The Good Dinosaur (2015) - Plot Summary Poster


Showing all 8 items
Jump to:


  • In a world where dinosaurs and humans live side-by-side, an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend.

  • "The Good Dinosaur" asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? In this epic journey into the world of dinosaurs, an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend. While travelling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of.

  • After a lot of accidents that changed the usual form of his happy and joyful family, Arlo, an apatosaurus, formed a distant and accidental relationship with a brave young primitive boy in a world that dinosaurs successfully live until the Prehistoric age.

  • After young apotosauras Arlo's father getting washed away by a flood. He blames a cave kid named Spot for killing him. Spot suddenly knocks Arlo into the river and Arlo gets washed away and gets lost in the woods. Arlo then later turns from scared to brave, and he becomes friends with Spot, and Arlo then meets a clan of T-Rexes who find Arlo's way home. Can Arlo be the bravest living dinosaur or will he sometimes still be afraid?

  • Young Arlo is afraid of everything. Has been since the day he was hatched. But he's forced to find the courage he never knew he had after his father is killed. After falling into the river near his home, Arlo must find his way home. Along the way, he learns what love and courage really mean with the help of some interesting encounters with other dinosaurs.

  • Separated from his parents and his siblings by a sudden storm, the bashful young apatosaurus, Arlo, finds himself miles away from home, with nobody for company but a feral cave-boy named Spot. Afraid, alone, and hopeless, the unlikely companions embark on a wild adventure in the vast and unforgiving Palaeolithic landscapes, bent on finding Arlo's farm up in the Clawtooth Mountain to be safe again. However, Arlo must first overcome his fears before he reunites with his family. Will a new Arlo emerge from this terrible ordeal?

  • In an alternate history, the asteroid that would have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago passes safely over Earth. Sixty-five million years later, Apatosaurus farmers Henry and Ida have children Libby, Buck, and the runt Arlo, who has trouble adjusting to farm life. While his successful siblings are allowed to "make their mark" (a mud-print on the family's corn silo), Arlo's timid nature makes tasks difficult for him. Henry attempts to give Arlo a sense of purpose by putting him in charge of guarding their silo, and helps him set a trap. It captures a feral cave-boy, but Arlo doesn't have the heart to kill him, and sets him free. Disappointed, Henry takes Arlo to track the cave-boy, leading them into a ravine. Henry saves Arlo from a flash flood before being swept away and killed..


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • 65 million years ago, an asteroid made its way out of the belt and sped toward Earth. It turned red as it entered the atmosphere, and then it sped past, missing the planet entirely. Millions of years later, two Apaterosauruses named Henry (Jeffrey Wright) and Ida (Frances McDormand) are busy cultivating a field next to a river at the base of Clawtooth Mountain. Henry sprays the crops with water from his mouth, when Ida calls out, "It's time!" She has a large egg and two small ones in her nest, and the small ones hatch first, giving them a boy and a girl, Buck (Marcus Scribner) and Libby. The large egg still doesn't hatch, so Buck hits it with a stick. The top pops off, and they look inside and see a tiny dinosaur clinging to the egg. Slowly, Arlo (Raymond Ochoa) climbs out and tries to walk, awkwardly falling over at first. Henry shows them all the farm and the mountain, saying they will all take care of it together.

    At the age of five, Buck and Libby are helping out with the chores, but Arlo's fear made him hate his chore of feeding the chickens. Ida puts a bucket of corn around his neck and coaxes him into the coop. He sees a chick trapped in some weeds and frees him, only to have the mother chicken come up behind him and squawk loudly. Scared, Arlo runs into the silo, where Henry is storing corn. He seals the door with a boulder, keeping the food safe from scavengers. Ida tells him he should make his mark, and he presses his foot down in the mud and stamps it on a rock, then places it on top of the silo. He tells Ida to make her mark, since she made the cabin, the fence and three children. Henry tells the kids they have to earn the right to make their mark, by doing something big, for something bigger than themselves.

    When they are ten, Buck and Libby have earned their marks by clearing trees and plowing a field. But Arlo still hasn't done anything to earn his mark. Arlo is determined to complete his chore, but Buck plays a prank on him, scaring him off before he can finish. Henry decides to take Arlo out into the field at night, telling him to walk to the middle. A bug lands on his nose, and he screams for his dad. Henry walks up and blows on the bug, revealing it to be a firefly. "Sometimes, you gotta get through your fear to see the beauty on the other side," he tells Arlo. Then he waves his tail through the grass, causing more fireflies to pop out. Excited, Arlo does the same thing. Then Henry tells him that he has a special chore for Arlo, so he can make his mark.

