NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy

The film is preceded by a Pixar short.

Young Sanjay is excited to watch his favorite show, "Super Team", but his father wants him to join him in meditation. Reluctantly, Sanjay sits next to his father. As the father prays, Sanjay holds his action figure near the lit candle, causing the cape to catch fire. He blows out the fire but accidentally puts out the candle. Sanjay then imagines himself in a temple where he awakens an angry creature. The three Hindu deities that his father was praying to come to life as superpowered beings. They battle the creature and nearly defeat it, but it proves more powerful than anticipated. Sanjay gathers his courage and reignites the candle, bringing the creature to peace. Sanjay's father then realizes what his son really wants to do, and he lets him go back to watching TV. Sanjay then brings his father close to show him the drawings he made. We then see a picture of the real Sanjay (the short's writer/director) and his father.

65 million years ago, a massive asteroid was sent hurtling toward Earth. However, it just missed the planet, thus averting the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Another few million years later, two Apatosaurus farmers, Poppa Henry (Jeffrey Wright) and Momma Ida (Frances McDormand), are tending to their crops. Momma tells Poppa that their eggs are about to hatch. The first child to hatch is Libby (Maleah Padilla). The second is mischievous Buck (Marcus Scribner). The final and biggest egg holds the smallest child: Arlo (Raymond Ochoa). Arlo is tiny and gets messed around with by Buck. Poppa brings him outside and shows him Clawtooth Mountain, which has three points and is closest to their home.

As the children get older, Arlo is tasked with keeping critters out of the crops. He deals with chicken-like animals that terrorize him, prompting Buck to use this against him for pranks. Poppa constructs a silo to keep their food secured from critters and pests. He and Momma leave mudprints on the silo, and over time, Libby and Buck earn the right to leave their marks on the silo, but Arlo has yet to do so himself. Poppa takes Arlo with him at night to help him overcome his fearful nature. A fly lands on Arlo's snout, but Poppa gently blows on it, revealing it to be a firefly. With a light brush of his tail, Poppa brings about the other fireflies, to Arlo's astonishment.

One day, Poppa helps Arlo set up a trap to catch the pests that are eating the crops, and Poppa intends for Arlo to kill it. The trap catches something: a feral human boy (Jack Bright). Arlo tries to prepare himself to kill him, but he sees that the trap is suffocating the boy, so Arlo cuts him loose and lets him free. Poppa is upset and orders Arlo to follow him through a ravine to find the boy. He tells Arlo that if he knows where the river runs, he can find his way home. Arlo can't keep up and ends up hurting his leg. Poppa softens up and tells Arlo they should turn back. Suddenly, a storm hits and causes a rapid to head their way. Poppa gets Arlo to higher ground, but he gets hit by the water and is swept away.

The kids try and help Momma gather food before the winter as fast as they can without Poppa there anymore. Arlo sees a corn cob fly out of the silo and finds the boy in there eating the corn. Arlo tries to catch him, angrily blaming him for Poppa's death, only for both of them to end up falling into a river, taking Arlo far away from his family. He hits his head on a rock and is knocked unconscious.

When Arlo wakes up, he finds himself alone. He doesn't know how to get back home. Hungry, Arlo tries to stand on a rock and reach the berries on a tree, but the rock slips and causes his leg to get stuck. Arlo tries to push it off but he can't. When he wakes up the next morning, his leg has more space to slip out since the boy apparently dug a hole to free him.

As the rain falls, Arlo puts some sticks up to provide shelter, but he still has no food. The boy comes around and brings what he thinks are suitable meals for Arlo. First is a lizard that ends up crawling away. Next is a huge flying bug that Arlo refuses to eat, so the boy bites its head off. The boy then brings Arlo a branch with berries, satisfying him. He follows the boy to get more berries, but they must cross a mountain over a great height. Due to his hesitance, the boy bites Arlo's leg and causes him to fall forward and hang onto the other ledge with his teeth. The boy uses Arlo's body to walk over to the tree with the berries. Arlo pulls himself up and tries to get himself some berries, only to encounter a four-legged snake that causes him to fall over to the ground. The boy comes down and fights the snake, scaring it away. From the trees, a large Styracosaurus named Forrest Woodbrush (Peter Sohn) is carrying multiple critters on him for protection. They have been observing Arlo and thought he would die but note that the boy has protected Arlo. Forrest asks what the boy's name is, and Arlo eventually lands on Spot.

Arlo and Spot stick together for the rest of the day. Arlo shows Spot the fireflies as he brushes his tail on the grass. They settle down for the night by the river. Arlo says how he misses his family. He puts up four sticks to represent himself, Momma, Libby, and Buck, and then sadly puts up a fifth stick to represent Poppa, drawing a circle around all of them. Spot understands him and gets three sticks to represent his own family in a circle. However, Spot then puts the two bigger sticks down and buries them in the sand. Arlo understands and buries the Poppa stick. The two then howl at the moon.

