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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Review of Pixar's The Good Dinosaur on Disney Movies Anywhere


The premise of The Good Dinosaur is a simple one, what if the asteroid that destroyed the dinosaurs never hit the earth? The answer is that the dinosaurs would have been the dominate form of life on the planet and learned to speak. So, with that, we meet a family of apatosaurs, who are farmers and have three children who are learning to carry on the work.

The smallest child is Arlo, who is afraid of his own shadow. His father is set to make his son believe in himself. But Arlo cannot even do the job that his poppa created for him, which was to keep "critters", in this case humans, away from their corn. A human gets caught in the trap Arlo and his poppa made but Arlo can't bring himself to get rid of the human. This sends the two along a raging river during a storm and the two become separated. Arlo finds himself far away from home. He makes a friend with a human, who Arlo names Spot. Now this becomes a classic boy and his dog story with Arlo being the boy and Spot being the dog. Arlo and Spot slowly become friends and the two now set off to get Arlo home.


Visually, this is Pixar's finest effort. The photo-realistic backgrounds are stunning. It is almost as if the animators took real footage. The effect is convincing and adds to the vastness of the space making even a dinosaur as large as Arlo look tiny in comparison. This adds to how lost Arlo is and how far away home is. Arlo and Spot encounter several dinosaurs on their journey but none with a greater impact than a family of  T-Rexes. They help Arlo discover that it's not only ok to be afraid, but how to face that fear.


Video Quality:

The video quality is simply reference material spectacular even for a digital movie. The textures of the environment have to be seen to be believed. The details of the environments look like they were filmed out in nature and created on a computer. The trees and the leaves may make you pause the video to get a closer look at the details. The colors are vibrant and stunning. The colors on the dinosaurs are in stark contrast to the rest of the environment to really help them stand out.  Another incredible video transfer from Disney.  


Audio Quality:

The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 lossless soundtrack is just as amazing as the video quality. Dialogue is focused on the center channel and comes across crisp and clean. The surround channels add ambient sounds such as rushing water, wind, insects and more that you would hear out in the wilderness. The score covers the entire sound channels, being dominate through the front channels but moving to the back channels when it needs to. 

Bonus Features: 

There are a wide range of bonus features here.

  • Sanjay's Super Team (1080p, DTS-HD MA 7.1, 7:07): This short is as charming and heartfelt as any of Pixar's best shorts. This is a very personal story from director Sanjay Patel. It shows the difference between little Sanjay and his love of Saturday morning cartoons, while his father holds on to his Hindu beliefs and wants his son to embrace his culture and heritage. Who will win out? Watch this heartfelt short to find out.
  • True Lies About Dinosaurs (1080p, 1:56): A look at the fictitious elements about dinosaurs used in the film.
  • Recyclosaurus (1080p, 6:19): Some of the awesome folks at Pixar build dinosaurs out of donated goods.
  • The Filmmakers' Journey (1080p, 7:54): A great look at the team who worked on the film. Director Peter Sohn discusses the challenges of making his first film. He also gives us a look at the story themes, the creation of the film, scouting for locations, some fun team building and other great insight into the making of the movie. 
  • Every Part of the Dinosaur (1080p, 6:08): A look at creating a character and how much work goes into bringing a character to life. 
  • Following the T-Rex Trail (1080p, 6:58): The film crew meets to a real cattle ranch family, The McKays, that ended up being the inspiration for a T-Rex family in the movie. 
  • Deleted Scenes (1080p): Two scenes that were deleted from the movie with explanation from Director Peter Sohn.
  • Audio Commentary: Participating in this audio commentary are Director Peter Sohn; Story Supervisor Kelsey Mann; Animation Supervisor Mike Venturini; Director of Photography, Lighting Sharon Calahan; and Supervising Technical Director Sanjay Bakshi. There is an absolute wealth of information about the film and every aspect of putting it together. Learn about everything from the story, to themes, to animation, to locations and so much more. 
  • Dino Bites (1080p, 4:15): A montage of silly footage of the characters having fun in front of the camera.
  • Hide and Seek (1080p, 0:59): Arlo and Spot play hide-and-seek.
  • Trailers (1080p): Three different trailers including one from Russia and another from Germany.

The Good Dinosaur is a truly heart-warming and emotional family film, with some great humor! The digital copy provides a stunning streaming experience in terms of video and audio. There is also a wealth of bonus material that any movie fan will truly enjoy. This is a solid additional to any library.  

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