Why I Took My One-Year-Old to See “The Good Dinosaur”


(The Picture above is dark for a reason. Since our little guy isn’t adopted yet, posting pictures of him is generally frowned upon. Good thing most babies look alike from the nose up.)

I took my one-year-old to a matinee showing of The Good Dinosaur today. Some people would say that’s too young to take a kid to the movies. Don’t worry, we went to the earliest showing on a weekday and the theater was empty. So if he cried, it wouldn’t have disturbed anyone.

There’s a few reasons why I chose to do this (other than that I don’t want to break my streak of seeing every Pixar movie in theaters).

  1. Our kids don’t watch TV. Our son and his almost-two-year old sister have never seen Playhouse Disney and they’ve never heard of Spongebob Squarepants. Sure, they’ve seen Mom watch House Hunters and me watch an old movie, but in our house, the parents pick the shows. Our children don’t rule the roost, and they have no claim on the remote control. Sarabeth and I feel pretty strongly that any kid show on TV is there just to act as a babysitter, plus it’s all extremely annoying, I’m sure. You can check out a separate post on this topic here. That said, I will never forget my son’s face when the lights went off and the screen lit up. He was mesmerized for a full 90+ minutes. (He didn’t cry once.)
  2. Pixar is quality entertainment for everyone. While The Good Dinosaur wasn’t the greatest of Pixar movies, it was still light years ahead of just about any other movie put out there. I want my kids to appreciate the value of storytelling and quality entertainment that challenges us to be better people, and live better lives. Pixar does that. (Check out love letter to Pixar, here.) Basically, if my kids are going to watch movies or TV, I’m not looking for just “appropriate,” I’m looking for quality and depth.
  3. This is gonna be our thing. Today I started a tradition. I hope that when our son is in high school, he’ll still want to go see Toy Story 8 with me (and yes, I would be thrilled if they made a Toy Story 8). I would have brought his sister Katherine along, but she can barely get through a whole commercial, let alone sit through a whole movie. I’m hoping by March she’ll be into animals and will want to see Zootopia, because that looks like it could be the funniest movie ever.

So, about Pixar’s latest installment. It was really good! People have to prepare themselves not to compare it to the greats like The Incredibles or this year’s Inside Out.


Pixar tends to aim their movies more at the adults, but The Good Dinosaur is the exception. It’s very much kid-friendly, but not in a bad way (except there’s a scene with the pterodactyls that about made me crap my pants). The story is familiar and even predictable, but if you think about it, that’s territory Pixar has never covered before, so in a way, that’s breaking new ground for them.

Oh, and it’s not your typical dino flick. It’s really a Western in disguise! So you John Wayne and Roy Rogers buffs are gonna dig it. Below I’ve rated the Pixar movies from worst to best, so check out where Dinosaur makes its mark (see what I did there?). This list is constantly fluctuating as I learn to appreciate each film for different reasons.

16. Cars 2

15. Brave

14. Wall-E (I know! I know! There’s something wrong with me!)

13. The Good Dinosaur

12. A Bug’s Life

11. Cars

10. Monsters University

9. Toy Story 2

8. Monsters, Inc.

7. Up

6. Finding Nemo

5. Ratatouille

4. Toy Story 3

3. The Incredibles

2. Toy Story

1.Inside Out


Published by Andrew Toy

Writer when I'm not being a husband or dad. So mostly just a husband and dad.

19 thoughts on “Why I Took My One-Year-Old to See “The Good Dinosaur”

  1. I love your list! I watched all those movies with my kids and I ‘m the biggest kid of all because I never grow tired of watching it over and over again especially Nemo and Up! Great tradition too, ours is movie night with pizza and popcorn! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  2. Good post, and I give you credit for daring to list Pixar movies from worst to best. But, you got it wrong, as I’m sure MANY Pixar fans would each ‘passionately’ argue. We all ‘love’ our Pixar favorites, don’t we!?! My Top 5, probably – 1. Toy Story, 2. Toy Story 2, 3. The Incredibles, 4. Monsters, Inc., 5. Cars. I’d have to think hard about the rest Again, Good Post!

    1. It’s a difficult task, and my list is ever re-scrambling. For instance, Cars was my favorite movie for an entire year. The only ones that are set in stone on my list is Cars 2 being the worst (it can never hold my attention), and Inside Out as the best, since I think that’s the greatest movie of all time 🙂

  3. Great list! I think it’s a good thing that your children don’t watch television. Kids nowadays seem to lack imagination and the ability to just “sit and play”. They need to be entertained by a screen of some sort, which is really sad. They say the internet really brings you together, but I think it can make some people feel really isolated. When my brother and I were young (he is 3 years younger than me), we would sit and play with Lego for hours, or toy cars, or colouring books. Our childhood was much simpler and I think your son and daughter will have a much happier childhood playing with games and toys together, rather than sitting glued to a screen.

  4. wall-e is #14? spongebob square pants is evil!!!! highly sexualized…i must defend PBS though…also jim henson and dr suess…captain kangeroo…but most kid tv is intended to sell cereal and other sugarized garbage…btw, good luck with the adoption

  5. The Good Dinosaur was a good movie. However, my four year old brother spoiled it for me mid movie (we rented the movie and he saw it before in theaters). I think my least favorite pixar movie is A Bug’s Life.

    1. I’d encourage you to try A Bug’s Life again. I used to not care for it, but now I consider it one of the funnier movies in Pixar’s canon.

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