'The Story is used before', SO WHAT!? Does that mean that this movie does not deserve any credit at all? Than what about Star Wars? Does Episode 7 not deserve any critic, since that story is almost a entire copy of Episode 4? Because I can't find THAT in the rating. In fact it has rather a surprisingly positive effect, but for me it has not got any effect at all that they reused the story in Episode 7. Who cares these days that the structure of a story is told again in a different location, with different personages, because if someone did care, than that person has a higher niche in watching movies than the diets of the finch species from the Galapagos isles.
A reused story is NOT equal to bad. It is equal to low-budged. A good sense of logic in the story + appealing approach + a well characterization of the personages and what they stand for, will eventually make a perfect movie. Episode 7 sucks at all three and that is why Episode 7 of Star Wars is just BAD! Dinosaur however does this exactly right.
For starters this story is not based on countless coincidences unlike episode 7 from Star Wars... No, this is about a story of a young Iguanodon, that coincidentally landed on an island as egg miles away from his home nest on the continent. Coincedentely the lemurs(which definitely evolved millions of years later) that live there decided to raise him as their own and coincidentally there is lands a meteorite nearby the coast of the Island and coincidentally the Iguanodon survives along with the lemurs who are most dear to him. It is as hypocritical as it sounds (only the beginning has big coincidences), yet this does not come even CLOSE to the conditions in The Force Awakens, because there almost every event happens with coincidence, from the beginning to the very end. Also the choices of the characters happen to be very random an illogical, unlike Dinosaur.
The approach of Dinosaur is rather dark than most family films nowadays. The message was clear that life is cruel and that only the strong will survive in the harsh conditions, just like in real nature. Furthermore we experience Migration in difficult times, Predation and Catastrophic nature events, I must say that Disney did not took a small risk in this, since it happen to be a family film. Yet this darker approach ironically works, just like 'The Lion King'(father died),'The Land before Time'(mother died), 'Bambi'(mother died), 'Finding Nemo'(mother died + all eggs except Nemo). You are more likely to watch a movie again that has this approach than a child-friendly one, because it was something you did not fully understand in your childhood, which makes it interesting.
The characters are good! The personality and the choices made by them match excellent in what they stand for and that is something many movies fail at. Aladar: A soft hero that wants nothing, but helping others, because he has learned that cooperation is the best way to keep a group together. Kron: A rival leader that wants nothing, but controlling the herd with only the strong numbers. Neera: A nervous and forced subject that needs a boost to be able to come up for herself. Bruton: A fierce warrior, that in the end does have the courage in doing the right thing. These are characters that have more or less the most meaning to the story and probably also the most likable ones, because the expression of these characters are so convincing, that make you care in an instant.
In conclusion: Dinosaur is a good and a hugely underrated movie, with strong classic characters, good animation and outstanding music, nothing more to be said. The only critic that I understand is that the story needs to have a little bit more depth, because it felt a bit too straight forward. But I can't understand that someone says: The story is bad, because it is used before.