The Good Dinosaur: Fascinating Facts From the Creators & Cast! #GoodDino

The Good Dinosaur: Fascinating Facts

By Erin

 *I attended a media event as a guest of Disney.*

THE GOOD DINOSAUR - Pictured (L-R): Momma, Poppa, Arlo, Buck, Libby. ©2015 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

THE GOOD DINOSAUR – Pictured (L-R): Momma, Poppa, Arlo, Buck, Libby. ©2015 Disney•Pixar.

Have you ever thought what it would be like if Dinosaurs roamed the earth alongside us humans? Well, Disney/Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur” asks this very question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? Pixar Animation Studios takes us on a wild epic journey, straight into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend named Spot. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of. “The Good Dinosaur” is very unique in many ways, it’s not like other Disney/Pixar films. Here to tell us some special facts about the film, we have the cast and creators to share with us how “The Good Dinosaur” came to life.

Sam Elliott, Director Peter Sohn, Anna Paquin, AJ Buckley, Producer Denise Ream, Jeffrey Wright and Raymond Ochoa attend the The Good Dinosaur Press Day in Los Angeles on November 15, 2015. Photo by Patrick Wymore. ©2015 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Sam Elliott, Director Peter Sohn, Anna Paquin, AJ Buckley, Producer Denise Ream, Jeffrey Wright and Raymond Ochoa attend the The Good Dinosaur Press Day in Los Angeles on November 15, 2015. Photo by Patrick Wymore. ©2015 Disney•Pixar

First we spoke with the very talented Peter Sohn, who directed the film and Denise Ream, who produced the film. They enlightened us with some very fascinating facts about the film.

Producer Denise Ream and Director Peter Sohn attend the The Good Dinosaur Press Day in Los Angeles on November 15, 2015. Photo by Patrick Wymore. ©2015 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Producer Denise Ream and Director Peter Sohn attend the The Good Dinosaur Press Day in Los Angeles on November 15, 2015. Photo by Patrick Wymore. ©2015 Disney•Pixar.

1)Rough Start

“The Good Dinosaur” had a very rough beginning. Originally the film had been in production with a different team for many years. It was shut down in October of 2013 because the story was not going in the direction that it needed to go. Then Peter Sohn came on board and helped to get the film moving in the right direction alongside Denise Ream in December 2013, begining with research. Peter Sohn suggested, “Let’s plan a trip. And Denise was like, “Let’s get lost out there, and let’s just do what we started with this project Let’s go out there.” The team then went to Wyoming, where they began to discover the beauty as well as the dangers of the region, and became inspired to write the story.

2)Easter Eggs

Pixar is known for planting numerous Easter Eggs in their films and “The Good Dinosaur” is no different. Peter Sohn told us that there are some Easter eggs such as the Pizza Planet Truck, A-113, and Dory. There are more, so keep a watchful eye out for them! 😉

Jeffrey Wright and Raymond Ochoa attend the The Good Dinosaur Press Day in Los Angeles on November 15, 2015. Photo by Patrick Wymore. ©2015 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Jeffrey Wright and Raymond Ochoa attend the The Good Dinosaur Press Day in Los Angeles on November 15, 2015. Photo by Patrick Wymore. ©2015 Disney•Pixar.

Next we met with Jeffrey Wright (voice of Poppa) & Raymond Ochoa (Voice of Arlo) who also had lots of fun information for us.

3) A lot of Research

Raymond Ochoa did a lot of research for his role as Arlo. He credits his parents for all of their help. “I have great parents and they are so helpful in everything I do, so when I knew that I was an apatosaurus, they helped me on what it actually was.  They helped me Google stuff.  They helped me Google facts and good things about what it actually looked like, because I had no idea what it looked like.  I didn’t know what an apatosaurus was at the time, and I looked it up.  I was like, “Wow, okay.” I saw a picture of it, and I was like, “This dinosaur doesn’t look that mean.”  But, you know, it doesn’t look kid-friendly at the same time either. If you saw that thing walking around, you’d be scared of it. I think that was what really helped me get the part was because I did go in with the understanding of what it actually was, rather than an average person who just says lines in front of a thing and being like, “okay, let’s send it over.” 

4) A Love for Pixar

Jeffery Wright and his family have a deep love for Pixar. “I live vicariously through these things with my children, it was intensely exciting for me because it was so for them. It was beyond the popularity of the movies and, the prominence that they have for kids my kids’ age and Raymond’s age now, they are really good stories.  It’s really become, seriously well-considered storytelling. The themes of this one, which are so universal and fairly obvious around parenthood and family and love and responsibility and nurturing, all of these things are so resonant, so that’s really very gratifying to be a part of.  On top of that, it makes me — you know, Hunger Games went a long way in this regard, but now a Pixar movie makes me even that much cooler with the kids, my kids, and their friends at school, so that’s always advantageous. 

Sam Elliott, Anna Paquin and AJ Buckley attend the The Good Dinosaur Press Day in Los Angeles on November 15, 2015. Photo by Patrick Wymore. ©2015 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Sam Elliott, Anna Paquin and AJ Buckley attend the The Good Dinosaur Press Day in Los Angeles on November 15, 2015. Photo by Patrick Wymore. ©2015 Disney•Pixar.

