Lesson from “The Good Dinosaur”

The Chaplain’s Perspective.

The Good Dinosaur.

Have you seen the movie “The Good Dinosaur”? I’ve watched it now four time, once by myself, and once each with my two grandsons and once with my wife and a friend. Yes, it’s just a cartoon story, but part of the way we learn and develop is by relating to stories, our own and others story’s. Moral tales have been told for centuries, our ancestors learned through stories around the camp fire, aborigines learned through their dreaming stories. Why not through modern movies, which are essentially stories moral or otherwise.

I reckon “The Good Dinosaur” is a moral tale for kids, up to teens, especially young boys, for today’s generation. It teaches about responsibility, resilience, grief and loss, prejudice, and becoming a responsible adult. I found it interesting to sit with my grandsons watching the movie together and then after just chatting casually about these subject over a meal.

I often wonder what happened to the initiation rituals of our ancestors for children to enter into society as young men and women. I think this movie is about how a young dinosaur becomes a man through the things that happen to him and his companion ‘Spot’. I believe today for some young people this is achieved through the discipline of sport or some other discipline like academic achievement. Some use risk taking as a path, sometimes with tragic consequences.

I would recommend this movie. Watch it first to make sure you feel it’s suitable and then watch it with your children and discuss it casually with them over a meal. Any discussions about the themes you find in this movie would be helpful. But remember let your kid’s do most of the talking. Listen to them and ask questions that will help the discussion.

Fr. Robert,
CCS Chaplain.