Blockbluster Double Feature: The Good Dinosaur / Peanuts
I am probably the worst choice to review kids movies. I tend to be pretty open-minded about movies, and I'll give anything a fair shake and at least try to find the merit in it, but I still have my preferences, and more importantly, there are certain types of movies I just don't do as well reviewing. Kids movies are one of those types of movies, I'm much better off talking about gory slasher flicks. Yet somehow I'm reviewing two recent kids movies, both of which were also released in 3D. That last part's not important though, since I watched both in 2D. Anywho, let's get to it.
The Good Dinosaur
Quick Summary: A young dinosaur befriends a young human, as they embark on a journey throughout their world.
Genre: Animation / Adventure / Comedy
Director: Peter Sohn
Cast: Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, Raymond Ochoa
Length: 93 min.
Release Date: 2015-11-25 (USA)
More Info: IMDb
The Good Dinosaur – Official Trailer (Minor Spoilers)
This year we got two movies from Pixar: Inside Out, and now we have The Good Dinosaur. That may be the movie's strongest selling point, given the great box office and critical success of its predecessor. That may also be its most damning too, since while Good Dino is a good kids movie, it's not really a good Pixar movie. By which I mean that I'm sure kids will eat this up, and it's very well done in that regard, but unlike many other Pixar movies, it doesn't hold up as well for adults. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad movie, but it's just okay.
Starting with the story, it's about a young dinosaur named Arlo. He lives on a farm with his family, and since he's the runt of the litter, he has more trouble doing much of the hard labor around the farm. Arlo is also held back by his fears. He wants to leave his mark on his small world by doing something great. Arlo becomes separated from his family and must figure out how to find his way back home. Along the way, he befriends a tiny human, who behaves and follows him like a dog. It's not a very original story, or even an interesting one, which does greatly hinder how compelling it is.
Arlo as a main character is more annoying than anything else. From his voice to some of his mannerisms, but most of all his frequent propensity to scream. And he screams all the fucking time. Jesus titty fucking Christ, shut the fuck up, bitch. On the flip side, at least the tiny human is amusing. I can only assume that his dog-like mannerisms are the creators way of saying that children are no better than dogs, so at least I can agree with the moral of the movie.
The animation for the movie is well done. I'm not a huge fan of the style, but it looks well enough at least.
So it's a good kids movie, and at least a decent movie overall. But it's not the strongest animated film of this time of year, let alone the best of the entire year.
The Peanuts Movie
Quick Summary: Charlie "Blockhead" Brown tries to impress a new girl that just moved to town, seeing it as a chance to re-establish him as something other than a loser.
Genre: Animation / Comedy
Director: Steve Martino
Cast: Noah Schnapp, Bill Melendez, Hadley Belle Miller
Length: 88 min
Release Date: 2015-11-06 (USA), 2015-12-21 (UK)
More Info: IMDb
The Peanuts Movie – Official Trailer (Minor Spoilers)
Like many people, I grew up watching the Peanuts animated movies, so my inner child from long ago was pretty excited to see this film. Even though it's a new film, it still feels pretty nostalgic watching it.
The film opens with a new girl moving to town, and Charlie Brown sees this as an opportunity to reinvent himself as anything other than a loser. Things get off to a bad start for him when he immediately fucks up again and knocks over a fence. From here on the film unfolds over the course of a school year, centering around various school events: a dance, a talent show, a book report, etc. You can probably guess how these events work out for Charlie Brown each time.
The animation for the movie is pretty similar to Good Dino, though I think it works a lot better for Peanuts. The voice work, likewise, is also well done. I don't really have any complaints about either, or much more to say about the matter.
Peanuts is another good kids movie to be released late this year. However, like Dino, it's not the strongest kids movie this year, though it does hold up better. I enjoyed Peanuts more overall, though some of that may just be from nostalgia. Still, it fairs well on its own for what it is.
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