    The next day, Henry takes Arlo to the silo and tells him that there's a critter climbing over the fence and stealing the corn. He tells Arlo that his chore is to catch it, then shows him how to build a trap with a rope and net, and an ear of corn on the ground for bait. Using a pumpkin for demonstration, he tells Arlo that when he smashes the critter with a mallet, then he'll be able to make his mark.

    Later, Arlo hears the sound of the trap. With the mallet in hand, he approaches and sees a human child (Jack Bright) trapped and choking with the net wrapped around his neck. Arlo sighs and lets the boy go, but the boy approaches him, sniffing around. Arlo backs away, tripping over a rock and letting out a scream. Startled, the boy runs off as Henry runs over. Henry sees the boy escaping and yells at Arlo for letting him go. Henry tells Arlo to come with him as he follows the boy's tracks. Just then, it started to rain. Arlo worries that they'll get lost, but Henry tells him that as long as he can find the river, he can find home. Henry tells Arlo that the boy's tracks are getting washed out in the rain, so they have to move quickly. Lightning and thunder are crackling all around them, and Arlo slips and falls in the mud. Henry tells him that they should head home. Just then, a landslide causes the river to overflow. Henry uses his strength to push Arlo to safety, before being swept away.

    With Henry gone, Ida and the kids struggle to keep up with the chores. Arlo takes corn into the silo for the winter, but he finds the boy eating it. Arlo chases after him, grabbing an ear of corn from his mouth. As they struggle, Arlo falls into the river and cries for help, but nobody hears him. Careening down the river, Arlo smacks his head against a large rock and is knocked unconscious. He wakes up lying on a sandbar, and sees that he's miles from home. The only sound he can hear is a howl coming from the boy, and he sees him at the top of a cliff. The boy watches as Arlo awkwardly climbs up the cliff, then he jumps on Arlo's face. Arlo shakes him off, and then climbs up to the cliff edge, when he sees that the boy has disappeared.

    Arlo climbs up to the top of a ridge, trying to find home. He sees the river, and remembers Henry's words. After walking up the river for a while, he sees a berry tree, and balances on a rock to get the berries. He loses his balance and falls, landing with a pile of rocks trapping his leg. Stuck, he closes his eyes and falls asleep. The next morning, the sound of geysers wakes him up, and he sees that the rocks have been moved, freeing his leg. He sees human tracks, and wonders if it was the boy who helped him. As he resumes walking up the river, heavy rain comes down. Arlo sees all the other animals take shelter, but he has none. He hears a rattle in the bushes, and the boy comes out and offers him a lizard, and then a bug. Arlo has no interest in eating either one. Then the boy brings back some berries, and Arlo happily eats them. He asks the boy if he knows where to find more, not sure if the boy understands. The boy runs off, and Arlo follows him to a cliff ledge. Arlo falls over, with his mouth gripping one edge and his legs on the other. The boy uses Arlo for a bridge, and then shows him a berry bush. Arlo flings himself to the other side, then runs toward the bush. Just then, a snake falls out and attacks Arlo. The boy grabs the snake's tail and starts to gnaw on its skin. The snake slithers away, and Arlo realizes the boy had saved him.

    Together, Arlo and the boy are walking up the river, when Arlo hears a voice say hello. Looking around, he finds a Styracosaurus with big horns. His name is Forrest Woodbush. Small creatures are perched all over the horns, and he says they are there to protect him. He saw the boy protect Arlo, and says he could use the boy as another protector. Arlo tells Forrest the boy is with him, and Forrest asks what the boy's name is. Arlo says he doesn't know, and Forrest says, "I name him, I keep him." They both start calling out names, getting no response. Arlo yells out, "Spot!" and the boy looks up at him. "Come here, Spot!" The boy walks up to Arlo. Forrest tells him not to lose Spot on his way back to Clawtooth Mountain.

