The Good Dinosaur is not for under 8 yrs – film review

Movie Review – The Good Dinosaur
Director: Peter Sohn
Production company: Pixar Animation Studios
KetchupMoms Rating: 3/5

Is it scary? What we thought was going to be a treat for our almost 4 year-old twins, turned out to be emotionally stressful for our daughter. Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur film is a beautiful ‘find yourself’ journey of Arlo, the dinosaur. But it is not for below 8 yrs old. We realised this a half an hour too late. With a ‘U’ certificate by the Indian Censor Board (time to change the categories I believe), there was absolutely no warning on how terrifying and traumatic some scenes could be for the little ones. Although I believe that abroad this film has been rated ‘PG’, so not for below 8 yrs old. Period. But then we are in India where some mothers happily engage their kids with crime thrillers like ‘CID’ and ‘Crime Patrol’. Yes I am not kidding. And trailers of ‘horror shows’ regularly pop up even during kid-friendly programmes (More on that later, I promise).


Is it fun for parents? Yes, but with kids above 8 yrs.

The Plot: Coming back to story of The Good Dinosaur – Arlo is a good soul, raised on corn, love and the fresh air of the mountains. That he is teased by his stronger siblings and even chased around by the chicken on his farms makes his father resolve to help Arlo find ‘his inner strength’. However a cruel flash flood snatches his father away (precisely where my daughter started to whimper, and she was joined by at least 10 kids in chorus) and the follow-up events leave Arlo miles away from his home.

A reluctant friendship between Arlo and his human pet ‘Spot’ makes his journey home, full of adventure, loyalty, fun and a lot of learning. In fact ‘Spot’ steals your heart and my son told me a day later how Spot was the best part of The Good Dinosaur. But be warned that Spot chewing the live beetles head off, or his deadly and visually scary fight with a snake will make the little ones cringe. The ruthlessness of the sharp-toothed evil birds and especially the scene where they snatch Spot from Arlo and throw Arlo down the mountain will make you wonder if this film is really for the kids. And I am not talking about just 4 year olds. Because trust me when the flash floods hit again, though visually stunning, the prospect of Spot drowning and Arlo losing another loved one is too overwhelming even for sensitive 8-10yrs old. I suggest if you would like them to know the story just get them The Good Dinosaur Big Golden Book from Amazon.

My 4 year old was spell bound by the visual effects, the friendship between Arlo, The Good Dinosaur and Spot, his human pet, but I would have never treated him to this movie had I seen it before. As for my daughter she was escorted out of the hall by her caring father. The Good Dinosaur is visually a stunning masterpiece and really high on emotions. Although a bit predictable it has beautiful moments like Arlo being told by his father ‘You are me and so much more’.

Best enjoyed with: Some fruity soda or a platter of munchies.

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Charu Chhitwal

Charu Chhitwal, Founder KetchupMoms has daring tastebuds, a love for travel and an owl for her soul. It’s little wonder then that she loves to write and share her tips and tricks on traveling, food,

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