The Good Dinosaur

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Re: The Good Dinosaur

Post by Vernadyn » December 6th, 2015, 3:47 am

Dacey wrote:In fact, in many ways, I think it was far and away Pixar's most intense movie to date.
I don't know if I'd go that far. I'd personally rate A Bug's Life and The Incredibles as more intense. The former features Hopper, Thumper (not the rabbit), and a truly edge-of-your-seat climax. As for the latter, we know from films such as Kung Fu Panda and Man of Steel that it can be difficult to create a sense of true jeopardy when your characters have superpowers (or might as well have superpowers, as in the Fast and Furious franchise). So it's that more impressive that Bird pulled it off. Just take the missile lock sequence, for example, or the scene when Bob, thinking his family is dead, confronts Mirage. Sure, those films have their share of lighthearted, humorous moments as well, but not any more than The Good Dinosaur did.

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Re: The Good Dinosaur

Post by Dacey » December 6th, 2015, 10:26 am

Which is why I clarified that the reason I felt that way may have been because the film's heroes were both (young) kids. ;)
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Re: The Good Dinosaur

Post by Vernadyn » December 6th, 2015, 8:29 pm

Fair enough. To be honest, though, I didn't really see Spot as a human child, but as a dog. Not that I'm heartless towards dogs--I own a black Lab, in fact--but I like dogs when they look like, you know, dogs. I guess it's my own weird sense of cognitive dissonance (that's probably the wrong term, but whatever) that doesn't allow me to empathize quite as much with human characters who act like animals, but does allow me to empathize with anthropomorphic animals.

It can be risky to portray kids in peril because it can come across as manipulative and tacky. But I do think that The Good Dinosaur avoided falling into that trap. (Then again, I'm aware that my tastes can be odd--Patriot Games isn't a movie people would normally think about when talking about kids in peril, but that scene when Sean Bean is trying to pursue and kill Harrison Ford's family definitely left me with sweaty palms because I genuinely had no idea whether Thora Birch was going to die.)

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Re: The Good Dinosaur

Post by Ben » December 7th, 2015, 2:17 am

I think him being named Spot makes it pretty clear he's supposed to be a dog-substitute...! ;)

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Re: The Good Dinosaur

Post by Vernadyn » December 7th, 2015, 3:30 am

Yeah. I was just saying that I'd have related more with Spot if he'd been either a human that acted like a human, or a dog (or other critter) that acted like a dog. I guess a dog that acted like a human would've been OK too, but that probably would've made him too similar to Arlo who, after all, is a dinosaur who acts like a human.

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Re: The Good Dinosaur

Post by Ben » December 7th, 2015, 8:54 am

But he's a prehistoric human, right? So he would be fairly animalistic, and the dog analogy makes more sense seeing that Arlo is "human"...?

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Re: The Good Dinosaur

Post by EricJ » December 8th, 2015, 1:40 am

And as the reliable Jim Hill tells us :lol: , there was a completely different reason for his being named "Spot" in the abandoned early draft:
http://jimhillmedia.com/editor_in_chief ... -film.aspx

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Re: The Good Dinosaur

Post by Vernadyn » December 8th, 2015, 1:55 am

Well, I'm not denying that the choice to make Spot act like he did worked in the world of the movie. It's just that I find it hard to relate to primitive/animalistic/feral human characters in general. That kid in The Croods was basically Stitch, but I like Stitch much more. (Granted, there are a host of other reasons why Stitch is a better character besides his species.) However, I was fine with Tarzan because, although he moved in an animal-like manner, his actual behavior wasn't that primitive.

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Re: The Good Dinosaur

Post by Vernadyn » December 8th, 2015, 5:09 am

I don't want to turn this thread into "Why Vernadyn Couldn't Really Relate to Spot," so I'll mention my thoughts on Mychael and Jeff Danna's score. In his review, James mentioned that "You might not walk out humming the music," and I concur. I couldn't really recall any themes after I saw the movie like I usually can with Giacchino's Pixar scores or Randy Newman's better efforts. (I love Thomas Newman too, but his music is more about color, texture, and rhythm, though some of his live-action scores show that he can write melodies with the best of them.)

After listening to the score on its own, I did pick out four major themes (for Arlo, Spot, Arlo's homestead, and Arlo's family), a "loss" theme that only appears twice, and the Western-styled T-Rex theme. However, the three Arlo themes start out similarly, which I guess makes sense, but it does hinder their memorability factor a bit. The T-Rex theme is the most memorable, but it only appears three times, and even then it's no Magnificent Seven, The Big Country, How the West Was Won, or Silverado.

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Re: The Good Dinosaur

Post by Ben » December 8th, 2015, 1:50 pm

(Vernadyn reminds Ben that he still needs to pick up the Inside Out soundtrack.) :)

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Re: The Good Dinosaur

Post by ShyViolet » December 9th, 2015, 9:50 am

“I want it all—the terrifying lows, the dizzying highs, the creamy middles!”

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Re: The Good Dinosaur

Post by Dacey » December 9th, 2015, 11:11 am

That sounds like something that was written by someone who literally has no idea how the box office works.

The movie is fourth on the list of best Thanksgiving opening weekends of all time. That's nothing to sneeze at, especially since it is the busiest moviegoing weekend of the year. Also, holiday break is coming. That will literally give The Good Dinosaur two straight weeks of Saturdays. Not everyone is going to be see Star Wars 10 times, so this will work as counter programming (Frozen made roughly $175 million of its $400 gross over that period).

But, really, this just feels like people wanting to be able to report that Pixar finally has a bomb, when that's nonsense when with international grosses, home video, and toy sales (to say nothing of a domestic take that is probably going to approach $180 million), this is going to end up being profitable.
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Re: The Good Dinosaur

Post by Ben » December 9th, 2015, 7:35 pm

Well, to be fair, the headline is sensationalist but they do clarify it as a "failure" rather than a bomb in the story itself. And, being honest, that's what this is. At any rate, it is not a "hit film".

An opening is one thing, but it's the life of the movie that matters. It could pick up again during the holiday but any luster it had has gone whole families stock up and wait for Star Wars or catch another family flick.

They actually get their figures wrong, though: if Dinosaur cost $200m and $150m to market then it needs to clear at least $600m to turn a theatrical profit, if not more. Of course ancillary markets will help, but while we can't call it a "bomb", maybe a "disappointment" is more the correct word...it certainly isn't an unqualified success.

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Re: The Good Dinosaur

Post by Bill1978 » December 9th, 2015, 10:47 pm

Just being facetious here, but it now officially only dropped to 3rd place which is one drop. Maybe the article should upgrade all the words of failure to disappointment. ;)

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Re: The Good Dinosaur

Post by Dacey » December 9th, 2015, 10:55 pm

With $75 million in the bank already (and then some), I don't see this not outgrossing A Bug's Life's $160 million. Especially since that movie had a much stronger marketing push (seriously, I wouldn't be surprised if I one day learned it was Disney's most marketed movie ever. It was literally everywhere).
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift--that is why it's called the present."

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