The Good Dinosaur, review

Pixar films have always been about a very simple theme, whether it’s family, friendship, love, loss or all of those wrapped into one neat digitally animated package. And that’s really one of its key points, the animation is a really huge feature of this film ,they have clearly upped their skills as so many scenes looks almost real. They have a way of creating this through animated characters you care about, who pull at your emotional heartstrings, making you feel something that you’re not used to when it comes to cartoons. The Good Dinosaur follows this tested theme and, whilst it does it well, it doesn’t do it as good as the others.

Arlo (Raymond Ochoa), one of the dino babies of his farmer parents Poppa (Jeffrey Wright) and Momma (Frances McDormand) has a hard time completing his tasks around the farm, due to a chronic fear of virtually everything. So Poppa gives him the task of getting rid of a critter who keeps stealing their food. Failing to do so leads to Arlo being taken on a chase by the river and, when a flash flood occurs, he and his father are separated. Arlo wakes up dazed and confused, not knowing where he is and eventually realises that he is a long way from home and has to find his way back. During his journey, he makes an unlikely human friend who helps him to survive the initial pitfalls of being stranded in the middle of nowhere.

When you look at this film from a comparative perspective, it’s easy to see that there are some similarities to Finding Nemo with regards to one of the main characters who embarks upon an unintentional journey of self-discovery. Arlo meets several characters on his way, some friendly, some not so much and one who has lost his way entirely but provides some much needed comic relief. It becomes a test of Arlo’s strength and courage, two things his father wanted to teach him at their farm.

The whole movie has a very western feel, especially noticeable when Arlo comes across three Tyrannosaurus Rex who are trying to keep their herd of buffalo together, away from rustlers and then again when we see pterodactyls attempting to help at first. Pixar have a way of producing realistic voices and movements for all of its animalistic creations. The way the sharks move in Finding Nemo is majestic and the same can be said about these dinosaurs. The T-Rex runs as if their top halves are human and bottom halves are horses, it give the almost illusion of cowboys riding their stallions.

The director, Peter Sohn, has ample experience at Pixar and is very familiar with their working process and what it takes to make a great Pixar film, but it seems as if he hasn’t taken a lot of this on board. What he has done however is up their animation game, it’s impossible to think of another animated film that has landscapes as breathtaking as this not just with regards to their colour but how realistic they are. Sohn has done his research, having spent a lot of time in the countryside of America and on the waters, trying out white water rafting, so his knowledge is second to none.

There’s no questioning whether this is a brilliant film or not, when Pixar come out with anything, it’s an event. This film has several merits including it’s loveable dinosaurs, the stunning landscapes and the music which perfectly sums up this western film. However, it seems they have let the ball drop slightly with this, its emotional moments do not have the same impact as Up or the end of Toy Story 3. With several sequels in the pipeline, (Finding Dory, The Incredibles 2, Toy Story 4) it’s hard not to be a little disappointed by something that may be Pixar’s last original feature for a while.

3 out of 5

Keep. It. Reel.

Why Toy Story 4 is a terrible idea.

This week, Disney Pixar announced some truly horrific news. Personally I thought the rumour of this was dead and gone forever, but unfortunately it has now been resurrected. Toy Story 4 will be released on June 16th, 2017. Shortly after the third film was a hit, several rumours surfaced of a fourth film brewing and I immediately tried to think of any plausible storyline in which this would make sense. There’s nothing, no link I could come up with, no story which needed be told, nothing needs to be done to carry on the antics of Woody, Buzz, et al.

Andy gives away his toys at the end of Toy Story 3 before he embarks on a new life at college. This point was brought up in Toy Story 2 when the Prospector asks Woody “Do you really think Andy is going to take you to college, on his honeymoon?” And a third film was born. It’s the most bankable cartoon franchise, with the final movie making more the $1 Billion worldwide, however that is no excuse to make a fourth film and here’s why.

The end of Toy Story 3

This was perfect. From the start of the film, we can see that things have changed for Andy and his toys. He no long plays with them, he is preparing himself for college and life will have changed for everyone at the end. For anyone who watched it, this was a brilliant ending to the best animated trilogy ever. To make another one would completely ruin this. With Andy giving away his toys, a new chapter beings, will Toy Story 4 be the start of a new trilogy? I really hope not.

Toy Story 1 and 2

The first film created a world which everyone who had toys at some point in their lives could relate to with toys coming to life when no one is around and this carried on through the second film which smartly created more characters who were related to Woody and his past. It’s in this second film where they mention Andy going to college and having a honeymoon, they have planted the idea for the this. Both of the films make reference to the fact the one day Andy will grow up and grow out of his toys and film three is where they show that. In actually fact, Andy doesn’t play with his toys in film three until the end scene where he gives them away. I was surprised when they came out with Toy Story 3 but I’m glad they did. Toy Story 1 and 2 were really loved and they still are along with the final part. Toy Story 4 could be the film the undoes all of Pixar’s brilliant work.

The people have spoken

Pixar has never gone the way of any typical Disney movie, which is one of many reasons for their success. But with Toy Story 1, 2 and 3, they have gone the way of many other animated franchises and created sequels to phenomenal success. It’s with this and the fact that each film has been better than the last one (a controversial statement I know!) that they have broken the rules constantly. When rumours started to come out about Toy Story 4 in 2010, it was met with a lot of shock and anger, mainly because there was no where this franchise could go but here we are, waiting for Pixar to push ahead with these ludicrous plans. The fans love the trilogy and, as you can see from Empire’s survey below, they don’t want this film.

I think it’s safe to say that no one wants this film at all, three films was the perfect amount and now it’s about to be ruined by the fact the people are more obsessed with making money than making brilliant films. Has Pixar gone too far this time? In recent years, they have made questionable choices in the films they’ve made, including Cars, Cars 2 and Monsters University seeing how this is the studio who made such brilliant films like Wall E, The Incredibles and Finding Nemo.

Bottom line, this is one hell of a risk for Pixar to take, which is what they have done for years with their tricky ways of telling simple stories. However this time, I think they are toying with the wrong idea…

What do you think?

Keep. It. Reel.


Real life Disney

We all love Disney. Whether that’s Disney old school or Disney with Pixar. All of their films are loved, especially the classics such as Bambi, Lion King, Up, Dumbo, 101 Dalmations and so on. Some of these beloved movies have had a change. A real life change. Take a look at these photos of real life Disney characters, they are just amazing. Enjoy and Keep It Reel.

Pixar: the unseen and the untold.

Pixar have created some of the most loved films of all time. The Toy Story trilogy was enjoyed by millions, and millions more cried at the start of the emotional Up. Several more have been created and several more are being created. The release of Braved, shows a side of Pixar similar to Disney’s usual style of animation but also with that Toy Story twist.

Here, like in Brave, we see a new side to Pixar we have never seen before. Take a look at these, courtesy of Pixar. It’s concept art of some of their most famous films including one from the prequel to Monsters Inc, Monsters University. Hope you like them!