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The Good Dinosaur

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The Good Dinosaur

Good dinosaur poster new.jpg

A single moment can change everything.
Genre: Animation
Directed By: Peter Sohn
Produced By: Denise Ream
Written By: Meg LeFauve
Starring: Raymond Ochoa
Jack Bright
Sam Elliott
Anna Paquin
A.J. Buckley
Steve Zahn
Jeffrey Wright
Frances McDormand
Photography: Color
Cinematography: Sharon Calahan (camera)
Mahyar Abousaeedi (lighting)
Distributed By: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Release Date: November 10, 2015 (Paris)
November 25, 2015 (United States)
Runtime: 94 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $175-200 million
Box Office: $332.2 million

"If this the first bomb from them, then that'll be sad. Because it really is a beautiful movie and it does have a couple of those trademark Pixar emotional moments in this. If you're looking to see a movie this Thanksgiving weekend, it's definitely worth your time."
"The Good Dinosaur tells a simple story, but tells it with excitement, adventure, laughter and a tear. It made my son crawl onto my lap in the theatre when it got a bit tense, it made him demand of me that I would never die, it made him promise himself he would put his head under water next swimming class even though he was afraid and it made him laugh like the silly git he can be. And that's more than enough."
"I guess the title fits the movie right, this dinosaur is not anything great or really spectacular, it's just good."

The Good Dinosaur is a 2015 American computer-animated adventure drama film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Directed by Peter Sohn in his directorial debut, it was written by Meg LeFauve from an original idea by Bob Peterson, and it stars Raymond Ochoa, Jack Bright, Steve Zahn, Sam Elliott, Anna Paquin, A. J. Buckley, Frances McDormand, and Jeffrey Wright as Pixar's 16th feature film. The film premiered on November 10, 2015 in Paris, and was released in the United States on November 25, 2015.


Luckily for young Arlo, his parents (Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand) and his two siblings, the mighty dinosaurs were not wiped out 65 million years ago. When a rainstorm washes poor Arlo (Raymond Ochoa) downriver, he ends up bruised, battered and miles away from home. Good fortune shines on the frightened dino when he meets Spot (Jack Bright), a Neanderthal boy who offers his help and friendship. Together, the unlikely duo embark on an epic adventure to reunite Arlo with his beloved family.

