(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).
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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
14. Wall-E (I know! I know! There’s something wrong with me!)
13. The Good Dinosaur
12. A Bug’s Life
10. Monsters University
9. Toy Story 2
8. Monsters, Inc.
6. Finding Nemo
4. Toy Story 3
3. The Incredibles
2. Toy Story