The Good Dinosaur

ANIMATION; 1hr 41min

VOICES BY: Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, Raymond Ochoa, Jack Bright

Eye spy: Arlo and Spot

In a gently reimagined Pixarverse, after being spared an obliterative asteroid, Apatosaurus have evolved into English-speaking corn farmers, specifically Momma (voiced by McDormand), Poppa (Wright) and their three sprogs, can-do Buck and Libby and their other, puny guy, Arlo (Ochoa). Arlo's wussiness is a minor worry at best and a crippling curse at worst. "Sometimes you've gotta get through your fear to see the beauty on the other side," Poppa urges his quivering youngest, to no avail. That leap of faith might never have happened, either, if Arlo hadn't found himself a long way from home with nobody but a vaguely creepy, doglike child (Bright as Spot) between him and extinction.


If Arlo and Co are comic-strip colour and movement, their scrupulously detailed hunting ground is vibrantly alive, right down to the last, windblown blade of grass. Its luxuriance is the crowning glory in an essentially visual and ploddingly serious-minded coming-of-ager. Survival in the wild is a life/death business, after all, and unlike the anarchic lunacy of Pixar's Inside Out, Arlo's boy-to-(dino)man transition is no laughing matter.