Pixar's The Good Dinosaur movie logoPixar‘s The Good Dinosaur, a great new animated movie for all ages, opens this week in theaters. The film begins with the premise of what if the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs missed the Earth. This in turn allows dinosaurs to still be around when humans appeared on the scene. The Good Dinosaur is looking to be a major hit for Pixar, though there’s a risk it will get lost in the commotion for the new Star Wars movie which releases less than a month later. It would be a shame if this happened and animation fans of any age should be sure to see this movie. The remainder of this article will go into a little bit of the story and we’ll meet some of the characters. There are no major spoilers here, but if you don’t want to know anything about the story or the characters, then go see the film before reading on.

I recently had an opportunity to see a 10 minute preview of the movie before it’s theatrical release and it was extremely impressive. The CG backgrounds, landscapes and foliage begin to approach a beautiful photorealistic look that creates expansive breathtaking vistas, while the characters retain a softer more kid-friendly toony look but are still intriguing for audience members of all ages. Like all Pixar movies, The Good Dinosaur consists of a wonderful mixture of both humor and heart that all ages can find appealing.

Background scenery from the movie The Good Dinosaur

Arlo and Spot from Pixar's The Good DinosaurThe story follows the journey of a young dinosaur named Arlo as he tries to get back home to his family after having been swept away in a huge flash flood. Along the way, Arlo meets a human child whom he names Spot. Now, normally a “caveman era story” would have the human character keeping the dinosaur as a pet, but Pixar flipped it around. In The Good Dinosaur, it’s the dinosaurs who talk and lead the way while the human child makes animal noises and is more or less Arlo’s pet-like companion. This gives the movie a fresh take on the whole thing and avoids the cliches of most other animated dinosaur movies.


Along their journey, Arlo and Spot encounter a trio of T-Rex dinosaurs lead by Butch, who you might think would be the villains (since that’s the usual cliche) but turn out to be rather hospitable. Accompanying Butch are Ramsy and Nash, and together the three herd prehistoric long horn type cattle (or maybe buffalo) as any cowboy would. Butch is even voiced by Sam Elliott, whose deep resonant voice and Western drawl landed him frequent live action movie roles as a cowboy or rancher.  Adults will find it both intriguing and amusing when what you initially thought would be a fairly standard talking dinosaur movie suddenly takes a turn and becomes something of a Western cowboy movie.

Characters from Pixar's The Good Dinosaur movie featuring Butch, Nash, Ramsy, Arlo and Spot

Even more intriguing is when we learn that their herd is threatened by cattle rustlers who are a pack of velociraptors lead by Bubbha. In the true Western movie fashion, when Bubbha first confronts Arlo, he introduces himself with a rather menacing outlaw style “howdy”. The juxtaposition of talking dinosaurs and Western movie motifs is both wonderfully fresh and amusing, and makes the whole movie that much more fun.

Pixar's The Good Dinosaur movie: Arlo meets the raptors

characters from Pixar's The Good Dinosaur movie


That’s all I’m going to reveal about the characters and the story. Go see the movie to meet all the characters and experience the full story.

As would be expected, a large variety of merchandise is already out for The Good Dinosaur. High quality plush toys of Arlo, Butch and Spot are available. Here’s what they look like. Click any image to learn more.

Butch-plush-The-Good-Dinosaur Spot-plush-The-Good-Dinosaur Arlo-Plush-The-Good-Dinosaur

Action figures of all the major characters are also available. Click an image for more details on each:

Butch action figure from Pixar's The Good Dinosaur Ramsy action figure from Pixar's The Good Dinosaur Bubbha action figure from Pixar's The Good Dinosaur Will action figure from Pixar's The Good Dinosaur Arlo action figure from Pixar's The Good Dinosaur


A good variety of books are also out now, including a really great behind the scenes style book about the production of the movie called The Art of the Good Dinosaur. Click any image for more details on the item.

The Art of the Good Dinosaur Pixar movie The Good Dinosaur Little Golden Book The Good Dinosaur Big Golden Book Pixar The Good Dinosaur Ultimate Sticker Book Pixar The Good Dinosaur Crash Boom Roar book Pixar The Good Dinosaur Creatures and Critters Jumbo Coloring Book Pixar The Good Dinosaur The Essential Guide Book Pixar The Good Dinosaur Adventures with Arlo Book Pixar

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