Good Qualities

  1. The animation is gorgeous and a big improvement over Pixar’s past works.
  2. Fantastic musical score from Mychael and Jeff Danna.
    • The song "Crystal Eyes" is also catchy, even if it was just for the trailer.
  3. The idea of a caveboy and a dinosaur getting along is an excellent and interesting idea for Pixar standards.
  4. Nice and cute character designs, despite clashing with the photorealistic environments.
  5. The climax where Arlo takes on the Pterodactyls by knocking the first four into the river, and then letting out a roar powerful enough to push Thunderclap away before Spot tears into his wing is satisfying. Thunderclap tries to flee, but its too late when Arlo throws a branch at him and knocks him into the river.
    • No, that roar didn't push Thunderclap. It scared the living daylights out of him. Which is both awesome and cathartic after all his boasting about being above fear and having forgotten it.
    • Heck, however Spot managed to get free of Thunderclap's grip was impressive.
  6. Arlo is a decent and reliable protagonist, who was born into a beautiful nurturing family. He also did even earned through decent character development, like he is scared of everything, which ultimately interferes with successfully doing his share of the chores on his family’s farm, but as it went into story progress, he is put into a situation which forces him to face his fears, and it is then he discovers the strength he has within.
  7. While the movie has several antagonists in the movie, such as Pterodactyls (Thunderclap, Downpour, Coldfront, Frostbite, and Windgust) and Velociraptors (Bubbha, Lurleane, Pervis, and Earl), none of the characters are primary villains, as they don't have enough screen-time as the main characters. The main conflict is from about Arlo facing his fear of the storm of nature, making it like Pixar movie.
  8. Spot is easily likable and interesting character, who isn't whiny and obnoxious and acts like dog-like caveboy, who speaks in only grunts and growls, but is nevertheless not afraid of anything. When he is discovered by Arlo, he is the first human ever seen by the dinosaur.
  9. Much like other Pixar films, such as Monsters University, there are lots of messages that can be found in the movie:
    • Overcoming one fear in order to survive the journey wilderness;
    • The two ultimately develop a relationship that we all can relate to;
    • We encounters a host of unique personalities who all contribute to their evolution, but its loyalty, unconditional love, and friendship that fuels their self-discovery.
  10. The movie does have plenty of funny moments.
    • When Arlo and Spot were saved by Nash and Ramsey, they have an little argument here about Ramsey's personal bubble until it stops when Butch tells his brother to get out of his sister's bubble.
    • That scene with Arlo and Spot play a game in which they blow gopherlike mammals out of their holes and after they scare Arlo out of the field, it is rather funny watching them all just drop back into their holes with a synchronized growl like "and don't come back!"
    • There is the hallucination scene that it might be scared for target audiences, but it is actually quite funny. Plus, there is the Pixar ball that can be found and spotted in it, making it a very nice touch and easter egg reference for Pixar to the film.
  11. The Tyrannosaurus ranchers, especially Butch, are considered ensemble dark horse, with the concept of a cowboy T. rex alone and the perfect casting of Sam Elliott, with some reviews have suggested he get his own spin-off series. It helps that they are portrayed as heroes, a stark contrast to most animated dinosaur films putting T. rex or other large carnivores as the big bad.
  12. Great voice-acting in the film, especially with the cast of Raymond Ochoa, Jack Bright, Steve Zahn, Sam Elliott, Anna Paquin, A. J. Buckley, Frances McDormand (who retained Bob Peterson's version), and Jeffrey Wright voicing for this film.
    • While the voice actors was the great choice, the two actors deserves an highlighted example. Steve Zahn, known for his many comedy roles, does a surprisingly chilling voice performance as the psychotic pterodactyl Thunderclap, who steals the show. Even Sam Elliott does the terrific voice performance as Butch as well.
  13. Peter Sohn, who directed the short film of Partly Cloudy, gives decent directing this movie.
  14. Some scenes are sad and tear-jerker. It is worthy of being the latest accomplishment in the output of a company known for bringing on the tears. For example; when Arlo tells Spot how he misses his family and uses five sticks to represent each member of his family. Spot understands him and gets three sticks to represent his own family. Then he puts the two bigger sticks down and buries them in the sand, indicating that his parents are deceased. This is followed by Arlo burying the Poppa stick in the sand, then collapsing over the buried Poppa stick and starting to cry.
    • According to this article, the layout artist's father passed away during production, and had said that doing the scene was "therapeutic" for him.
  15. The friendship between Arlo and Spot is very heartwarming, and is the film's strongest point. Even Spot repaying Arlo for not killing him and setting him free by digging out his leg and getting him food when the critter got trapped.
  16. The dialogue are well performed and enjoyable.

Bad Qualities

  1. The tone of the film is rather playful, especially since many Pixar films usually had their dark moments.
  2. Many characters in the small cast (such as the raptor rustlers, Arlo's siblings, and Forrest Woodbrush) were wasted as they barely get any characters development and shoehorned only for around in the entire one or two scene.
  3. The plot is rather clichéd and confusing for Pixar's standards with an initially slow pace the latter of which ends when Arlo and Spot start to bond. Its feels more like a bunch of random adventures strung together instead of an actual plot. Also, the concept of the meteor missing Earth and allowing the dinosaurs to survive and evolve through time, although interesting, unique and good, is only used in the first minute of the film, and is completely irrelevant to the plot. This results in said concept feeling wasted.
    • For example, there is the scene where Henry's death is too similar of Mufasa's death from The Lion King, although the villain didn't pushed Henry off the cliff.
  4. Arlo, despite receiving decent character development as well as reliable protagonist, can get rather annoying at times. His screams feels forced and irritating for many viewers.
  5. While the animation is gorgeous, the more cartoony character designs and the more photorealistic backgrounds didn't blend well.
  6. The film doesn’t make use of its premise of the asteroid missing the Earth. In fact, that framing device could be taken out of the film entirely and not much would’ve changed.
  7. The bizarre nature of the hallucination scene can be disturbing for younger audiences as well as filler, since it is never mentioned again in the movie.


