Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The First Trailer For "The Good Dinosaur" is Fun Historical Rewriting

This is going to be a great year for fans of archaeology. With Jurassic World weeks away, it has recaptured audience's interest in the creatures that once walked this Earth. However, there's another one out there for those looking for a lighter, friendlier take on dinosaurs. Coming this Fall, it's the return of Pixar with their second film of the year following this month's Inside Out. With the first trailer released for director Peter Sohn's The Good Dinosaur, we get a sense of what to expect if things didn't go according to plan. It may not have much, but it definitely has enough to get me excited.

As fans of Pixar will likely know, the studio has been absent from theaters since the 2013 prequel Monster's University. While the film featured decent reviews, it was only more fuel for those claiming that Pixar was running out of steam. Even its absence from the Best Animated Film category - only the second time since the category's induction after Cars 2 - showed some concern. Even parent company Disney has been showing personal threat in recent years with Frozen and Big Hero 6. While it is unlikely to influence the studio's reputation, it does raise curiosity of what's to come with their first double release in one year that are radically different in subject.

While it is likely that you have been bombarded with ads for the promising Inside Out, Pixar has begun to roll out work for their next film set for a November 25 release date. With the first trailer, we get a sense of what this film is going to provide, at least what it's catalyst is. It plans to rewrite history and provide something far different from what we'd suspect.

If there is one initial complaint that some will have, it's that certain character designs aren't that realistic. While there are some figures that look consistent, there are some that resemble children's book versions. This isn't a problem for me, as I am more interested to see what they will do with the story. Still, to see dinosaurs jumping over mountains and ignoring comets passing by are nice little comical moments that give me some hope that this film will have a nice winking presence without being too isolating to its audience. If one needs to find a counterargument for figures that look more realistic, consult Disney's own Dinosaur; a film with a conflicted production history and a fairly maligned reputation. Of course, that was in 2000. Things could easily have changed by now.

It is too early to really determine if Pixar is set to have both of its films be entered into the Best Animated Film category as finalists. It would be an achievement, though since Monster's University proved to not make the cut, it may be a 50/50 split. There's no denying that these films will likely be two of the most noteworthy of 2015. The bigger question is which will be better (I am rooting for Inside Out). Until then, it looks like it's time to care about Pixar again and get a whole lot of coverage out of them. 

So what do you think about The Good Dinosaur's first trailer? Does it look like it lives up to a potentially great new movie from the reliable studio, or do you remain kind of skeptical? 

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