For the first time in its history, Pixar have released two films in a calendar year, as The Good Dinosaur follows on from the summer hit Inside Out. It's purely coincidental, though, because this is also the first movie Pixar abandoned midway through filming and started again from scratch. Well, almost.
The pitch remains: what if the meteor that caused the extinction of dinosaurs missed the earth entirely and they remained the dominant species on Earth?
The story begins with a family of Apatosaurus farmers, where the youngest of the three kids, Arlo, is on the timid side and can't seem to get his act together, unlike his two brothers who constantly tease him.
When Arlo fails to kill off a feral caveboy (man hasn't developed in this alternate tale) who had been stealing the harvest they'd been stashing away for winter, it leads to a tragic event that brings both him and the boy, called Spot, together. Initially antagonistic, they form a partnership and set off on a series of adventures as Arlo tries to find his way back to the family farm.
Even for a Pixar production, this is a technically stunning piece of animation, and there's great use of landscape and water that often provides a stark contrast to the more cuddly central characters. There are also some splendid supporting characters, such as a trio of battle-hardened T Rexs running a cattle herd, and some nasty pterodactyls and velociraptors.
This is quite a dark tale for a Pixar film, hence the PG rating. I wouldn't let that put anyone off bringing very young children to see it though, as it's ultimately a roller-coaster ride with a strong message about facing up to life's challenges.