The two travel toward Clawtooth Mountain, but are hit by a dust storm. Arlo runs for cover, leaving Spot behind. After it has calmed down, Arlo sees that he can't find the river anymore, to his sadness. He then spots five Pterodactyls flying up above. The leader, Thunderclap (Steve Zahn), descends and asks if Arlo is wounded. He says no, and Thunderclap orders two other Pterodactyls to find a wounded creature. They find a small critter stuck under a log. Arlo crushes the log with his tail and frees the critter...only for Thunderclap to swallow it whole. Knowing where Spot is hidden, Arlo tries keeping the Pterodactyls away, but Spot is found out. He and Arlo run away and encounter two T-Rexes, Nash (AJ Buckley) and Ramsey (Anna Paquin). The two of them scare the Pterodactyls away and quickly befriend Arlo and Spot.

Nash and Ramsey's father Butch (Sam Elliott) arrives and doesn't want Arlo and Spot with them, saying that he and his children need to focus on the predators that are attacking their herd of Longhorns. Arlo convinces Butch that Spot can sniff anything out. Ramsey shows Spot a big bush of hair, which Spot sniffs out, leading them to the whole herd. Butch orders Arlo to go out to a rock in the middle of the herd and to scream so they can catch the predators. Arlo goes out and lets out a wheezy scream until Spot bites his leg and makes him scream louder. Four Raptors led by Bubbha (Dave Boat) attack, causing the herd to stampede. The Raptors try to kill Arlo and Spot, but the T-Rexes run in and fight back. Arlo protects Spot from the stampede but also manages to get two of the Raptors by whipping them with his tail, giving Butch the advantage to scare the Raptors away.

The dinosaurs and Spot set up a campfire for the night. Ramsey notes the scratch on Arlo's leg, saying it'll scar up nicely. Nash shares a story of how he lost the feeling in his foot after an incident, while Ramsey says she chewed off the tip of her tail when she got stuck. Butch tells a story of the scar on his face, in which he was attacked by three crocodiles and got bitten in the face, but he killed all three of them. Arlo says they would have liked Poppa since he wasn't scared of anything. Butch admits that he was scared during the attack, but it made him feel alive.

In the morning, Arlo helps lead the T-Rexes' herd to safety, and he and Spot part ways with them as they continue to head on home. On the way, Spot lets out a howl, which receives a response with another howl. In the distance, the two see what appears to be an adult human, but they disregard him and keep on moving.

Arlo carries Spot on his back toward the mountain, bouncing him high above the clouds until they can both see Clawtooth Mountain. Another storm starts brewing, and the Pterodactyls swoop down for an attack. Thunderclap takes Spot away from Arlo, and the other Pterodactyls cause Arlo to fall into the trees and get caught in some vines. As he tries to pull himself free, a large rock comes loose and hits Arlo in the head. Dazed, he appears to see Poppa freeing him. Arlo follows Poppa but says they need to get Spot. Poppa doesn't listen to him, and Arlo looks in the mud to see that Poppa isn't leaving footprints, meaning he's hallucinating. Arlo tells Poppa that he loves Spot and that he needs to go back to him. Poppa turns around and tells Arlo, "You are me, and more", before disappearing.

Arlo races after the Pterodactyls and finds them getting at Spot in a tree trunk by the river. Arlo tail-whips two Pterodactyls into the river. Two more grab him and try to fly off with him until he tail-whips a tree and causes it to knock those two into the river. Thunderclap continues to get at Spot until Arlo lets out a roar that pushes Thunderclap back and gives Spot an opportunity to rip his wing. Thunderclap tries to fly away, but Arlo throws a large branch at him and knocks him into the river. The storm intensifies and causes a torrent headed toward Arlo and Spot, the latter whom is still stuck in the trunk. Before the water hits him, Arlo leaps forward and protects Spot, and the two are pushed over a waterfall. Arlo carries Spot to land, where the boy is unconscious. Arlo gently blows on him and awakens him.

Arlo and Spot reach Clawtooth Mountain and are close to home. They then hear a howling and see the man from earlier accompanied by a woman and two children that are slightly older than Spot. They approach Spot with care, and Arlo knows what this means now. Spot runs up to Arlo and climbs on him, but Arlo pushes Spot toward the humans. He draws a circle around them to let Spot know that this is his new family. Spot realizes this, and the two share a tearful goodbye as Spot hugs Arlo's snout.

Arlo finally returns to the farm where Momma, Libby, and Buck run up to him. At last, Arlo is able to leave his mark on the silo right between Momma and Poppa.

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