    Walking back, they hear a squeak and see a gopher popping its head out of a hole. Spot tries to pounce, but the animal quickly ducks back down. Spot puts his mouth to the hole and blows, causing a gopher to pop out, and then scurry back in. Arlo does the same thing, causing more gophers to pop out. Displeased, the gophers bite Arlo, causing him and Spot to run for safety. They find themselves on a ledge above the river. Another gopher bites Arlo, sending him down into the river. He struggles to stay afloat, and Spot dives in after him and demonstrates how to swim. Arlo catches on and swims to shore with Spot. Arlo realizes his body is covered with leeches and tries to shake them off. Spot helps peel off the stubborn ones. They continue walking and find some fruit, and both eat heartily. Then they start to hallucinate, realizing there was something in the fruit. Tired, they both fall asleep.

    They wake up at night, and walk through a meadow. Arlo waves his tail through the grass, causing fireflies to pop up. Excited, Spot tries to grab them, catching one in his hands. Arlo blows on it, making it light up, and Spot lets it go. Arlo says he misses his family, and Spot tilts his head in confusion. Arlo breaks some sticks and makes dinosaur shapes, saying that one is him, and the rest are Buck and Libby, and Momma and Poppa. Then he draws a circle around them and says they are his family. Spot grabs some sticks and makes three human shapes, then draws a circle around them. Arlo tells him that's his family. Spot lays two figures flat on the ground and covers them with dirt. Arlo does the same with his Poppa figure. Together, they howl sadly at the moon.

    The next day, they resume walking up the river, when a violent storm hits them. Arlo curls up under a fallen tree, with Spot following him. When it ends, Arlo climbs out and sees destruction everywhere, and he realizes he can't find the river. In the sky, he sees pterodactyls flying in formation, like a search-and-rescue team. Arlo calls out to them, but Spot scurries off and hides. Thunderclap, Downpour and Coldfront land next to Arlo, and offer to lead him back to Clawtooth Mountain. They find an animal trapped under a fallen tree, and Arlo helps them clear the tree away. Thunderclap picks up the animal, but instead of letting it go, he throws it into his mouth and swallows it. Scared, Arlo looks around and sees Spot hiding beneath some debris. The pterodactyls can smell him, and they ask Arlo where he is. Arlo tries to misdirect them, but when he nervously glances in Spot's direction, Thunderclap flies over to him. Spot runs away, with Thunderclap giving chase. Arlo runs over, and Spot jumps on his back. Arlo sees a long-necked dinosaur grazing and calls out for help, but then he sees that it's actually two T. rexes.

    Trapped between the pterodactyls and the now-charging T. rexes, Arlo curls up into a ball over Spot. Suddenly, the T. rexes attack the pterodactyls and drive them away, and then they approach Arlo. He's frozen with fear, but the T. rexes help him up, and introduce themselves as Ramsey, a girl, and Nash, her brother. Their father, Butch, walks up and Arlo sees a giant scar on his face. Arlo asks him for help getting home, but Butch tells him they don't have time to help, since they're trying to find their herd of longhorns. Arlo offers to let Spot sniff out the herd, in return for helping him back home. Spot is able to find their tracks, but feathers on the ground indicate that the herd was taken by rustlers. Following the tracks, they find the herd grazing in a nearby field. Knowing the rustlers are lying in wait, Butch tells Arlo to stand on a rock near the herd and scream, and then stand still when the rustlers charge toward him. Nervously, Arlo heads to the rock with Spot. He tries to scream, but his fear made him silent. Spot chomps his leg, and he lets out a pained yell. Three raptors rustle through the grass, and walk up to Arlo. They tell him he's trespassing, and they take care of trespassers by killing them. A raptor strikes, but the T. rexes jump in and fight them. Butch head-butts a raptor, sending him flying into the herd, who stampede straight toward Arlo.

    Arlo takes off running with Spot, and the T. rexes try to keep up with the herd. A raptor jumps on Nash, and they fight, with the raptor pinning Nash down. Just as he is about to strike, Ramsey hits him with a tail-whip, sending him flying away. Arlo runs behind a boulder to escape the stampede, but the raptors can smell him nearby. Butch charges in, but he gets pinned to the ground by two raptors. Summoning his courage, Arlo charges in and head-butts a raptor away, and Butch grabs the other by the tail and flings her off. Arlo joins the T. rexes in driving the herd to a safer place.

