The Good Dinosaur appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. I expect greatness from Pixar Blu-rays, and this one lives up to past visual glories.
Sharpness seemed immaculate. Even in the widest shots, the movie looked tight and concise, without a smidgen of softness on display. The image lacked jaggies or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. Of course, I saw no print flaws, mainly because – like other computer-animated flicks – this one never needed to touch film.
Given its settings, the palette embraced the natural feel one would anticipate. Occasional examples of stylized hues appeared, but most stayed with realistic tones that tended toward green to match the lead dinos and other outdoors elements. Colors seemed rich and full. Blacks were deep and tight, while low-light shots appeared smooth and easily visible. This was a stunning visual presentation.
I also felt pleased with the immersive DTS—HD MA 7.1 soundtrack of Good Dinosaur. With a mix of natural environments and action scenes, the soundscape managed to fill the speakers in a smooth, engulfing manner at all times. Quieter moments boasted good ambience, while louder sequences packed a nice punch. From flying creatures to dino vs. dino battles to the roaring river to storms, various components blended and moved in a highly satisfying way.
Audio quality also seemed strong. Music was full and rich, while dialogue came across as natural and concise. Effects showed appropriate clarity and accuracy, with excellent low-end response. The soundtrack added zest to the proceedings.
When we shift to extras, we start with an audio commentary from director Peter Sohn, supervising technical director Sanjay Bakshi, story supervisor Kelsey Mann, supervising animator Michael Venturini, and director of photography/lighting and visual designer Sharon Calahan. All five sit together for a running, screen-specific discussion of story/character/thematic domains, inspirations, research and influences, music, cinematography, animation and effects, and related topics.
Pixar commentaries usually work very well, and this trend continues with Dinosaur. The track moves at a nice pace and covers a good array of topics. Actually, the actors get the short shrift, as we hear surprisingly little about them, but otherwise, this seems like a pretty thorough chat.
A short that ran in front of Dinosaur theatrically, Sanjay’s Super Team runs seven minutes, seven seconds. It shows a superhero-obsessed boy who eventually channels his fascination into an expression of his Indian culture. It offers some cute moments but seems a little heavy-handed and forced.
Three Deleted Scenes come next. In addition to an introduction from Peter Sohn (0:35), we get “The Attack” (2:29), “Building the Silo” (4:30) and “Waiting for Poppa” (3:05). All of these tell us more about the relationship between Arlo and Poppa. Some interesting beats occur but they don’t add much.
Some featurettes follow. True Lies About Dinosaurs runs one minute, 56 seconds and discusses facts vs. the movie’s fiction/liberties. It offers a brief but cute lesson.
With the six-minute, 19-second Recyclosaurus, as we learn about how Pixar embraces “creative competitions”. In this case, employees needed to use used household items to make dinosaur creations. This feels a little self-congratulatory but it’s fun to see the designs come together.
The Filmmakers’ Journey goes for seven minutes, 54 seconds and features Sohn, Bakshi, Calahan, Venturini, Mann, production manager Ann Brilz, and effects supervisor Jon Reisch. “Journey” examines location scouts and how research impacted the film and crew. A smattering of decent details emerge, but the end result feels fluffy.
During the six-minute, eight-second Every Part of the Dinosaur, we hear from Sohn, Venturini, and animators Jessica Torres and Claudio de Oliveira. “Part” looks at animal research and animation techniques. Like its predecessors, “Part” can feel self-congratulatory, but it offers some nice insights related to animation/character challenges.
Next comes Following the T-Rex Trail. It takes up six minutes, 58 seconds and features Sohn, Brilz, Mann, Venturini, cattle rancher Joe McKay and children Anna, Gabe, Clare and Luke. We learn about the McKay family and how a visit to their ranch influenced the film. Some of this material appears during the commentary, but the addition of visuals adds to the experience.
Dino Bites occupies four minutes, 15 seconds. It gives us a collection of little animated tidbits that feature the movie’s characters. These prove to be mildly interesting.
Finally, Hide and Seek lasts a mere 59 seconds. It gives us a short in which Arlo and Spot play a game together. Like “Bites”, it seems cute but insubstantial.
The disc opens with ads for Finding Dory and Zootopia. Sneak Peeks adds promos for the state of Wyoming, Disney Parks, and Disney Stores.
A second disc provides a DVD copy of Dinosaur. It includes the commentary and Sanjay’s Super Team but lacks the other extras.
After the excellent Inside Out earlier in the year, Pixar falters with The Good Dinosaur. Bland and forgettable, it offers one of the studio’s weakest efforts. The Blu-ray provides terrific picture and audio along with a mostly interesting set of supplements. Good Dinosaur winds up as a mediocre animated adventure.