Wonders truly never cease, especially if you’re a parent. My son, who belongs more to the “Second Chance” demographic than to a Disney or Pixar movie, brought me to see the latest Pixar release, “The Good Dinosaur”—a move both mom and son never regretted.
Parents, take your kids (from those of primary-school age to young-adult age like my son) to this movie which I hope is still showing in cinemas.
This awesome animation has a most amusing start—the asteroid that was supposed to have wiped out dinosaurs into extinction misses, and so the dinosaurs live on.
A family of apatosaurus lives at the foot of the mountain, tending a farm. Father and mother (voiced by Jeffrey Wright and Frances McDormand, respectively) raise their three kids, the youngest of whom, Arlo, is most wimpy, dependent and fragile. He fumbles in each task given him and thus is never able to stand on his own.
But he is also most kind, and has a good heart.
A tragedy thrusts him out into the outside world where he meets the evil and the good, the kind souls and the predators. In a most oblique way, a “critter” named Spot figures in his life and dinosaur and critter—the big guy and the pesky creature—go through an adventure that is action-packed, visually and emotionally riveting. The details of this animation feature are simply jaw-dropping.
We won’t go into the details of the story lest we spoil your time. It’s enough that you know the kids, especially early on in the story, will squeal in delight. In the cinema we went to, a few kids in the audience were so drawn to the unfolding story that they were even talking back—aloud. It was fun watching them and listening to their commentary.
This is so unlike “Inside Out,” which was rather emotionally complex, and thus not a few kids in the audience, we noticed, were quite bewildered and thus watched in silence, trying to process in their young minds what was going on.
“The Good Dinosaur” is heartwarming storytelling, with exciting scenes and poignant moments.
Your kids will pick up the following slices of life:
Tragedy and loss. Sooner or later, you lose a loved one. How you draw courage from loss is what could define your life.
Kindness. Your act of kindness resonates in the universe, especially in yours. It goes back to you, some time.
Don’t ignore the little people in your lives. Sometimes it’s they—not the big, powerful ones—who save you.
Your parents stay with you through eternity. They don’t really leave you. So listen to them and obey them.
Keep on trying until you succeed. No task should be daunting.
Be brave. Cowardice is just a fleeting moment.
Be able to live with fear, not in fear. Fear will always be there. Arlo is always afraid; it’s how he learns to deal with it alone that makes the movie exciting.
Bring your kids to “The Good Dinosaur.” Hopefully, it will balance off the sound bites they get from the likes of Duterte.