|Image Source: IGN|
Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios have today launched the first full theatrical trail for their (much-delayed but no less eagerly awaited) animated comedy motion picture The Good Dinosaur.
As its relatively unassuming title implies to some extent, the premise powering the studio who gave us Toy Story and Cars' next full-blown narrative can be summarised in but a few succinct words: the meteor destined to bring the reign of dinosaurs to an end misses its target, with the result being that a young Apatosaurus, Arlo, takes a savage human child as his pet during his doubtless touching quest to reunite himself with his father and to find some much-needed courage along the way.
If that initial plot set-up sounds unnervingly similar to any Pixar followers in the house, then cast those fears aside right now and simply watch the aforementioned new trail, since for all his reservations regarding the studio's recent sub-par efforts including Cars 2 and Monsters' University, this writer came away astonished by the extent to which the seemingly rich world, characters, simplistic yet undeniably multi-faceted gags (no doubt Arlo's inadvertently acting as a bridge for his domesticated partner-in-crime will have resonance in terms of the latter construct's likely voyage from brutality to rationality down the line) and events featured here simultaneously captured his imagination and set his emotional chords to work, the latter feat in particular marking a welcome deviation from the norm given how predictable many of Inside Out's more touching beats came off earlier this year.
Indeed, it's not difficult to foresee the audience becoming invested in the already stirring dynamic forged between Arlo and his new-found companion, and whilst the screen-writing team will have needed to avoid Up and Wall-E's glaring third act pitfalls in order to guarantee critical success, that Dinosaur's final pre-release trails are showing so much promise in terms of characterisation - as well as in the other areas mentioned above - suggests that for the first time in forever (cross-franchise pun fully intended, by the way) we may well be looking at an animated masterpiece from someone other than the team behind Frozen. Of course, with Spectre and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 both set to launch in close proximity to its now-finalised release date, the greatest challenge here could be Pixar's acquisition of success on a commercial level rather than from a critical perspective, but after seeing the studio triumph over daunting odds on countless occasions in the past, we'd have to brand ourselves as hypocrites going forward were we to even begin to represent the situation as a losing battle. Perhaps, in reality, it's MGM and Lionsgate respectively who should truly worry about their chances in the coming festive blockbuster season...
Try as we might to predict its box office takings, though, for now all we can say for certain is that The Good Dinosaur will hatch in UK cinemas nationwide on November 27th, just two days after its US première on November 25th.