Last for “The Good Dinosaur we got to chat with Sam Elliott (voice of “Butch”), Anna Paquin (voice of “Ramsey”) & AJ Buckley (voice of “Nash”)

5) They Didn’t Work Together

We found out that they didn’t rehearse together. At all. They had not all gotten to meet in person until that day at the press junket! AJ Buckley told us, “That’s the crazy part, none of us actually , worked together. Until this morning, it was the first time we’d met. I was the last person cast.  I didn’t hear their voices in the scene.  Just heard sort of where — you know, a scene here and a scene there, and it wasn’t mixed yet.  That’s how Peter, how he took — he was very, very specific, if it wasn’t for Peter and his ability to walk us into a room with an empty canvas and tell us exactly what it was going to look like,  that and more. That’s an enormous compliment to the entire process. 

6)Landing a Kid Friendly Role

Anna Paquin usually does not have kid friendly roles, so she was overjoyed to learn that Pixar wanted to work with her. The coolness factor? “I won’t know till the movie comes out, ’cause then the real cool points will start racking up.  I mean, aside from the fact that I’d always loved Pixar, and had been sort of trying to figure out how to get ’em to want to hire me, and then it kind of just happened, I was like, “That’s really cool and awesome, and sort of spooky.” It definitely gives me good street cred as a mom, you know? Just like, “My mom’s a T-Rex.  What’s your mom’s superpower?”

7) Character Similarities

You might notice that some of the characters in the film have the features of those voicing them.  You will see that Sam Elliott’s character, “Butch” who is a T-Rex with an overbite that looks like his moustache and other prominent  facial features.

THE GOOD DINOSAUR - Pictured: Arlo. ©2015 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

THE GOOD DINOSAUR – Pictured: Arlo. ©2015 Disney•Pixar.

Be sure to see the The Good Dinosaur in Theaters, November 25th!

Celebrating the Holidays at Knott’s Merry Farm!| @Knotts #MerryFarm

Celebrating the Holidays at Knott’s Merry Farm!

By Nisreen & ErinTextured Merry Farm Logo

Knott’s Berry Farm, the first theme park in the nation, carries a legacy of joy that once a year it indulges in completely. From November 21, 2015 to January 3, 2016, the seasonal Knott’s Merry Farm brings the winter of storybooks to life in southern California, complete with dazzling decorations, fresh snow, and show stopping performances.  There’s more to see and experience this year than ever before!

It’s Snowing in Knott’s Christmas Craft’s Village!

Ghost Town transforms into Knott’s Christmas Crafts Village at this special time of the year, turning into a shopping wonderland that boasts local artisans and Knott’s specialties throughout the Village. It’s a magical white winter complete with jolly Santa Claus in Santa’s Christmas Cabin.


Then make your way to share your wish list through the fresh snow that falls every night across the Village, from the School House to the Saloon and stretching as far as the Assay Office. All around the cabin, you can find decadent pastries, homemade cookies and seasonal craft beer to satisfy everyone’s favorite indulgences. Take your picture with Santa to bring the memory home with you!

Merry-Farm-Treats-Buena-Park-Knotts-Berry-Farm-Snoopy-Christmas-Orange County

Just a *few* of the yummy treats to be found at Santa’s Christmas Cabin! 😉

Calico Train Ride

Don’t miss Christmas on Engine 41 as you make your way around the park. Ghost town and Calico Railroad invite guests to celebrate the holiday with the crew of Engine 41! Vintage cars are filled with an ever-changing group of cheery Ghost Town denizens eager to share their busy Christmas plans.


Stop by to see the new show: Christmas Time is Here, Charlie Brown. The show features a delightful mash up of some of your favorite holiday songs with a cheerful and heartwarming dose of the Peanuts gang.

As you wander the streets of the Village you’ll find it brewing with adventure.

Calico Carolers make the streets sparkle with holiday cheer to the tune of song and hand bell chimes as they walk past chainsaw sculpting performances, delicate glass blowing demonstrations, and tasty treats. All around will be Knotts’ world-famous holiday treats: poured-to-order maple lollipops at the Gold Trails Hotel, warm gingerbread men at the Farm Bakery, tasty holiday churros from the Churro Factory.  

Live Shows

Returning this year:

Merry Christmas, Snoopy!


The PEANUTS® gang is back on the ice with a cast of world class ice skaters in the traditional, Merry Christmas, Snoopy! for a breathtaking show: tree trimming, waiting for santa and more holiday adventures carved in ice! Enjoy all the best parts of the season with your favorite characters in the Charles M. Schulz Theatre on select dates from Nov. 21-Jan. 3.

Snoopy’s Merriest Tree Lighting


On the Calico Square Stage, find a magical tree lighting that will awe the young and young at heart with a cast of marching toy soldiers, Mrs. Clause, dancing snowmen, and Snoopy, everyone’s favorite beagle.

Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies

On select nights, music lovers can head to the Birdcage Theater to see Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies perform comedy and upbeat bluegrass as they are warmly welcomed to continue their Knott’s Merry Farm residency.

