Movie Review: Pixar goes both simpler and stranger than usual with The Good Dinosaur

The Good Dinosaur may be the oddest duck in the whole Pixar menagerie. Arriving 18 months behind schedule, and just five after the ecstatically received Inside Out, it’s at once an enormously sophisticated visual achievement—just look at the way water ripples, the way light bounces—and maybe the simplest story the Bay Area animation studio has ever told. Pixar’s 16th feature promises to transport viewers to an age when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, and yet it’s so curiously low on the big scaly attractions that the singularity of the title almost seems like a warning, if not a confession. The dinosaurs we do see, meanwhile, are strangely cartoonish, in sharp contrast to the photorealistic environments they trudge through. And for a film with such a plainly adolescent appeal, The Good Dinosaur also has its fair share of deranged moments, including the most surreal kiddie-flick drug trip …

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