Critical response

The Good Dinosaur received generally positive reviews for its themes and animation (which earned it various accolades), though its storytelling was not considered to be up to Pixar's standards, and many considered Pixar's weakest film, since Cars 2 and Brave (depending what people says), though not beating that film. The review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a rating of 76%, based on 220 reviews, with a rating average of 6.60/10. The audience approval rating is at 64%, with an average rating of 3.6/5 from over 50,000 ratings. The website's critical consensus reads, "The Good Dinosaur delivers thrillingly beautiful animation in service of a worthy story that, even if it doesn't quite live up to the lofty standards set by Pixar, still adds up to charming, family-friendly entertainment.". According to the review aggregator Metacritic, which sampled 37 reviews and calculated a weighted average of 66 out of 100, The Good Dinosaur received "generally favorable reviews". The average user score is much higher, with a score of 6.7/10 from 386 ratings. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale. On IMDb and Letterboxd, the film earned the ratings of 6.7/10 and 2.9/5.

Chris Stuckmann earned this movie an rating of B grade.

Box office

The Good Dinosaur grossed $123.1 million in the United States and Canada and $209.1 million in other countries, for a worldwide total of $332.2 million against a $175-200 million production budget. Adding in the marketing costs, this resulted in a total net loss of $85 million, causing it to become Pixar's first box-office bomb, rather than being a box-office hit as in the usual. Following the aftermath of this film bombing at the box office, Disney started to rush their animated film scripts into release, even when they're not fully ready, which is why films like Incredibles 2, and Frozen II ended up unfinished story-wise, although, Incredibles 2 ended on a cliffhanger like the first one from 2004. However, the film proved to be much more financially successful in home video sales.

Released alongside Creed and Victor Frankenstein, as well as the wide releases of Brooklyn, Spotlight, and Trumbo, on November 25, 2015, The Good Dinosaur made $9.8 million on its first day, including $1.3 million from Thursday night previews. It went on to take second place at the opening weekend with $56 million from 3,749 theaters. Its second weekend saw the box office drop by 60% to $15.5 million, and The Good Dinosaur grossed another $10.3 million the following weekend. The Good Dinosaur completed its theatrical run in the United States and Canada on April 7, 2016.

Awards and nominations

The Good Dinosaur was the third Pixar film not to be nominated at Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Despite this, it was nominated for a Golden Globe award for Best Animated Feature, but lost to another Pixar film Inside Out, respectively.



  • It is the first Pixar film to be directed by a non-white director.
  • Before the rescheduling from 2014 to 2015, a Monsters University short film titled Party Central was set to accompany the film, but was instead shown with the theatrical release of Disney's Muppets Most Wanted. In April 2015, it was announced that a new Pixar short, Sanjay's Super Team, directed by Sanjay Patel, would be shown in front of The Good Dinosaur instead.
  • During the promotion of the movie, Roblox sponsored this movie of the event for Thanksgiving, named BLOXgiving. It is also the first Pixar film that Roblox sponsored the event.
  • According to the director's commentary, it is revealed that the forces of nature are the main antagonists in this movie, despite not being actual characters.
  • This marks the third feature film that the directors made the theatrical Pixar short film before feature length film, preceeded by John Lasseter (Luxo Jr., Red's Dream, Tin Toy and Knick Knack, before Toy Story) and Mark Andrews (One Man Band, before Brave). Peter Sohn would later directed Elemental for his second feature film, inspired by his childhood in New York City.
  • In August 2013, Bob Peterson was removed from the project due to story problems and left the film to pursue another project, being replaced by Peter Sohn. Before then, Sohn was co-director. This wasn't the first time a director was replaced at Pixar. Peterson later said that there was no hard feelings about the situation, and that he's glad it turned out the way it did. Despite this, he was still credited as the story writer.
  • This is the last Pixar film to use the short 2011 Disney logo as a closing logo, until Onward, through the full 2011 Disney logo would be used as a closing logo for the most part, beginning with Finding Dory.
  • To celebrate the release of this movie, Pixar released on social media, like YouTube, about 20 years of friendship (1995 to 2015).
    • It also promoted dinosaurs characters for Dino week, since the movie was about dinosaurs, like Tiny the T-Rex from Meet the Robinsons.
  • The environments and landscapes in the film are actually not photo-realistic, they are just detailed in a way that advanced technology and style decisions allow, according to the filmmakers.
  • This was the first time in which two Pixar movies (Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur) were released in one year (2015).
    • This is downplayed, however, as 2011 would've been the first time for Pixar with two movies (Cars 2 and Newt), before the latter was delayed to 2012 and eventually cancelled.
  • Five characters who appeared select merchandise for the movie: Jack the Ankylosaurus, Vivian the Ankylosaurus, Will the Triceratops, Sam the Triceratops, and Mary Alice the Stegosaurus were cut from the film.
  • Since The Incredibles, this marks the first Pixar film to be released in November.
  • Prior to the film's release on November 19, 2015, The Good Dinosaur: Dino Crossing, a mobile arcade-style game, was released. The game, later also available on Kindle Fire, was no longer available, according to Common Sense Media; while a figure of Spot and Power Discs of Arlo, Ramsey, Nash, and Butch was also released for Disney Infinity 3.0.
  • Along with sequel films Finding Dory and Cars 3, this was the last Pixar film to use the normal Disney logo fanfare, until Turning Red. Inside Out started a new trend, that being different compositions and alternate arrangements.
  • This is the last Pixar film to be broadcast on STARZ, as the following Pixar films from Finding Dory to Incredibles 2 would streaming on Netflix while Toy Story 4 became the first new Pixar film to stream on Disney+. However, all of the Pixar films are now officially streaming on Disney+ as of July 31, 2020.
  • A YouTuber, forrestfire101, created the stop-motion trailer for The Good Dinosaur.
  • This was the first Pixar film to be composed by more than just one composer.
  • On the film's title The Good Dinosaur, Peter Sohn stated, "The title is deceptively simple. It has more meaning than it seems." He additionally explained: "Arlo has a lot of issues when he's born. He's fearful and he's weak and he's disconnected from the family because of these issues and he feels like he's not worthy, and so he finds a way to become worthy."
  • This is the third Pixar movie that didn't have any songs sung by characters nor singers heard in the background, right after The Incredibles and Up.

