The Good Dinosaur: Fascinating Facts
*I attended a media event as a guest of Disney.*
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.
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.
“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.
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! 😉
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.
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.