAURS is short feature is aimed at kids and reveals some of the untruths about dinosaurs that are featured in this film. There’s also the fun RECYCLOSAURUS which shows us how Pixar employees challenged each other to create dinosaur art out of junk during production on THE GOOD DINOSAUR.
Other fun extras include THE FILMMAKERS’ JOURNEY is a making-of feature that briefly introduces a few of the talents that helped make the film. EVERY PART OF THE DINOSAUR have the animators sharing the challenges of bringing realistic movements to dinosaurs and making Spot behave more like an animal. FOLLOWING THE T-REX TRAIL is a feature introducing us to the McKay family in Oregon who served as the inspiration for the T-Rex ranchers in the film.
Of course, any Blu-ray comes with DELETED SCENES. Peter Sohn introduces three deleted scenes, “The Attack”, “Building the Siloh” and “Waiting for Poppa.” All three deleted scenes are presented in storyboard form.
Dirctor Peter Sohn leads this feature-length COMMENTARY along with Kelsey Mann (Story Supervisor), Mike Mentorini (Animation Supervisor), Sharon Calahan (Director of Photography) and Sanjay Bakshi (Supervising Technical Director). It features great insight into the challenges encountered during production and some fun hidden details.
DINO BITES is a series of short animated gags that were used in promotional materials. HIDE AND SEEK is exactly what is sounds like, short video of Spot and Arlo playing hide and seek. Why we need this, I’m not sure, but it’s cute enough.
Three INTERNATIONAL TRAILERS from around the world highlight the way the film was marketed. The non-English trailers feature English subtitles. It’s always interesting to see how films are portrayed to different audiences to encourage them to watch. Here we get North American, Russian, and German.
And for people watching the movie on DISNEY MOVIES ANYWHERE, there is an exclusive feature just for that experience called JUST LISTEN. The foley artists, composers and voice actors are highlighted in this featurette about the sounds of THE GOOD DINOSAUR.
Overall, while the movie itself is lacking much cohesiveness, the features alone is worth the price of the Blu-ray. THE GOOD DINOSAUR had a touch break though coming out the same years as the super popular INSIDE OUT. While both films are emotional romps, it is very much on different levels and the box office unfortunately reflected which film hit the right notes. Still THE GOOD DINOSAUR is hardly a BAD film.
THE GOOD DINOSAUR is available now on Blu-ray, DVD and digital.