The Art Of The Good Dinosaur, foreword by John Lasseter, introduction by Peter Sohn
My feelings about this book are a bit torn. I must admit that I haven’t seen the movie it was based on, but the book does provide a description of the film and what it was going for and I definitely am ambivalent about it. Like many people, I grew up liking and appreciating dinosaurs. That said, dinosaurs in general aren’t the smartest of animals, and this book portraying human beings as being like dogs is not something that I happen to personally appreciate. I take that sort of thing rather personally, especially because I don’t see how one would have sentient human beings able to communicate with sentient dinosaurs without being on a niche that provided for a high degree of respect, which this film doesn’t really go for, since the human child in the film appears to be a mere pet who stands on four legs and is rather defenseless in the sort of world that appears here with huge dinosaurs, many of which appear to be very deadly. It is as if the filmmakers wanted to create a world where time stopped and where nothing else aside from the meteor that destroyed the dinosaurs would have destroyed them for sixty-five million more years.
In terms of its structure, this book begins as the rest of the series does with a foreword and introduction and then contains a lot of art. The art is varied, including storyboards and lighting studies, layouts and graphics as the film appears to have begun with the characters and then moved on from there. This is a pretty daring approach, and sometimes it appears to pay off, as when there is a dramatic scene when the dinosaur and boy pair off and defend themselves against a lot of pteradactyls, or when there is an amusing encounter with some cattle-rustling T-rexes. I suppose if the general odd buddy setup of the film didn’t bother me, there would be a lot to find amusing about this movie. I must admit that this movie is one that hasn’t had a great deal of resonance among the young people I’m around, in contrast to the majority of Disney Films, so I’m not sure just how many people are fans of this movie, but although the art here is gorgeous, I don’t know whether I’d actually enjoy the film or not.