The Good Dinosaur took the 'what if' approach, and made us see things from a different perspective. The thought of dinosaurs and humans living simultaneously is not exactly a new concept. We have seen it several times, but 'what if' the dinosaurs were never wiped out by a asteroid, and humans were introduced to them through the process of evolution? Would we still see each species the same way?
Dinosaurs seem to take on the same role in every film adaption; each species confined to the predetermined characteristics that we have been told are accurate depictions. But 'what if' we are wrong?
Let's look at some of the well known features, and learn how the roles differentiate.
Jurassic Park (1993) / Jurassic World (2015)
From the moment the 1993 film hit the screen, the idea of dinosaurs and humans living together has maintained the same idea. Dinosaurs, specifically the more aggressive breeds, are superior. You have the fun, easy going dinosaurs you can chill with, and you have the ones you want to stay very far away from. We see vicious scenes in which Raptors, Pteranodons, and of course the big bad T-Rex devour helpless humans throughout the series.
Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)
The story of Journey to the Center of the Earth has been multiple times, but each version focuses on the possibility of another world within the middle of Earth's core, and it just so happens that a dinosaur is one of the inhabitants. Of course, they encounter the T-Rex who wants them for lunch. While dinosaurs living among humans is not the main story line, it definitely has its pivotal moment.
Land of the Lost (1991 Television Series)
If you were lucky enough to experience the 1991 TV series, then the video above should send you into nostalgia overload! If not, there was a (loosely based) 2009 movie adaption starring Will Ferrell, but I would not recommend it.
The show retold the 1974 series and focused on the Porter family, who inadvertently entered a parallel universe while traveling along a rocky path. The show had many characters, including a baby dinosaur, a girl with amazonian qualities, and a T-Rex named Scarface, who (you guessed it) tries to eat the family on numerous occasions. Luckily they were able to build a tree-house to keep them relatively safe!
The Good Dinosaur (2015)
The Good Dinosaur mixes up the typical characteristics associated with certain dinosaur species and how they interact with human characters. The human boy Spot, is portrayed as more of an animal. With his wolf-like howl and a fearless spirit, Spot is capable of hunting a wide range of animals in order to survive. He also walks on all fours and does not speak. In this case it is Arlo, the dinosaur, who tries to communicate with the animalistic human, not the other way around.
In this refreshing take the Tyrannosaurus Rex, who are usually identified as vicious antagonists, end up being an group of unlikely friends. While trying to make their way home, Arlo and Spot encounter a family of T-Rexes who help them overcome Pterodactyls and raptors.
It's about time the Tyrannosaurus Rex received the recognition they deserve! They have had a bad rap from day one, and rarely ever get to be the hero. Science tells us they are a predator, but that doesn't mean we can't use our imagination and turn them into friendly allies. It's a fun new take on the same old story. The Good Dinosaur delivers a fresh new take!