Pixar has just unveiled the new trailer for its next film, . This is the first time we get a good look at the characters and plot of the film. Let's give it a whirl:
It looks like Pixar is planning on tugging at those ol' heart-strings, as they usually do. This movie is, however, being released at the end of this year, and the company is still flying high on Inside Out, the best movie they have put out in years. Hence it seems like an odd time for Pixar to begin competing with itself.
This will be the first time that the company has put out two different movies in the same year. If Inside Out had not been a brilliant success, this probably wouldn't pose a problem, But, as it stands now, Inside Out is lined up to sweep all of the Best Animated Picture awards for the year. Though it's possible The Good Dinosaur will surprise and jump to the front of the line, it is highly unlikely.
Animated movies about dinosaurs and prehistoric times are not hard to find, as this is not groundbreaking territory. DreamWork's The Croods was a box office success just two years ago, with a sequel already in the works. Even Disney has already delved into the idea with its 2000 film, aptly named, Dinosaurs. And let's not forget The Land Before Time franchise, which is still going strong with the fourteenth installation in the works. Yes. You read that right. Fourteen.
With such a saturated genre, Pixar will have to bring something new to stand out, but the new trailer shows that, visually, that is not happening. The character designs are cute, but possibly way too cute, the big eyes and overall roundness make the dinosaurs soft and sweet. They're totally adorable, and will no doubt sell lots of stuffed animals. Now, that would be fine, if the style of the characters matched the style of the rest of the movie, but they don't. The characters aggressively jut out against the realistic backgrounds like they don't even belong in the same world and it just gives a bizarre feeling. It's very displacing, like watching a child's drawings navigate through real life. There may be something behind that storewide, but only time will tell.
So Pixar will likely have to rely on tugging at the heart-strings to reach its audience, but they have to do that within a world that the audience already partially knows, prehistoric earth, and will compare to other instances of seeing it. The level of originality here probably won't stand a chance against the abstract world of theory and philosophy that's presented in Inside Out. It's going to be really hard to one-up it. Disney has had moments of releasing two animated movies a year (Tarzan and Fantasia 2000 in 1999, Dinosaur and The Emperor's New Groove in 2000, Lilo & Stitch and Treasure Planet in 2002, among others) and it has often been the case that only one is left to be memorable for the general public.
All of this, on top of the fact that we've just been treated to Jurassic World, which rode the nostalgia wave all the way to the bank, underlines the notion that this just may not be the best timing for another dinosaur movie. This is definitely not the best time for another Pixar movie. Maybe The Good Dinosaur should have been pushed back to 2016, adjusting Pixar's timeline appropriately, to get better grounding, 0r maybe this was a strategic plan due to the company fearing that this wouldn't be a movie that could stand on its own. Nevertheless, I'm still looking forward to seeing film, and all that it will actually bring, this Thanksgiving. Hopefully my entire speculation here will be proven wrong, but I guess only time will tell.