Dinosaurs Should Be Pleistocene and Not Heard
Bronto's/Meet the Bronto's/They're an Altered Timeline Fantasy
Disney/Pixar's The Good Dinosaur has had a troubled history. Originally intended for theater release November 27, 2013, it was only sent out this Thanksgiving, after much tinkering, the dismissal of the original creator/director, and some extensive re-working. With Pixar, that's usually not a bad thing. In the past—specifically, the excellent Ratatouille and Brave—the results of the re-working have been spectacular.
|I don't know what I am, but that's probably a stegosaurus
|The VERY old West: T-Rex's 'round the camp-fire; 'dactyls acting like rustlers
And, there's something else that bugs me: a lot is made of the concept of "family"—at one point, Arlo teaches Spot about it and how important it is and why he mopes because he's away from "the herd" (which makes me think that a really good animated film could be made of the dynamics of elephants rather than dinosaurs). One could make a good case for going the "Huck Finn" route of embracing of the opening of the closed circle Arlo uses to illustrate the "family" concept and accept a not-one-of-your-kind," such a non-lizard like Spot into the fold. There's a good lesson there, a universal one—Twain published his in 1884—and any parallels making the dinosaurs less prone to tribalism than the human inheritors of the Earth might have been a good contrast and object lesson to those familiar with how things are.
But, no, the movie doesn't go there, replacing that lesson with a "you go your way and I'll go mine" ending that only encourages segregation of the different. That left me scowling and thinking Pixar's dinosaurs were no better than us in our "you're okay as long as you're in your place" prejudices. "There goes the neighborhood" and NIMBY-ism are just as at home in the domiciles of this parallel Universe, and left me more than happy that the dinosaurs became extinct, if this is how they evolved. If only xenophobia and tribalism had gone extinct, too.
|Arlo, like the story, is stretched a little thin.