Friday, January 8, 2016
The Good Dinosaur or Pixar goes off the rails
The film's plot had dinosaurs not going extinct and instead evolving to the point where they farm. When a critter, aka a human, is found to be stealing food Arlo is assigned to capture and kill the creature. However Arlo balks and the kid gets away. Arlo's dad is pissed so he and Arlo give chase-but his dad is killed saving Arlo from a flash flood. Sometime later the kid comes back Arlo tries to kill him but the pair get swept away and they have to learn to work together if they ever want to get back home.
How many times have we gone to this well? How many times better?
The script is weak, the characters poorly drawn and slap dash and the film holds very little suspense. Its a series of set pieces barely linked together. The set pieces themselves are fine as are some of the characters but the problem is there is nothing but the pieces. The film never links them up. There is no real drama or emotion just a slap dash short hand. Its awful- its beyond insufferable in a Pixar film.
Sitting in the theater I started to take notes about the problems of the film but that quickly escalated to the point where I was literally picking the film apart moment by moment and I got to the point where I scribbled EVERYTHING in large letters and stopped note taking.
The problems for are best summed up by the fact that nothing in the film is internally consistent- just look at the design of the film which has cartoony dinosaurs in realistic landscapes. The mammals are somewhere inbetween.
From there we move on to the various plot points which make me go WTF? I could go on for most of the film but I'll keep it to only a couple of points and then let you spin out the rest.
The first major question I had was where does the flood that kills Arlo's dad come from and why doesn't it wipe out the farm when the farm is literally on the bank of the river? Shouldn't it have done some sort of damage?
The second major point is why are Arlo's family the only one farming or being domestic? Everyone else behaves like humans to some degree but they are ultimately animals and not living in houses.
Don't give me its a cartoon- cartoons have their own rules- this film has none. Things go one way in one sequence and go another in another sequence. Things happen (the flood) for no real reason except for the story to spin out- Arlo's family is domestic so he has a home to come home to.
Why aren't more people beating this film up?
What annoys me is that Pixar is getting a pass in regard to the film. If someone else had released the film I don’t think that would have been the case. Here the general feeling is that the film is lesser Pixar but its Pixar so they jump over the problems and move on. That’s not fair. If this was say part of the ICE AGE series it would have been crucified. If it was a LAND BEFORE TIME is would have been pooed on. But it’s a Pixar film so it gets a pass.
This is a lousy film. While it's not a worst of the year film, it is a bad one and it should be scorned as such.