The Ghost Town Miners

Joining the musical side of the Knott’s Merry Farm, The Ghost Town Miners brings cheerful bluegrass to the Fireman’s BBQ Stage as they return for another year!

New attractions joining the family:

Christmas Time is Here, Charlie Brown

Families with young children will find much needed entertainment at the Camp Snoopy Theater. Christmas Time is Here, Charlie Brown is the perfect mashup of our favorite holiday songs and a heartwarming show by the PEANUTS gang.

Knott’s Melodrama Company

The Knott’s Melodrama Company shares a deeper side of the holidays with daily performances in the Bird Cage Theater. Charles Dickens’, A Christmas Carol and O. Henry’s, A Gift of the Magi, bring to life the spirit of the season in moving performances.

Make the Most of the Season


Monday through Thursday, November 23 – December 10, 2015, enjoy the Knott’s Christmas Crafts Village for free. Bring the whole family to enjoy the beautiful decorations, unique gifts from local artisans, and everyone’s favorite holiday treats. Admission is included in theme park admission each day.

For your favorite theme park lover, a 2016 Season Pass is an incredible stocking stuffer! It includes one free admission in 2015, unlimited visits in 2016 (no blackout dates!), discounts on some foods and merchandise, and access to year round events! All for just $81.00 right now. You can find out more about when this price expires at or by calling (714) 220-5200.

City Taven & Sprinkles Cupcakes in DTLA at FIGat7th! | @FIGat7th #FIGat7th

City Taven & Sprinkles Cupcakes in DTLA at FIGat7th!

By Erin

*Disclosure: I was invited out to FIGat7th to try out a couple different places for purposes of this post. All thoughts and opinions remain my own. :)*

Fall is here and the holidays are just around the corner! As Thanksgiving festivities and yuletide cocktail ideas dance in our heads as to what to serve at holiday parties, FIGat7th’s restaurants and eateries have great options for your upcoming winter and holiday food festivities, or if you just want a delicious meal out without any fuss to enjoy the holidays with.

The restaurants at FIGat7th are cooking up with the most fresh and seasonal ingredients to create up a collection of amazing signature dishes. Located in DTLA (Downtown LA) at 7th + Figueroa, it is a bit of a hidden gem in the heart of downtown, not too far from the Staples Center (but without the huge price tag for parking as you can park all day for only $5 with validation on weekends and after 4pm on week days! You really can’t beat that price in the DTLA area!)


Our first stop was to City Tavern, which is located on the lower level of the mall. Once you enter this large space with exposed brick walls, reclaimed wood floors & walls, with wooden tables and chairs, you will forget you are in a mall. It’s like a little oasis in the big city.


We came on a Sunday and they were serving brunch. Brunch is served until 3pm on Sundays. Obviously as you can see from above, I had to have a mimosa. What would a Sunday Funday Brunch be without some yummy mimosas? 😉 My friend and I both love cheese, so we decided to start out with the farmhouse cheese boardwhich is off of the “SHARE” part of the menu, consisted of: cheeses, crisps, and accompaniments. It was the perfect way to start out our meal.


Another one off the “SHARE” portion of the menu that we decided to sample were the Deviled Eggs! Chopped bacon, housemade hot sauce and chives made for a unique twist on the deviled egg!


Next, we opted for the kale and quinoa salad that is in the “GREENS” section of the menu. Besides quinoa  and kale; apples, raisins, walnuts, and apple cider vinaigrette topped this one. It made for a nice, light, and very tasty course.


Moving onto some of the main courses during brunch, one that caught our eye was the fried chicken and biscuit from the “RISE & SHINE” part of the menu. The fried chicken was amazing, crispy on the outside while the meat inside was so tender and juicy, while the county sausage gravy and biscuit were so heavenly!


If you’re looking for more of a burger or sandwich, then give this lovely number a shot! The pastrami swiss burger from the “HELD” part on the menu will make your taste buds happy. Smoked pastrami, swiss cheese, creamy coleslaw, on a whole grain bun with mustard aioli makes up this tasty piece.


At this point, we were starting to get pretty full, so we decided to call it a day at City Tavern so that we would still have room for some cupcakes at the Sprinkles Cupcakes upstairs. :)


With so many different fun flavors to choose from, it was so hard to pick two to try! They all look so yummy and delicious!


I ended up going with the seasonal choice, Pumpkin Spice (on the left, which is available through November 30th) and the Cuban Coffee flavors. Oh my, there are no words to describe how utterly delicious a Sprinkles cupcake is. If you’ve had one before, then you know what I mean. They were both fantastic, I enjoyed every last moist, flavorful morsel of each one of these cupcakes. The Pumpkin cupcake is laced with fragrant ginger, clove, nutmeg and cinnamon and is topped with a sweet cinnamon cream cheese frosting. The Cuban Coffee is a Belgian light chocolate cake topped with a powerful dark roast coffee frosting and subtle notes of cinnamon and cocoa. After having these, we were stuffed and decided to a little bit of shopping before heading back home.

What would you have at City Tavern for Brunch? What flavor cupcakes would you choose at Sprinkles? FIGat7th has a flavor everyone can enjoy this holiday season! :)