‘The Good Dinosaur’ Blu-Ray / DVD / Digital Review – It’s a Heart-warmer (and Live Q&A With Peter Sohn)

Read our reivew of The Good Dinosaur Blu-ray DVD special features and more.
The Good Dinosaur Blu-ray Cover

The Good Dinosaur hits physical and virtual shelves everywhere on February 23, 2016 (UK release date is March 21) and fans of the film (and newcomers alike) will most certainly be as excited as we were to dig into the behind-the-scenes extras on the film — including a special “first” for the digital release. Before you dive into the extra features though, you should definitely watch the film again as the vibrancy, clarity, and animation jump off the screen with a brilliant amount of detail (as we’ve come to expect from Pixar’s pristine releases).

In celebration of the release, be sure to join Director, Peter Sohn on Twitter for a live Question and Answer session on February 23 at 10:30 AM PST / 1:30 PM PST — ask your questions using #ASKPETERSOHN.

UPDATED: Our summary of Pete’s responses on Twitter can be found here.

BEHIND-THE-SCENES EXTRAS REVIEW

So, why did we say The Good Dinosaur is a heart warmer in the title of our review? This is due to the fact that the extras truly dive into the heart of the film’s director, Peter Sohn, who not only chats about his personal connection to the film (The Filmmakers’ Journey) but also shows his love and respect for the crew that brought the film to life through their hard work and creative inputs.

In addition to the details within Pixar Animation Studios, we also get an amazing look at the real-life family that inspired the T-Rex family in the film (called, Following The T-Rex Trail — our personal favorite extra feature). In this feature, you’ll join Sohn (along with some of the crew) as they visit the McKay family in Oregon and live among the land, herd cattle, and experience horseback riding in a whole new light.

Back at the studio, the teams (e.g., animation, story, editorial, etc.) held a contest (bonus feature Recyclosaurus) where they crafted characters from the film using items that were culled from a table where employees can drop off items they no longer use (but someone else may benefit from).

Our jaws dropped when we saw the piece that the Characters team created — it looked like a random pile of garbage until they projected a light across the pile. The prehistoric image displayed on the wall is one that cannot be missed and was incredibly creative. A few short previews (like the one shown above) of the extra features will be displayed through the remainder of our review.

DIRECTOR’S COMMENTARY & DIGITAL REVIEW

An item we were very excited to see was that the Director’s Commentary was not only included in the physical release but was also included in the digital release — this is the first Pixar release to include the Director’s Commentary digitally (and is a welcome addition to the release). The essential-to-listen-to commentary features:

  • Peter Sohn (Director)
  • Kelsey Mann (Story Supervisor)
  • Mike Venturini (Supervising Animator)
  • Sharon Calahan (Director of Photography – Lighting)
  • Sanjay Bakshi (Supervising Technical Director)

Along with the digital release you will also be able to watch the digital-only extra feature, Just Listen, where you’ll learn about all things related to the audio of the film. From recording the orchestra with Mychael and Jeff Danna to the wonderful foley (sound effects) work to the backwoods of British Columbia, Canada to capture the perfect nature and river sounds, this was easily another of our favorite extra features.

Additionally, if you enter your digital code from the Blu-ray (or purchase the digital version through Movies Anywhere), you will also be able to access an Exclusive Digital Storybook (expires May 6, 2016).

PURCHASING THE GOOD DINOSAUR

Note: Pixar Post may receive a commission for items purchased through affiliate links in this article — we thank you for your support.

Target: The Target release contains an exclusive bonus feature titled “The World of The Good Dinosaur” and “Raptor Trap” (only with the Ultimate Collectors Edition or Blu-ray/DVD/Digital edition).

The Good Dinosaur Target Exclusive

You can also pick up the 4K Blu-ray at Amazon or watch the film on Disney+.

FULL LIST OF BONUS FEATURES

Digital HD, Blu-ray Combo Pack & Digital

THEATRICAL SHORT: (6:48) Sanjay’s Super Team — Sanjay loves the world of cartoons and comics, while his father tries to draw him into his Hindu traditions. Reluctance quickly turns into an awe-inspiring adventure as the boy embarks on an amazing journey, returning with a new perspective they can both embrace. 

TRUE LIES ABOUT DINOSAURS: (1:51) We know — it’s preposterous to think Apatosaurs spoke English. Learn more about what separates the fictional dinosaurs of The Good Dinosaur from what scientists know about real dinosaurs.

RECYCLOSAURUS: (6:05) Pixar takes creative competition seriously. Maybe a little too seriously. Watch as The Good Dinosaur crew competes to see which department can create the best dinosaur ever… using only discarded items from the studio’s “free table.”

THE FILMMAKERS’ JOURNEY: (7:35) Finding your way from an idea to a film takes a lot of exploration. Director Peter Sohn and his fellow filmmakers talk about the challenging, inspiring, and unexpectedly emotional experience of making The Good Dinosaur.

EVERY PART OF THE DINOSAUR: (5:54) The filmmakers talk about the special animation challenges of The Good Dinosaur — including figuring out how to animate a dinosaur who’s really a boy, and a boy who’s got the spirit of a dog. 

FOLLOWING THE T-REX TRAIL: (6:41) Follow the filmmakers as they travel to a working cattle ranch and meet the McKays, a close-knit family whose work ethic, generosity, and stories inspired the T-Rex ranchers of the film. 

COMMENTARY: (1:29:48) Commentary from director Peter Sohn, story supervisor Kelsey Mann, supervising animator Mike Venturini, director of photography/lighting Sharon Calahan, and supervising technical director Sanjay Bakshi. 

DINO BITES: (4:04) Montage of original animated pieces produced to promote The Good Dinosaur.

HIDE AND SEEK: (0:55) A short animated clip produced to promote The Good Dinosaur. 

DELETED SCENES: (Intro :34)

  • The Attack (2:24) — An idyllic introduction to the family farm is cut short when a savage predator attacks the newborn Arlo. With an introduction by Director Peter Sohn.
  • Building the Silo (4:21)— An admiring Arlo is thrilled to follow along as his father builds a silo for the family farm. With an introduction by Director Peter Sohn.
  • Waiting for Poppa (2:59) — Arlo awaits the return of his beloved father on a stormy night, only to be greeted with tragic news. With an introduction by Director Peter Sohn.

TRAILERS:

  • Moment – North American Trailer 2 (2:12)
  • Different – German Trailer (1:57)
  • Courage – Russian Trailer (2:23)

Blu-ray 3-D & DVD

THEATRICAL SHORT – Sanjay’s Super Team 

Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA) Digital Exclusive

JUST LISTEN: (6:14)Trace the development of the unique soundscape of The Good Dinosaur, from the wilds of British Columbia as Sound Designer Craig Berkey collects sounds, to the recording studio where Jeff and Mychael Danna use instruments from around the world to create the music.

EASTER EGGS

Are you a fan of hunting for Easter Eggs in Pixar’s films? If so, join us in the Pixar Post Forum as we chat all about the hidden items like A113, Hank the Octopus (from Finding Dory), and many more.

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Summary of Responses From Peter Sohn’s Twitter Q&A Session
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