According to the evolutionary account (one of them anyway), the dinosaurs went extinct when an asteroid hit the earth 65 million years ago. But what if it had missed? This is the premise behind Disney Pixar’s latest film, The Good Dinosaur. And the answer is, apparently, that they would become Americans in the Wild West, complete with farmers, ranchers, and all the villains one would expect in such a setting. Oh, and humans are the coyotes.
Millions of years (MOY) after the near-miss’ with the asteroid, Arlo the Apatosaurus has a problem: namely a critter’ that keeps stealing from his family’s precious corn storage (yes, the dinosaurs figured out how to cultivate corn!). A mishap which occurs while he’s trying to kill the pest leaves him far from home and trying to get back. But to get back he will need help from his new friend, Spot the boy. As his canine name would suggest, in this alternate timeline, humans basically fill the wolf ecological niche, and even his mannerisms are decidedly doggy, which is played for laughs throughout the film. However, the movie could not completely erase the uniqueness of humanity, as they are the only species in the movie that wears clothes. Spot is clad in a leafy loincloth (and given that he has a knock-down drag out battle with a serpent-like creature at one point, one wonders whether the biblical imagery was intentional!).
Drawing from Midwest US scenery, they also could not erase geological evidence of the Flood, as several of the striking geological landmarks shown in the film have clear sedimentary strata that could have only been laid down by vast amounts of fast-moving water.
Millions of years is literally central to the movie’s plot: if we rewind history millions of years and tweak the comet’s path, what changes? And then fast-forward millions of years to see the results. Of course, this is part of the constant barrage of references to MOY timescales that cumulatively indoctrinate people into disbelieving the Bible’s history.
But only slightly more subtle is: to the evolutionist, there was nothing necessary’ about the appearance of humanity in our current form; we simply got a lucky (from our point of view) hand of cards. If we reshuffled the deck, we would come up with vastly different results, for instance, T. Rexes that herd longhorns (yes, the dinosaurs also figured out animal husbandry!) and compare battle scars over the campfire.
The dinosaur-to-bird evolution idea made a nearly-obligatory appearance in the form of feathery raptors, and in slightly more lizard-like chickens (which for some reason were being raised by the vegetarian Apatosaurs!). But in another scene, there were modern-looking birds, so one wonders whether this was thought out.
But the most subtle evolutionary idea of all is that dinosaurs and man never lived together. In fact, according to the Bible’s history, dinosaurs and man were created on the same day, Day 6 of Creation Week (plesiosaurs and pterosaurs, extinct flying and swimming reptiles similar to dinosaurs, would have been created on Day 5). In fact, there are written accounts and artistic representations of creatures called dragons’ that roughly fit what we would call dinosaurs.
"It's just a kids' movie"?
There can be a tendency to wonder whether it is worth it’ to critique movies that are obviously aimed at a children’s audience and not necessarily aiming for scientific accuracy. But childhood is precisely the stage where so many images are internalized and worldviews are being built. This isn’t to say that one shouldn’t see the movie, necessarily. Rather, one should be deliberate in one’s decision whether or not to view it and allow one’s children to do so. It might be an interesting discussion starter about worldview, timescale, and creation!