Parents Concerned Over ‘Good Dinosaur’ Subject Matter


Pixar has a new movie in theaters, The Good Dinosaur, which was the highest-grossing new release last weekend — but some parents are upset. How can a Pixar movie be getting complaints from parents?

Andrew Fowler, writing for the Business Insider, says parents are complaining that the film, which has been marketed as an animated film for kids, is not close to being suitable for young children. One parent even wrote that no one under the age of 16 should see Pixar’s newest creation.

The premise is that a dinosaur becomes friends with a human boy. The cute characters are beguiling to children, but the plot thickens.

Some parents are downright angry about the death, attacks on dinosaurs, and emotionally wrenching scenes that are frightening for little kids. It’s not the first time a Pixar film has dealt with dying; the movie Up, which came out in 2009, was criticized as well because for its unappealing, dark opening.

Some critics praised The Good Dinosaur, but parents worried that the boy being treated as and acting like a dog, and a scene where the boy eats fermented fruit and has hallucinations, were too intense for little ones, writes Chris Spargo for the Daily Mail. The fact that the movie was 3-D made the storms, landslides, and flying predators all the more frightening.

And the emotional traumas, like the loss of parents and the loneliness, were told in a straight-forward, unwavering manner. Many parents said they would not take their kids to Disney movies again.

There were excellent reviews as well.

“In addition to letting me cathartically sob my eyes out (always a plus), the survivor’s tale and family/pet/coming-of-age drama showed me images I’d never seen before and perfected scenes that I have seen in other films,’ writes Inkoo Kang in her positive review of the film for The Wrap. ‘The Good Dinosaur isn’t just a holiday treat, but an experience to be savored.”

“The Good Dinosaur isn’t just a holiday treat, but an experience to be savored.”

One seven-year-old boy said he was a big fan of dinosaurs. He found the hallucination scene scary, but very entertaining. He added that the animation was the best he had ever seen.

Another audience member said it was a great family movie, and even though there were some frightening scenes, the ending was positive, and her kids left the theater smiling, writes Czarmecin for the Parent Herald.

Mel Aguilar reports for Food World News that one parent wrote the saga successfully melded Finding Nemo and E.T. and had remarkable visuals. The commenter continued by saying that it taught the values of loyalty and bravery. But, says the parent, it also contains many scenes that are scary to children, like death and danger, and will be frightening to younger and more sensitive audience members.

However, the landscapes in The Good Dinosaur are getting high praise for their highly detailed foreground, midground, and background, says Jody Avirgan for FiveThirtyEight. The detail, in fact, is better than anything else Pixar has done. The reason was that Pixar used real US Geological Survey information to render the landscapes. In effect, the animators were able to re-create the actual horizons, mountains, and streams in what was to become the American West so the director could compose the wide-open shots he needed.