One of the joys of being a parent is that sometimes, you get to watch kids films that are designed to make you feel good, as opposed to watching something depressing, like the news. For that reason, and because my son loves dinosaurs, tonight we re-watched The Good Dinosaur, originally released in 2015.
A sensible plot summary for this film would be as follows. A family of dinosaurs are caring for a farm, until the father dies and the main character, Arlo, ends up falling into the nearby river and getting lost downstream. He meets a small human-ish boy and we witness their attempt to journey home. Now, it’s not that simple, obviously, but I don’t want to spoil too much for you.
I’ve got to say, the animation here is absolutely superb. I know it sounds cliche, but there’s genuinely parts of the film where you could be legitimately fooled into thinking the environment is life-action. The characters each feel somewhat realistic, which when you consider that these are all cartoon dinosaurs, makes the whole experience rather interesting.
It ends up as a feel good movie, but there’s a number of depressing moments – the father figure dies, there’s an emotional parting, there’s a heartfelt conversation about loss and there’s a gut-wrenching scene between the main character and someone they soon realise is not really there. But, the sadness is all worth it, because of the feel good feeling it provides by the end.
And if you’re watching with your three-year old child, what more could you want to watch than something that’ll make them cuddly? I know, I know, I’ve gotten soppy in my old age.
So, the animation is great, there’s a story you’ll enjoy following, and it’s a cuddle inducing experience. Watch it today with your loved ones!