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Why Pixar's The Good Dinosaur is possibly their most beautiful movie yet

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Thought it wasn't possible for Finding Nemo and Inside Out creators Pixar to top themselves in the visual stakes? Welcome to their latest movie The Good Dinosaur whose epically imaginative prehistoric landscape is currently wowing the critics.

This thrilling family adventure poses the following question: what if that meteorite hadn't wiped out the dinosaurs? And more to the point, what would a world in which humans and dinos co-exist look like?

With the story centering around the endearing friendship between lonely Apatosaurus Arlo (Raymond Ochoa) and human child Spot (Jack Bright), here's why you need to get excited about Pixar's latest breathtaking world...


What the critics are saying...

Reviews have gone wild over The Good Dinosaur's gorgeously rendered CGI animation, typically scrupulous work from the studio that brings a dazzling world populated by T-Rex, Apatosaurs and more besides roaring to life.

Raves Kenneth Turan in Los Angeles Times: "Though those vistas are nominally prehistoric — this is a film about dinosaurs, remember — the animators were inspired by trips they took to the contemporary American Northwest. Visions of raging rivers, an eternity of trees, even a field of fireflies, are reason enough to see the film all by themselves."

Writing for AV Club, A.A. Dowd agrees. "Every detail, from the gentle bob of a beast’s breathing to the fluid shifts of Spot’s facial expressions, has been lovingly rendered," he enthuses. "And that’s to say nothing of the few set pieces, the most striking of which finds the fins of psychotic pterodactyls—the movie’s villainous flock—ominously dipping down out of a cluster of storm clouds, as though the sky itself was shark-infested waters."

And the San Francisco Chronicle's Peter Hartlaub goes one better: "The Good Dinosaur has an original concept and disarming emotional heft and features the most impressive visuals in animated cinema to date... Spot is a wonderful creation, brilliantly animated with the kinetic exaggerations of a Chuck Jones character and the inner beauty of Pixar’s most memorable protagonists. While Arlo takes two acts to find his voice, the voiceless Spot anchors the movie."

Wowsers. Now to hear from the makers themselves...


What Pixar are saying...

So how did the animation geniuses set about creating such a visually arresting, alternate prehistoric world? Pixar head honcho John Lasseter says it certainly wasn't easy.

"A nature movie has never been done in computer animation," he tells Wired, "mostly because going out into nature is one of the most challenging things to do technically."

In fact, the filmmakers, including director Peter Sohn, undertook an epic hiking trip through the wilds of Wyoming in North America in an attempt to better understand the landscape they wanted. Sohn recalls one moment as being particularly crucial in his inspiration.

"The river guides were very knowledgeable about survival," he says. "They would go, 'Look at that, a landslide happened down here.' We were looking at something so beautiful, but there was something really dangerous going on. We started to see that nature itself was more than just the background. It became a character in the story."

Check out this video that sums up Pixar's awesome achievement with The Good Dinosaur.


What we're saying...

The first trailers for the movie promised something special, with the designs of the dinosaurs standing out. From Arlo's long neck to the toothy T-Rex Butch (voiced by Sam Elliot), the movie's creations look as vibrant and memorable as we expect from Pixar.

Check out this clip between Arlo and his Poppa (Jeffrey Wright) in which the green glow emanating from a host of fireflies becomes one of the most beautiful things we've seen all year. Pixar's most visually arresting movie? We're starting to think that might be true...

Now we want to hear your thoughts! Click here to book your tickets for The Good Dinosaur, which opens this Friday and tweet us @Cineworld once you've seen it.