#IMWAYR – July 11, 2016

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date, and adapted by Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts with a children’s/YA focus. The Sunday Post is hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer. These weekly roundups are a great way to discover new blogs and bloggers, share titles, and add to your ever-growing to-read list.

I’ve got a bunch of reviews coming down the pipeline this week – I’ve been devouring picture books recently, and the shelves at my library are bursting at the seams with great new books. If want to make sure you don’t miss any reviews, feel free to follow my blog so you’ll be notified of each new post.

Don’t Touch This Book

Barnacle is Bored

Excellent Ed


The Good Dinosaur

The Good Dinosaur (BD + DVD + Digital) [Blu-ray]

OK, so I didn’t read this so much as watch it, but this is my blog and I can do what I want so there (yikes, I think the toddlers in my story times are starting to rub off on me….).

I hadn’t caught this one in theatres and Pixar has really been hit or miss recently (curse you, Planes!), but I’m a dinosaur fanatic and and my partner’s an optimist, so we decided to give it a try.

Our lead character Arlo lives in a world in which the mass extinction of the dinosaurs never occurred. He’s the runt of his farming family, and longs to impress his parents and make his mark like his more successful siblings. When tragedy strikes and Arlo is separated from his family, he must find an inner source of strength so that he can conquer his fears and find his way home.

The story is nothing that hasn’t been done in children’s films before – think “The Lion King”, or “The Land Before Time” – and the characters are pretty generic. You could replace all of the dinosaur characters with humans, or dogs, or elephants, and you’d barely notice the difference – the film rarely takes advantage of the fact that its characters are DINOSAURS! At times it felt like I was watching an old Disney TV special featuring a jovial cowboy… I did appreciate the quiet gentleness of the story, though – many filmmakers think that children need to constantly be barraged by noise, colour and movement in order to be entertained, when in reality a quiet, thoughtful story told with a gentle hand can be just as effective.

There were definitely some heartwarming and hilarious moments, and I cried at some scenes (though I cry during Tim Hortons TV commercials, so take this with a grain of salt). The animation, too, was breathtaking. My god, the scenery was just incredible, I could’ve watched the wind blowing through the autumn foliage for the entire run-time. And the water! Water has always been a challenge for animators to recreate, but the rushing rivers in The Good Dinosaur were so realistic it was hard at times to believe it wasn’t film footage of an actual river. Incredible.

So, the story is generic, the characters are likeable if forgettable, and the animation is incredible. The Good Dinosaur isn’t one that you’ll likely feel the need to re-watch, and it likely won’t be remembered as one of Pixar’s finest, but it’s not a bad movie, just all around serviceable. Which isn’t something you ever want to say about a movie with DINOSAURS.

Have a great week everybody!!


16 thoughts on “#IMWAYR – July 11, 2016

  1. As a Pixar fan too, I have to note that Planes is technically not made by them even though it’s a spin-off of the world of Cars. It’s from some other Disney direct-to-video division and it got thrown into theatres at the last minute, so that’s why it doesn’t carry the same lustre or prestige as a typical Pixar film. I saw Finding Dory last week and enjoyed it quite a lot!


  2. I read aloud Barnacle is Bored to second graders at the end of the year. Students thought it was funny. They could relate, too, since I asked them to think about how many of them have uttered the words, “I’m bored” during the summer and, of course, they all have. Maybe, they’ll think twice this summer when they are about to tell their parents they are bored!


  3. the picture books look like fun! I would probably enjoy Dinosaurs, since my daughter and I love all things Disney and Pixar (including Planes!)


  4. The picture books all look appealing to me! The Good Dinosaur had so many triggering moments for my son–my husband and I spent half the movie cringing and giving each other desperate looks. We love Pixar, but I really need a break from movies in which parents come to harm or children are separated from parents!


  5. Several of these look cute, especially Don’t Touch This Book and Barnacle Is Bored.

    I don’t watch a lot of animated films these days but I did hear good things about The Good Dinosaur, and I always love it when they do a great job with the environments. Especially running water and stuff like that. I’m tempted to see it just for that! Also I agree about kids’ movies- one thing that sometimes irritates me about them is how LOUD they are, how busy… I know they want to keep the kids’ attention but I think you’re right, a quiet thoughtful approach has its place too.


  6. I always told my daughters that watching cartoons gave adults seizures because I’m not a fan! Funny that you are channeling toddler attitude- I tend to read much like a 12-year-old boy. Hard to escape our surroundings!


  7. I’ve read and featured Moonday a few months ago, I think. Really nice book. Haven’t seen The Good Dinosaur yet – perhaps when I return to Singapore, that’s one of the few things my daughter and I can do together.


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