Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Good Dinosaur: Blu-Ray Review (Target Edition)

As of today, almost exactly three months since the film's theatrical November 25th release, Disney·Pixar's latest feature The Good Dinosaur is now available to own! Here I'll be taking an in depth look at the Target edition Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital HD Combo Pack, which includes some exclusive bonus content (more on that below).

Today I'll just be reviewing the special features, not the film itself. To read my full positive review of the film, visit my original review post HERE!

To start things off, I wanted to (yet again) talk about the different home video versions that are available. There are lots of options (all with a varying amount of special features)- whether you're a film/animation fan who enjoys loads of bonus content or just a casual movie goer looking to watch the film again, there's a version for you! Below is a guide as to which version has what features:

  • Sanjay's Super Team Theatrical Short Film 
  • Audio Commentary 
  • Sanjay's Super Team Theatrical Short Film
  • Audio Commentary
  • True Lies about Dinosaurs
  • Recyclosaurus
  • The Filmmakers' Journey  
  • Every Part of the Dinosaur 
  • Following the T-Rex Trail 
  • Three Deleted Scenes ("The Attack", "Building the Silo" & "Waiting for Poppa")
  • Dino Bites 
  • Hide and Seek
  • Trailers
  • Just Listen (Digital Exclusive)
  • Includes everything listed above
  • Everything above, plus...
  • Bonus Deleted Scene ("Raptor Trap" - Target Exclusive)
  • The World of the Good Dinosaur (Target Exclusive) 

There you go! Hopefully that will help you when deciding on what version to get. As you can see, the reason I bought the Target edition is because it's all encompassing. You get everything. You get the movie, all the special features, the digital HD copy, the digital exclusives and the Target exclusives. It's the way to go if you're a special features nut like me!

There are other ways to purchase the film as well (such as digital on iTunes, digital on Amazon Instant Video, Blu-Ray 3D, etc.), but there is no exclusive content with any of those. While the Best Buy version doesn't have any additional material, it does have an exclusive lenticular 3D slip cover. Man though, there is no shortage of ways to purchase a film these days, phew! Boy is it complicated now... I use to just go pick up the VHS copy at the store back in the day; that was the only way!

As soon as you pop in the disc, you'll notice the gorgeous menus. They really show off the beautiful landscapes and scenery seen in the film! They remind me very much of the Blu-Ray menus for Brave.

OK, now that the housekeeping stuff is out of the way (hopefully it was helpful though), lets dig deeper into all the bonus content included with this Target version!

  • Audio Commentary (running time 1:29:48 *length of film*)- Peter Sohn (Director), Kelsey Mann (Story Supervisor), Sanjay Bakshi (Supervising Technical Director), Mike Venturini (Supervising Animator) and Sharon Calahan (Director of Photography, Lighting) discuss the filmmaking process! Audio commentaries are always the #1 feature I look forward to and this did not disappoint.
  •  Sanjay's Super Team (running time 6:49)- This is the theatrical short film (Directed by Sanjay Patel) that played before The Good Dinosaur in theaters. While it did take a few viewings for me to really enjoy this short, I can now honestly say that I have a stronger appreciation for it. It's very different for Pixar, but well worth checking out!
  • True Lies about Dinosaur (running time 1:56)- This little segment discusses the big differences between what we know scientifically about the real dinosaurs and what the filmmakers fudged to make an entertaining animated film. This is a pretty fun, but very short, tongue and cheek extra.
  • Recyclosaurus (running time 6:19)- It's very obvious that Pixar employees work extremely hard...but to help with the stress of long hours and tedious deadlines, they also play extremely  hard! In this clip, you'll witness one of the main studio wide games that was played during the production of The Good Dinosur. Watch as the different departments compete by creating homemade dinos. The catch? They can only use items from Pixar's "Free Table!" I enjoyed this one quite a bit and it made me want to work there that much more.
  • The Filmmakers' Journey (running time 7:54)- Speaking of hard work, this mini documentary on the making of the film shows just how much heart and soul the team put into the creation of The Good Dinosaur. The director, Peter Sohn, shines as he reflects on the joys and difficulties of the production. From what I gather, Sohn is such a caring, humble and heartfelt person and that really shows in his, as well as the whole team's, work. He's yet another Pixarian I would love to be friends with!
  • Every Part of the Dinosaur (running time 6:08)- This is another really insightful mini documentary, this time focusing more on the actual character animation. I really loved when the filmmakers talk about "truth to character" and "arch of growth." For example, Arlo's animation/character arch can be seen in his posture; when the film starts, he's "slumpy" and weak. When it ends, he stands up straight with confidence. It's little details like this that set Pixar apart from the rest. 
  •  Following the T-Rex Trail (running time 6:58)- This is an amazing story about how a real life rancher family in Juntura, Oregon, the McKays, inspired Butch and his T-Rex family in the film! Seeing this family's humility, hard work and dedication to their farm, as well as the filmmakers' interaction with them, was truly inspiring.
  •  Deleted Scenes (with intros by director Peter Sohn):

