Between the rush of excitement and that Japanese language course you took to help dissect the nuances of the recent Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer, you might have missed The Walt Disney Company sliding another film in under your noses. The Pixar collaboration titled The Good Dinosaur has been brewing in the background for some time. Now, with the kinks worked out of its bones, it will hit theaters, on November 25, 2015, as a sweet Thanksgiving dessert for your youngsters.
We’ll Make Great Pets…
The film follows the adventures of a young Apatosaurus named Arlo, in an alternate history of Earth where the dinosaurs were never wiped out by that pesky meteor. In this universe humankind is evolving alongside the dinosaurs. Tiny cave-ling, Spot, becomes Arlo’s sidekick and puppyish companion. I’m partial to the feral kid, who apparently would give his cinematic progenitor Francois Truffaut’s The Wild Child (Victor of Aveyron) a run for his choppers.
Production art reveals that the Pixar design team juxtaposes incredible natural vistas of a prehistoric Wyoming, with the cartoonish style of their characters to great effect. Those natural wonders, for better or worse, become a driving force the plot line.
Infusing the dinosaurs with anthropomorphic characteristics allowed the filmmakers to create a ‘little boy lost” scenario that the young target audience should identify with. There’s a whole new generation – or three – to assimilate this tried and true coming of age, quest for home, story motif. I’m thinking they’ll be a heaping helping of Bambi style pathos, which we also saw in the original The Land Before Time from Don Bluth Studios. Moms and Dads bring extra hankies – for yourselves.
I had an instant affinity for the characters. Maybe it’s just me, but the look of the animated cast reminds me of the style of artist Paul Coker Jr.. He’s one of my favorite illustrators and his work in Mad Magazine, especially his illustrations for the recurring Horrifying Cliches, I still cherish and laugh out loud at. His character designs for the beloved series of stop motion holiday specials produced by Rankin and Bass (Santa Claus is Coming To Town, Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer) continue to entertain every season. In addition Butch the T-Rex (voiced by Sam Elliot) reminds me of the chunky, jut-jawed Tyrannosaurus painted by dinosaur artist Charles Knight, famous for his early depictions of saurians in Manhattan’s Museum of Natural History.
TOMY Toys’ Good Dino Gifts…
At the recent Holiday of Play event, Toy Insider and Woman’s Day magazines kicked off the 2015 gifting season with a look at the newest and best toys hitting the shelves. The folks from TOMY Toys were on hand to show off their really fun line of The Good Dinosaur items.
The well crafted products range in size from the tiny animals you can perch in Styracosaurus Forrest Woodbush‘s horns, to a big galloping and roaring Butch T-Rex.
In the spirit of The Good Dinosaur‘s Thanksgiving Day release The Disney Company has partnered with Feeding America to help those in need. Visit Disney’s Citizenship Site. “Be Inspired” to see how you can help others in very simple ways.
Please consider putting one of the very current TOMY goodies into your local toy drive. A plush “Spot” might be just the companion to help a child “be brave” in circumstances beyond their control.
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