Disney/Pixar’s Thanksgiving 2015 film the Good Dinosaur comes to home video and Disney Movies Anywhere today. The film is released in Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, and Digital Video as well as several combinations of these. For more technical details on the options here is the original press release.
In a sentence the film is a coming of age journey for Arlo (a Dinosaur) as he seeks his way back to his family. The movie is based on the question of what would the world be like if the comet that wiped out the Dinosaurs missed the earth. The thesis is Dinosaurs would rule the world and talk and humans would be more less critters/dogs. For more on the film itself as well as my first impressions here is my original review from its theatrical release.
Bonus features vary depending on which combination you purchase. I have the Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital HD. I found the selection to be average. The packaging had a sticker staying over 2 hours of bonus features, but this math seems to include the full length audio commentary. I counted just under 20 pieces available on DisneyMoviesAnywhere. Ranging from your traditional deleted scenes and promo material to a look at what went into making the film.
I found the three featurettes in the Behind the Scenes section the most interesting to watch out of the standard offerings. These included:
- The Filmaker’s Journey (7:35) This piece takes a look at first time directory Peter Sohn and his team’s philosophies and evolution over the course of creating the Good Dinosaur.
- Every Part of the Dinosaur (5:54) This was one of my favorite pieces since it talked about what really went into making the film. How the animators choose to bring Arlo who is a dinosaur but really a boy and Spot who is a boy but has the spirit of a dog to life. What considerations went into a couple of scenes. You are reminded that every movement of the key characters is done by hand and the animators put a lot of thought into the process. For example they looked at how Arlo was animated at the beginning of the film vs the end to show his confidence and growth. A little of the Pixar philosophy is touched on, one point that stuck out to me is Truth in Materials. The animation needs to hold true for what you are animating to make it believable. I really thought this piece should have been longer than 6 minutes, they just scratched the surface.
- Following the T-Rex Trail (6:41) This piece looks at the research trip some members of the team took to a working ranch in Oregon. They were able to go on a Cattle Drive and many of the moments in the T-Rex portion of the film are drawn from this trip, including the camp fire stories.
- Just Listen (6:14) Takes you into the world of sound. Since this is an animated film all the sound has to be put there. You go along with Sound Designer Craig Berkey as he collects pieces and into the recording studio with Jeff and Mychael Danna to look at the music used.
- The World of the Good Dinosaur (11:40) was a very interesting piece to me. It talked about the creation of the scenes and world of the film. It looked at the scale of the landscape and how it was inspired by the National Parks. It then goes into some of the technical requirements of the film with a focus on water and clouds, both of which play big roles in the film. This is a Disney Movies Anywhere exclusive piece.
There was also a fun piece looking at one of Pixar’s famous competitions. This time the challenge was to create Dinosaurs from discarded items. It is called Recyclosaurs.
The short, Sanjay’s Super Team that accompanied the film in theaters is part of the package. I wish they would provide at least one bonus feature about the shorts, to give some more information on them.
If you missed the Good Dinosaur in theaters you may want to check it out on Home Video. The film is visually striking and while not the best Pixar film it is still an entertaining work. The bonus material is average for a modern release and there are some interesting nuggets, but like most I thought the parts I enjoyed were too short.