The Good Dinosaur Preached! 4 Life Lessons From Arlo


Hey Moms,

Last week we received a fun invitation from The Moms and JCPenney to see a private showing of The Good Dinosaur and to check out new Okie Dokie clothing.  Though a school night, I agreed to this after school adventure — tis the season for fun, right? ?


After a train ride and a chilly 15 minute walk to the eastside, we waved to the flagship Apple store on 59th and 5th Ave and walked into our event.  Upon entrance, we were greeted with a cute swag bag and escorted to pick out Okie Dokie pieces that were camera ready for a ‘click-and-tweet’ moment.  Genesis selected a gray pullover sweater showcasing Arlo and Spot from the movie and Mercy chose a frozen blue colored tutu with snowflakes – are we surprised by the choices here? ?


We then grabbed a cookie, cupcake and some water and headed inside to our seats.  The show started and I politely placed some earplugs into Mercy’s ears as she can be oversensitive to sound, especially in movie theaters.  We snuggled together and awaited for our Pixar journey. ?


As the movie started, I immediately noted some good points that were being brought up about life: dealing with struggle, fighting for love, earning respect and building self esteem.  The story is about a Dinosaur named Arlo who has a mom, dad, brother and sister.  He was born the smallest and struggles with the basics of walking and shuffling around to do the chores for the family business.  I know, I know…I’m really breaking down an animated film like it’s real life but let’s just say, Genesis wasn’t the only one in tears at the end of the movie.  And besides, if you know me well, you know I can find the sermon in any situation.  Without giving too much away, here are 4 life lessons I highlighted from the movie:


  1. To make your mark, you have to earn it. In the movie, Arlo is a wobbly walker, stricken with fear on most occasions and can’t totally hold the same weight as everyone else in the family.  Each member, except Arlo, put their footprint on the food tower they built as a signature of accomplishment.  Arlo wasn’t ready his dad said, he needed to do something to earn his “mark.” >>> In life, I feel, we receive lessons until we “get” them.  But until we learn what we need to learn, we don’t elevate the next level of life.  Life is funny like that, it makes you earn your reward.  It gives you the light at the “end” of the tunnel; but it’s up to us to get through that tunnel.  We have to work for it.
  2. Get though your fear to see the beauty on the other side.  One night, after a discouraging day for Arlo, his dad made him walk into the dark night and showed him the magic of the fireflies.  Arlo didn’t want to walk into the field by himself, but once pushed, his movement was the catalyst to send hundreds of fireflies up in the sky with their lights on. >>>  How many times has fear stopped you from doing something?  It just halted you in your tracks and you didn’t get to reap a reward because you didn’t push past your fear.  I’m talking about courage here and the commitment to yourself to trust, believe and just jump into your greater self.  I don’t know about you, but Arlo was preaching here.
  3. Your storms will you give you a revelation; they sweep you up higher.  WHOA! Can you marinate on that for a second? Arlo was terrified of storms.  Not just because of the extreme thunder and lighting but also because he suffers a terrible moment with his dad during a storm and this memory stays with him forever.  In the movie, every time he sees a storm coming, his fear rises and his insecurities heighten. The moment he faces his fears, when he is finding his way home, he gains a strength from his core that takes him to another level. >>> In life, it’s really easy to run from the storm.  It’s scary right?  We naturally want the easy way out or around hard parts of life.  Yet, life never makes it that easy.  No one is exempt from hard times in life.  But if we can shift our paradigm about the storms and see them as opportunities to elevate, we might just get into a new habit of gearing up for the game and securing more wins.
  4. Your love for someone else will push you beyond your limits.  In the movie, Arlo befriends a little human boy named Spot.  Long story short, they become best buds and Spot acts as Arlo’s protector out in the lost world.  But there’s comes a point when Arlo has to save Spot’s life.  You can see Arlo dig deep into his soul, he pulls out more grit than he ever though he had in life, to help his best friend out.  Now I have to speak to being a mother on this one.  I was a tough cookie before, but until I was put through bootcamp a.k.a. motherhood, I didn’t know my true strength.  For real: I don’t know where I find the energy to do what I do some days, but I do.  And I do it for the loves of my life, my daughters.  They pulled out the warrior in me to fight through my hardest days and turn around and do the same thing the next day.  I turned into a ninja for them.  


By the end of this apparently not-just-for-kids film, Arlo was walking tall, with a strong stride of self-confidence, even his mother confused him for the strong stature of his father.  His storms and struggle had made him stronger, newer version of himself.  Genesis and I were in tears at the end, (apparently Mercy didn’t care –I’m JUST playing ?) and filled with joy for this sweet reminder on life.  The girls and I thought we were just going to have a fun night at the movies, but we left with a sermon on life.

Let’s Win,

Cynthia ?


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