1.) The Attack (running time 2:29)- Arlo's fears are set in motion through an attack from a vicious dinosaur. I liked this, especially seeing another dinosaur character/species (since I feel there were a tad too few in the film), but I understand why the cut was ultimately made.

2.) Building the Silo (running time 4:30)- Another nice, heartfelt scene with Arlo and Poppa building the silo together. There is nothing wrong with the sequence (meaning it's not embarrassingly bad like some deleted scenes for films out there), but it just wasn't needed.

3.) Waiting for Poppa (running time 3:05)- This is an alternative version of Poppa's death. In this version, Arlo is not with Poppa during his death in the storm. Instead, other dinos (seemingly family friends) come to the farm and bear the tragic news. While, again, I liked seeing other dinosaur characters and species, I agree that actually seeing his death and having Arlo there was stronger emotionally. This is a powerful deleted scene nonetheless.

  • Dino Bites (running time 4:15)- A montage of promotional animation toolkits featuring Arlo, Spot and all your favorite dino/critter characters. Of course I would rather see more making of stuff, but this is pretty fun to watch. 
  • Hide and Seek (running time 0:59)- Here we have another promotional scene; this time featuring Arlo and Spot playing a game of hide and seek. Short but sweet! I had to laugh at Spot's hiding places. 
  • Trailers- "Moment" North American Trailer 2 (2:12), "Different" German Trailer (1:57) &  "Courage" Russian Trailer (2:23).
To access your Digital HD and Target exclusive features, just enter the code included with your copy into Disney Movies Anywhere. Then just select The Good Dinosaur from within your collection and you'll be able to view all the bonus content! Simple as that. 

Oddly enough though, I'm having trouble accessing my Target content. As soon as I'm able to, I'll update the post below with more details.

  • The World of The Good Dinosaur (Target Exclusive)
  • Deleted Scene- "Raptor Trap" (Target Exclusive)
  • Just Listen (runningtime 6:14; Digital HD Exclusive)- This is probably my favorite bit out of the bonus content. In this short featurette, Sound Designer Craig Berkey, Composers Jeff and Mychael Danna and others takes us behind the scenes of the sounds of The Good Dinosaur. I've always loved the sound aspects of filmmaking (sound effects, ambiance, foley, music, ADR, etc.), so this one was really interesting for me. Really well done!

Additionally, when you purchase the film digitally or the Blu-Ray combo pack, you also receive a cute digital storybook of the The Good Dinosaur Little Golden Book! You can redeem this from the "Unlocked Offers" area of the Disney Movie Rewards website (once you enter the code). This will lead you to the Disney Story Central website where you can access your digital storybook (with sounds and music). 

Well, I think that's just about everything. Just to total things up here- Including the exclusive content, we have one short film, one audio commentary, seven featurettes, two animation toolkits, four deleted scenes and three trailers included with this Target edition of The Good Dinosaur. Though I'm greedy and wish there was much more included (since I enjoyed what was here so much), I really can't complain.

My favorite features are Just Listen and Following the T-Rex Trail, but I highly recommend checking all the bonus content out! If you're wondering which version to pick up yourself, I'd highly suggest this one. Head to your local Target store (or online) to purchase! If you're interested in just the standard edition DVD or Blu-Ray combo pack, visit Amazon using the direct links below.

4 out of 5 stars

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