Going into 2014, it was dark days for animated feature fans as it would be the first time since 2005 that we wouldn't get a Pixar feature. Yet somehow, it turned out to be a pretty solid year for animation, but that doesn't stop me from being goofy-ass giddy over two Pixar pictures being released this year. We've already seen several trailers for the first one, Inside Out, which not only looks very different with a delicate exploration into emotions but also has had great early reviews. We now get a peek at the feature scheduled for November, The Good Dinosaur.
There has been lots of talked about the troubled production for this picture, which was originally scheduled for a summer 2014 release but pushed to this November. The concern right now is not only that this is a movie that got a substantial push back but also the initial work has all been scrapped and it has been several months of scrambling to get it ready for November.
Admittedly, a movie being pushed several months or a year is often not a good sign for a movie's quality (look at World War Z or Jack the Giant Slayer as solid examples) and the fact the entire movie had to be reworked does seem worrisome. Except this isn't actually a new thing for Pixar who had problems with Toy Story 2 and Ratatouille in the past and also had to turn over the features rather quickly. Those are two of the best movies the studio has produced. A studio by the way that has a pretty amazing track record, and may have the best quality percentage of any studio in history.
Plus this teaser looks spectacular and should be enough to wipe away any unjustified concerns. The images are bright, vibrant and full of life. There are so many fine and exquisite details in the little clips shown here. The landscape and world looks epic, and I'm eager to explore it. This is yet another major proof that Pixar's animation is light years ahead of every other Hollywood animation studio with its attention to detail and creating scenes full of Easter eggs and life.
The movie plot is a giant game of "what if" and obviously pure fantasy over any type of science. I don't want hard science in a family adventure, but rather something fantastical and imaginative. This looks exactly to be ready to serve that.
This is a boy and his dog story, with the twist that the dinosaur plays the "boy" and the actual human boy is named Spot (so you can easily figure out his role). In typical Pixar fashion, the synopsis hints at an opening act designed to make us cry as the lead Arlo (a young Apatosaurus) loses his father and then just because when it rains it pours, also finds himself lost from his home. So he must journey back to the Clawed-Tooth Mountains with his new pal. Nothing really groundbreaking at the plot level, but the brief clips promises something pretty engaging and the switching of roles is fresh.
Plus even in the brief minute and half, you get some of the vintage Pixar wit and humour. I've already fallen in love with the potential for this adventure.
The most exciting part for me is I've already promised Everett that this will be the first movie he gets to see at the theatre with daddy. He has been asking me about it on a daily basis. He was ecstatic to watch this teaser with me. I think he would have been happy to watch it over and over all afternoon, and to celebrate, he informed that he has to wear his dinosaur pajamas tonight. Yet I'm likely more amped and thrilled for the daddy and son outing than Everett, and it makes the movie even more special.
I'm glad my son's first foray to the theatre looks like it should be a wondrous one.