December 15, 2015 by Chris French
The movie is adorable, but I’m glad my kids didn’t see it. Here’s why:
What would happen if the asteroid that destroyed all the dinosaurs missed Earth? Well…dinosaurs would evolve into farmers and cowboys and when they happened upon a human they would look at it like a pet, highlighted by the fact that the boy’s name in the movie is Spot!
The movie is focused on one family of dinosaurs. Two of the children are normal dinos, but the other one is small and scared of everything. The father challenges the boy to overcome his fear and, thru a crazy tragedy, dies narrowly saving his son. (Why is Disney obsessed with death?) Arlo, the scared dinosaur, finds himself far from home. The rest of the movie is about his trek home and the interesting characters he meets along the way.
The Spiritual Significance
I don’t want my children to walk away from a movie with evolutionistic assumptions. Don’t think a preschooler thinks on that level? They can’t read the “65 million years ago” at the start of the movie? They would have noticed that “Spot” was a human and that he was acting like an animal! They would have identified more with the dinosaur than with the human in the movie! Stuff like that sticks with kids. Disney didn’t have to portray this story using evolution. It could have just been about a baby dinosaur’s trek home. They chose to put all this propaganda in the movie. I don’t even know what they were trying to say with the snake with legs. I guess the point was he de-evolved so his legs weren’t necessary anymore. It was an odd addition.
I’m pretty sure they were also poking fun at Christians in the form of a crazed pterodactyl cult leader whose catch phrase was “the storm provides”. Sound familiar? Replace “storm” with “Lord” and you have the most popular idea in Scripture. This cross-eyed dino turned out to be the villain of the movie as he and his band of cohorts attempted to prey on Arlo and his pet, Spot the human. The pterodactyls are portrayed as mean and fanatical. Apparently Thunderclap, the pterodactyl leader, was once afraid like Arlo, but he was caught in a storm and had a “revelation”. Thinking that the storm saved his life he devoted himself to following it, and just happened to scavenge the animals the storm displaced.
It seems like an odd move for Pixar to pick this particular fight, but the parallels are convicting.
You’ll love the characters! The dad in the story is a pretty good model for us as dads. He sets a standard, shows grace when Arlo can’t meet the standard, challenges, teaches and encourages. He’s a good dad. The rest of the family is lovable too complete with the dopey big brother and doting mother.
The graphics are impressive. I’d say above the usual excellence of Disney/Pixar productions. The story was well written and you’ll find yourself tensing up during some scenes. If you’re not sad when the dad dies you need to check your pulse!
I didn’t think about any of this before we saw it. We simply didn’t take our kids because we heard it was too scary, which it is for my preschoolers. At the end of the day I’m glad my kids didn’t see it, not because it was to scary, but because Pixar’s portrayal of mankind and the church is offensive.