THE GOOD DINOSAUR – REVIEW: Somewhere in an underground bunker, a team of Pixar writers are hooked up to a coffee and nicotine drip churning out ideas for the next multi-million dollar blockbuster.
They’ve ticked off Toys, Planes, Cars, Superheroes, Robots and Clown Fish. Their last effort, Inside Out, has been hailed as a potential Oscar contender but they still have an ace up their sleeve and they don’t need to take a poll or ask their analysis department to show them the statistics. Kids love dinosaurs, the money is already in the bank.
The Good Dinosaur isn’t a bad movie but it could mark the beginning of Pixar’s slide into creative oblivion. We’re waiting for the tears and the choke up moments now. We expect the animation to look amazing and we know our kids are going to be whining for a slice of the merchandise. Pixar has always been fairly formulaic but the quality of the script, most of the time, has managed to mask what is essentially a giant marketing machine that spews out everything from slippers to sticker books.
It’s undeniably visually stunning but the characters lack development and seem thrown in just so there is another action figure to purchase on the Walmart shelf. The premise of the story is fine and there are glimpses of the ‘Dinosaur Western’ that it could have been but they don’t play with that genre’s tropes or mythology enough to make it work. It all seems a bit lazy, like they knew a Pixar Dinosaur movie couldn’t lose so they didn’t put enough effort in. I wouldn’t go as far as to say they’re insulting the audiences intelligence, but they’re tap dancing on the line.
I have to admit, I did get a lump in my throat and some moisture in my eyes but Pixar never got me like they got me before and although many critics have spoken about it, this was the first time I genuinely felt my emotions were being manipulated and that left a bitter taste in my mouth. I’m sure they have got more in the locker and they’ll still produce the goods, they’re smart people, but part of me thinks that Pixar might have finally jumped the dinosaur.