Pixar Animation Studios

Toy Story - A Bug's Life - Toy Story 2 - Monsters, Inc. - Finding Nemo - The Incredibles - Cars - Ratatouille - WALL-E - Up - Toy Story 3 - Cars 2 - Brave - Monsters University - Inside Out - The Good Dinosaur - Finding Dory - Cars 3 - Coco - Incredibles 2 - Toy Story 4 - Onward - Soul - Luca - Turning Red - Lightyear - Elemental - Elio - Inside Out 2

Short movies:

Theatrical short films:

The Adventures of André and Wally B. - Luxo Jr. - Red's Dream - Tin Toy - Knick Knack - Geri's Game - For the Birds - Boundin' - One Man Band - Lifted - Presto - Partly Cloudy - Day & Night - La Luna - The Blue Umbrella - Lava - Sanjay's Super Team - Piper - Lou - Bao

SparkShorts series:

Purl - Smash and Grab - Kitbull - Float - Wind - Loop - Out - Burrow - Twenty Something - Nona


Mike's New Car - Jack-Jack Attack - Mr. Incredible and Pals - Mater and the Ghostlight - Your Friend the Rat - BURN-E - Dug's Special Mission - George and A.J. - The Legend of Mor'du - Party Central - Riley's First Date? - Marine Life Interviews - Miss Fritter's Racing Skoool - Auntie Edna - Lamp Life - 22 vs. Earth - Ciao Alberto

Short series:

Cars Toons:

Mater's Tall Tales:

Rescue Squad Mater - Mater the Greater - El Materdor - Tokyo Mater - Unidentified Flying Mater - Monster Truck Mater - Heavy Metal Mater - Moon Mater - Mater Private Eye - Air Mater - Time Travel Mater

Tales from Radiator Springs:

Hiccups - Bugged - Spinning - The Radiator Springs 500½

Toy Story Toons:

Hawaiian Vacation - Small Fry - Partysaurus Rex

Forky Asks a Question:

What Is Money? - What Is a Friend? - What Is Art? - What Is Time - What Is Love? - What Is a Computer? - What Is a Leader? - What Is a Pet? - What Is Cheese? - What Is Reading?

Pixar Popcorn:

To Fitness and Beyond - Unparalleled Parking - Dory Finding - Soul of the City - Fluffy Stuff with Ducky and Bunny: Love - Chore Day the Incredibles Way - A Day in the Life of the Dead - Fluffy Stuff with Ducky and Bunny: Three Heads - Dancing with the Cars - Cookie Num Num

Dug Days:

Squirrel! - Puppies - Flowers - Smell - Science

Television series:

Buzz Lightyear of Star Command (co-production) - Monsters at Work - Cars On The Road - Win or Lose

External links


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