(Peter Sohn, 2015)
The Good Dinosaur plays almost like the Pixar equivalent of a b-movie. That is to say it is made with all the care and craft lavished on each Pixar film, but it feels like more of a genre piece than most. It is an adventure film for 6-year olds, basically a quest Western with dinosaurs following young Arlo as he seeks to find his way back home to his (Apatosaurus) family ranch after being swept away in the nearby river. Along the way he encounters various oddball characters in the wilderness, including a family of T-Rexs led by Sam Elliott who ranch buffalo, some cultish hyena-like Pterodactyls (led by Steve Zahn) and a human boy who he names Spot. They bond as they go, of course. For a Pixar film, this is surprisingly light on gags. Instead, it focuses on visual spectacle, and a couple of scenes of appealing oddness - the "trip" sequence is something I never thought I'd see in a children's film. The action scenes are intense and exciting, with nature itself as the big bad. It is classy, beautiful, and it works.