    That night, Arlo, Spot and the T. rexes gather around a campfire. Arlo sees a cut on his forearm, and Ramsey tells him that it will leave a good scar. Nash shows a scar on his calf, and says he got it fighting fifteen Stegosauruses. Ramsey says that once he was trapped with his tail stuck under a rock and a herd of longhorns coming straight at him, so he had to gnaw his tail off. He shows the stub where his tail was. Arlo asks Butch how he got his scar, and he says he was taking a drink from a pond, when crocodiles jumped out of the water and bit his face. He bit one crocodile in half, tail-whipped another one, and then drowned a third one in his blood. Then he opens his mouth and shows off a crocodile tooth lodged in his jaw. Arlo says that his Poppa wasn't scared of anything, and that he's done being scared. Butch tells him that he was scared when the crocodiles attacked him, and that fear can make you find out what you're made of. Just then, the first snow falls, and Arlo tells them he needs to get home, to prepare the food for winter.

    The next morning, the T. rexes herd the longhorns on, and when a group splits off, Arlo runs ahead and snaps off a tree with his tail to force them back. Going over a slope, Arlo sees the peaks of Clawtooth Mountain, and the T. rexes say goodbye to him. When Arlo gets close to home, he lets out a happy howl, and Spot joins him. Suddenly, they hear another person howl back. Arlo can't stand the thought of losing Spot, so he scoops Spot up and walks back to the river. A storm comes in, and Arlo's feet get stuck in the mud. Looking up, he sees the pterodactyls flying around. They fly in and attack Arlo with their wings, and Thunderclap snatches up Spot in his talons. The other two turn to Arlo, who tries to back away, but he loses his balance in the mud and falls into brambles below. He tries to get free, but the brambles tighten around him. Unable to get through to Arlo, the pterodactyls fly after Thunderclap and Spot. Arlo tries one more time to free himself, but a rock comes loose and hits him in the head, knocking him unconscious.

    When he comes to, he sees someone chopping the brambles in half, and realizes it's Poppa. He tells Arlo they have to go home, but Arlo wants to save Spot. Poppa keeps walking forward, and Arlo yells at him to stop. Then he sees that Poppa isn't leaving any footprints. Arlo tells Poppa that he has to go save Spot, because he loves him. Poppa says he knew Arlo had it in him, and then fades away into the rain. Arlo is still tangled in the brambles, but with renewed determination, he breaks them one by one, and he runs after Spot.

    Arlo climbs up the mountain and howls for Spot, and he hears Spot howl back. He sees Spot inside a hollow tree, surrounded by pterodactyls. They whack the tree, trying to get Spot out. Arlo charges in and head-butts a pterodactyl into the river. Thunderclap and the others lift Arlo into the air, and Spot howls from the tree. Thunderclap flies down to Spot, who goes deeper into the tree. Still in the air, Arlo whacks a tree and makes it fall, landing on the pterodactyls. Arlo falls to the ground, and another pterodactyl flies toward him. Arlo grabs a tree with his tail and flings it into the pterodactyl, knocking it into the water. Arlo sees Thunderclap still attacking Spot, so he runs up and lets out a loud roar, scaring Thunderclap away.

    A flash flood approaches, and the tree with Spot inside gets swept away. Arlo tries to save him, but he can't reach far enough. The flood causes debris to fall, knocking Arlo into the river. Struggling to swim, he sees Spot unconscious inside the sinking tree. Arlo swims to him, hearing a waterfall ahead. When he reaches Spot, he curls himself around Spot and they both go over the edge.

    At the bottom, Arlo pulls Spot out of the water, and Spot opens his eyes. Arlo puts his head down and breathes a sigh of relief. The next day, they resume walking home, when they hear a human man howl. They see a woman and two children join him on the hill. Arlo slowly approaches, and Spot jumps off his back. The father sniffs Spot and rubs his hair, and the family gathers around him. Spot jumps on Arlo's back, ready to keep going, but Arlo pushes him off. Arlo draws a circle on the ground around all of them, and Spot understands. Arlo hugs Spot and says goodbye.

    Arlo walks the rest of the way alone, seeing the farm in the distance with the harvest still on the ground. Momma, Buck and Libby were tired, but still working. Momma looks up and sees Arlo walking toward her. "Arlo!" she cries, and all of them run up and hug him.

    At the top of the silo, Arlo's mud footprint stands right beside Poppa's. Arlo had done something big for something bigger than himself, and he was home.

See also

Taglines | Synopsis | Plot Keywords | Parents Guide

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed