Thoughts on the First Teaser for ‘The Good Dinosaur’

good dinosaur teaser

It’s been a busy week, so I’m just now getting a chance to share my thoughts on The Good Dinosaur teaser that came out this week. And I have a lot to say for a teaser barely a minute long.
This is a tough movie to talk about due to the unusual air of mystery around it. But we finally have something to talk about, now that the movie is just several months away. But I’m sure you’re all wondering the same thing: Does it look good?

I’m more impressed by the visuals than some other people seem to be. Though the dinosaurs themselves are a little cartoonish (that T-rex looks a lot like the one in Meet the Robinsons), the scenery looks well-polished. That first scene with the asteroids shows off some impressive textures, for example.

good dinosaur teaser

This is a teaser, so we got more concept than story. The Good Dinosaur is based on the premise: What if dinosaurs were never wiped out by a planet-shattering asteroid?

Pixar’s response is that this would have led to an age of intelligent dinosaurs living alongside humans, though for reasons I’m sure we’ll learn about later. The basic implications of this definitely interest me so far.

As many of you know, my general Pixar theory states that animals are intentionally smart creatures, so it would make sense (in the Pixarverse) that millions of years of life would lead to the most powerful creatures on Earth being as intelligent, if not more intelligent, than humans. Also, we can probably expect to see the origins of the Dinoco logo, though that may be wishful thinking.

good dinosaur teaser

The comedic timing in this teaser is dead on, which is a good sign. But I’m a little disappointed that they messed up the way Earth would look millions of years ago. Before the asteroid hit, the continents as we know them were not split and shaped like that. Seeing Pangea would have been a nice touch, and Pixar usually excels in this area.

I’m cautiously optimistic about this movie. The fact that we’ve seen so little for it compared to Inside Out combined with this getting pushed to this year from 2014 make me anxious. It’s no secret the film has had production issues, and this is Peter Sohn’s directorial debut for a feature film. The film could honestly go the way of Brave: Excellent concept, but messy delivery.

good dinosaur teaser

Don’t get me wrong. I have faith in Pixar’s creative teams (Bob Peterson had a hand in writing the story), and production troubles haven’t always led to poor movies (think Ratatouille).

I honestly think the film was moved to November and in the same year as Inside Out because it can serve as Disney’s “other” animated film of the year. They’ve led the holiday season with animated movies like Frozen and last year’s Big Hero 6 for several years in a row, but they don’t have a big budget animated feature planned this year. Except for The Good Dinosaur. Knowing John Lasseter, that’s not unintentional.

Let’s just hope that Jurassic World is good enough to reignite interest in dinosaur movies, but not so good that people go into The Good Dinosaur with the wrong expectations.

“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? Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where 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.

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14 thoughts

  1. I agree with a lot of what you said. Personally, I think because this movie doesn’t have Brad Bird to sort of bail it out like Ratatouille did, it’ll end up being closer to Brave quality. That’s not a bad thing though.

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  2. I’m really curious about this movie. No doubt it will be enjoyable and funny…I love how carefree the dinosaurs were as the asteroid flew by. It’s interesting that it’s set in a “pre-historic” age. I wonder how they will work on the intelligence qualities. As you can tell I have plenty of questions so I definitely can’t wait to see how it turns out 🙂 Great read Jon, love the new logo and site design!

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  3. This concept reminds me of the Doctor Who episode, Turn Left, where Donna makes an every day decision that somehow changes the course of time.
    I could see the asteroid missing the earth timeline completely possible because of a many worlds theory stating that there is a future and world set for every choice made, but the one we choose is the one we live in. Sounds psychological, but it is true.

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  4. You said that it was not the way the continents shaped up 65 million years ago, but that not long ago the Earth was not Pangea, but a bunch of continents that look similar to today’s continents.
    Although not perfect, no one really knew what Earth looked like 65 million years ago, but what I know is that is is NOT Pangea, and there is no way to clearly know what Earth looked like all those years ago, so the Pixar animators made an close estimate to what it looked like back then.

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    1. Not sure where you’re getting your info…Pangea was almost certainly a real thing, it’s just a matter of the time period. The continents fit perfectly together, and plenty of evidence exists to prove there was a consistent land mass.

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    2. I was thinking the same thing. The continents were different, but resembled our current state more then one massive continent.

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    3. We do know that it was not Pangaea, yes but the global configuration was still pretty different from the one we have now (India was an isolated island, parts of Africa and North America were underwater, although by about 65 million years these continental seaways were drying up, and much of Europe was a massive archipelago) but the continents had split. So the movie takes place many millions of years after the asteroid. The Tyrannosaurus seems to be chasing long-horned bison, an animal from the ice age of North America 🙂 plus there are…well, I’ll call the kid a Homo sapiens…just an um…FYI on my part…

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  5. I like the green apatasouros logo with the handprint on it. That’s like saying a tiny human changed a dinosaur. 😮 Also, I didn’t see any other humans except Spot in the trailer. Is that suggesting that humans are rare because the dinosaurs ate most of them? Or did they just not show any humans in the trailer? What do you guys think?

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  6. I could see this film heading towards a silent type of film where they dialogue is rare or ambiguous and they communicate through gestures and grunting…but it may include a lot of emotional elements pertaining to humans and their co-existence with dinosaurs. Despite that, I doubt the story will be juvenile, and more complex with possibly the psychological evolution of dinosaurs; but atlas we never know what Pixar has in stock for us…

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  7. The thing about Pangea is that I’m pretty sure this movie takes place several million years after the meteor missed the Earth (after all how would humans have time to evolve), so the continents would be between Pangea and what it is like now, and if you like closely enough, it is. It’s not quite fully separate, yet not fully together either.

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  8. As stated by others, your information on paleogeology is a bit stereotypical.
    From the trailer, we see that the meteor passes over a herd of sauropods and hadrosaurs. The hadrosaurs’ crests are far too distinctive to be anything but Parasaurolophus. Parasaurolophus lived in the late Cretaceous.
    Simpler yet, the asteroid impact happened at the very end of the Cretaceous so…there you go.

    I’m actually SUPER impressed with their portrayal of Cretaceous continents. The show what I assume is supposed to be something like the inland sea that was present in the very distinctive shape of North America, as well as mesoamerica, though not quite touching South America, as it would’ve been. They also show Spain as an island, which is a little cool detail.
    In short, in fact, the continents they show are very accurate for the time period!

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