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The Good Dinosaur (Blu-ray Review)

Good-DinosaurFrom the innovative minds of Disney•Pixar comes a hilariously heartwarming adventure about the power of confronting and overcoming your fears and discovering who you are meant to be. The Good Dinosaur asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely, and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? In this epic journey into the world of dinosaurs, an apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of. The perfect adventure for the whole family stampedes home on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere February 23.

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The Good Dinosaur asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely, and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? In this epic journey into the world of dinosaurs, an apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of.

Coming off pretty much something in the masterpiece territory like Inside Out means you’re kinda bound to stumble right?  The Good Dinosaur isn’t a bad film at all, but coming just months after Disney’s highly successful summer opus makes it look even more like a significant step down.  Time and getting further from context might serve the film better, which is good because its definitely solid.

Where the problem lies is in The Good Dinosaur’s originality.  Its not a crime or something Pixar hasn’t done before.  If you notice, their films tend to very much follow older live action film narratives.  But, where those are clever with how they do thing, this one is a bit more obvious.  You instantly see The Lion King, True Grit, The Jungle Book and others, while having a hard time giving The Good Dinosaur any credit in making its own mark.

Don’t take that the wrong way though, the film isn’t bad.  As a matter of fact, its quite enjoyable.  With Pixar movies, you just expect a little more.  My kids really enjoyed it, and as a parent looking into whether or not this is something to look into, that’s endorsement enough.  The film features some fun friendship stuff as well as some really terrific animation when it comes to the terrains in the film.  As some might say, “It’s fine”.

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Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Clarity/Detail:  No duh, this one looks marvelous.  The animation style here is a simple one when it comes to the characters in the film.  Where it really impresses is all of the terrains.  The detail on dirt surfaces, grass, mountains, water, rock…its all really damn impressive.  Not just the display but the animation as well.  Its very lifelike and this transfer does it major justice.

Depth:  This film was released in 3-D, but being a fully CGI feature, you already know this one does well with depth.  Movements are smooth.  Backgrounds have good fine detail to them.

Black Levels:  Blacks are deep and inky.  No crushing witnessed.  Expertly used in sharpening and shadowing.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are quite beautifully displayed.  Green is the star player here, but the palette on display gets a rich presentation full of many tints and shades.  Everything pops and takes on a vibrant (intended) quality.

Flesh Tones:  N/A

Noise/Artifacts:  Clean

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Audio Format(s): English 7.1 DTS-HD MA, English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English 2.0, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish

Dynamics:  Here is another Pixar 7.1 mix that is both exciting and the definition of being “demo worthy”.  The track is loose, methodically blending, full sounding and plenty engaging.  The movie may just be all right, but this audio mix is top notch.

Low Frequency Extension:  Plenty to write home about here, and lots of usage too.  First off, the dinosaurs clip clop with boom boom boom from your subwoofer.  There are also roars, stampedes, boulders piling on one another, waves of water crashing and much more in this awesome LFE portion of the mix.

Surround Sound Presentation:  Lots of action going on here.  During stormy situations and bad weather, you’re consumed from every angle with different sounds of destruction and impending doom.  Motion and character/action placement is perfectly set in the mix.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogue is crisp and clear.  Every piece of diction is captured.

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Extras Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-0

The Good Dinosaur comes with both a DVD copy and UltraViolet Digital Copy of the film.

Audio Commentary

  • With Director Peter Sohn, Story Supervisor Kelsey Mann, Animation Supervisor Mike Venturini, Director of Photography, Lighting Sharon Calahan, and Supervising Technical Director Sanjay Bakshi

Sanjay’s Super Team (HD, 7:07) – A Pixar short that probably aired before the film in theaters.

True Lies About Dinosaurs (HD, 1:56) – A little bit for kids, letting them know the obvious fiction of the film.

Recyclosaurus (HD, 6:19) – A piece on the competition that went on at the Pixar office during the production of the film to make a dinosaur out of trash and unwanted objects.

The Filmmakers’ Journey (HD, 7:54) – A little making of mini-doc, split into 6 chapters, about the film getting delayed and having to come up with starting after a turnover.  A lot of it is about the film’s director.

Every Part Of The Dinosaur (HD, 6:08) – The filmmakers talk about the special animation challenges – including figuring out how to animate a dinosaur who’s really a boy, and a boy who’s got the spirit of a dog.

Following The T-Rex Trail (HD, 6:58) – Follow the filmmakers as they travel to a working cattle ranch and meet the McKays, a close-knit family whose work ethic, generosity, and stories inspired the T-Rex ranchers of the film.

Deleted Scenes (HD, 10:41) 

Dino Bites (HD, 4:15) – Montage of original animated pieces produced to promote The Good Dinosaur.

Hide And Seek (HD, :59) – A short animated clip produced to promote The Good Dinosaur.

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Summary Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-_5

The Good Dinosaur’s biggest crime, I suppose, is just being merely a decent and solid film.  Which is something that is tough for people to accept nowadays.  Sitting in the shadow of Inside Out doesn’t help either.  This Blu-ray though, is far more than decent.  It has outstanding video and audio as well as a really terrific collection of featurettes that are both informative and pretty personal.  Bottom line; if you have children, this is a terrific pickup for something new for them.  And if you’re a fan of this movie, the release does is some good justice.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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