The Good Dinosaur completely rewrites the visual book.
There were legitimately certain shots, particularly at the beginning of the movie and again during the end credits, where I would have sworn I was watching live action backgrounds.
Fifteen years ago, Disney did exactly that with Dinosaur, which used real locations with CG dinosaurs... however a lot has changed in that time and this movie shows off just what can be done with CG. From water effects to trees and grass and clouds to the stunning eyes of the human character, this movie is so stunningly beautiful I really don't have the words to describe it.
But my hat goes off to all the people at Pixar responsible for making every leaf, every flower, ever tree look as good as it could possibly look, and then some.
The story owes more than a little bit to The Lion King at times, but is essentially your standard Hero's Journey tale of an Apatosaurus called Arlo trying to find his way home with his human "pet", Spot.
While it's an emotional and affecting story, if the movie has a flaw, that's where it is... if only because it's a story we've seen a million variations of.
Having said that, if anyone can take something like that and make it still interesting to an audience, then it's Pixar... they also know how to push the emotional buttons and I did tear up a few times, and cried towards the end.
yani's rating: 4 critters out of 5