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dvd / blu-ray

The Good Dinosaur (BluRay): Review

Film

What if the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs was a near-miss? And what if instead of having nearly all life on Earth obliterating, the dinosaurs lived on, and took on activities more akin to humans (farming, ranching, speaking)? The Good Dinosaur looks at this “what-if” in a stunning animation from Disney and Pixar.

As with all the Disney / Pixar films, The Good Dinosaur is no exception to great characters, detailed animation, great story and enough to keep any child or adult (or childish adult) entertained.

Young Arlo is on an adventure to finally earn the right to “leave his mark”. Soon after Along the way he meets Spot, a human child separated from his family.

The animation and scenery is candy to the eye, a totally engrossing soundtrack, some very cute and some extremely funny moments. But overall, a great family film, as one would expect from the high calibre of filmmakers involved in the project. This is yet another film that should certainly be part of any home collection.

While The Good Dinosaur is a very straight forward story, no big plot twists, no complicated dialogue or monologues, and nothing that would go too much over the top of the heads of little ones, it has a story for the older generation too. And this story is rather engrossing. Parents would be wise to follow the PG rating, as there are a few scenes with big mouths and many teeth. Nothing intended as scary, but know what your child is watching (including a scene where young Spot pulls the head off an insect). The Good Dinosaur is a fun family evening.

Disc

The usual high quality, packed to the T-Rex brim, disc from Disney, with a plethora of bonus material to go along with a great movie.

The Good Dinosaur is available now, to purchase on disc, in South Africa.

Video

Video is encoded at a high bitrate, with no visible artefacts on screen. The video is stable and crisp, with vibrant colours, even in fast paced scenes. The colours really bring the world to life, even in the browns of the open plains. These, however, really shine in the greens of the more dense foliage in some parts of the film.

Audio

Audio is presented in a choice of 7.1, 5.1, 2.0 and 2.0 descriptive. The 7.1 mix really brings the on-screen world alive, further drawing the viewer into scenes, and expanding the action.

The soundtrack is encoded at a high bitrate, giving clear audio, which sounds especially great on the right theatre setup.

There are also a selection of subtitle languages to choose from.

Navigation

Navigation is simple, and easy to use. The menu background shows some of the more abstract scenes of the movie, choosing rather to share these astounding animated environments, rather than any dialogue or potential spoilers from the film itself.

Features

Sanjay’s Super Team – A short film about Sanjay. Unrelated to The Good Dinosaur movie, but a sweet animation short.

True Lies About Dinosaurs – Explaining the creative licence of the main feature, in a way the little ones can understand, with some facts adding some interesting educational value. This short feature also includes some history, as scientists assume it was, as far as dinosaurs go.

Recyclosaurs – A fun look behind the scenes of the fun and games that come with working for a creative company such as Pixar, covering the competition for The Good Dinosaur where departments are challenged to create a dinosaur out of old, unwanted household items.

The Filmmakers’ Journey – The journey of the team, from their on-location research in nature and the open, detailing the interaction of animals, herding, and how this is different to the urban life most are used to. The feature takes us all the way into the viewing room, and how changes are communicated, to get the best possible scenes from all involved, and to realise the directors vision.

Every Part Of The Dinosaur – The animators share their insights and work methodology with us, showing the rough work before the many additional render passes, up to how those eventually look in the final film. The team share what it takes to bring the characters to life, and how they can create a dinosaur, without an actual extinct creature to model.

Following The T-Rex Trail – We get a closer look at the T-Rex family ranchers. The filmmakers were on location in Oregon with a family of ranchers, to experience the intricacies, and way of ranching. for themselves.

Audio Commentary – Watch the film, with commentary by the filmmakers themselves. Commentaries are something that are lacking on many discs these days, with some filmmakers hesitant to share the tricks of their trade, while others are only to eager to pass on a portion of knowledge to the next generation of up and coming in film. A welcome addition, especially for an animation.

Dino Bites – As the name says, it’s Dino’s, biting. A short compilation video of the characters and creatures from the film, biting. As simple as that.

Hide And Seek – A cute and fun promotional clip, with Spot and Arlo playing hide and seek. Not the easiest thing for a large dinosaur. This is bound to bring a few giggles from little ones, and a many adults, alike.

Trailers – Some trailers for the film, to watch before, or after you’ve enjoyed the main feature.

Info – If you wish to reread all the legal jargon that you didn’t have time to read when the disc first loaded.

Other than all these great additions, under the setup menu there is an option that will assist in setting up a home theatre system, calibrating the audio and video through the use of test tones and images, with helpful on-screen text to guide the viewer.

Last, but not least, there are some sneak peaks to other features.

By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB, Andrew has worked full time in the film industry since the early 2000's. He has trained as an actor, completing his LAMDA Gold Medal, and attending many courses in Cape Town acting studios, with masterclasses with some of the international industries top directors, producers and filmmakers.

Working as an actor and armourer in the film and television industry have given Andrew a great balance of skills across the board when it comes to the entertainment industry.

Catch him on Twitter: twitter.com/andrewgerm_za
And IMDb: www.imdb.com/name/nm5390453/