“We didn’t want it to feel like a walk in the park. This world feels big—even to a dinosaur.”
Peter Sohn, director
Disney Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and dinosaurs never became extinct? Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey 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.
As always with Pixar, story is key and the tale of Arlo and Spot is sure to be another heartfelt storyline and one we were eager to learn more about.
In a world where dinosaurs never became extinct and humans roam the wild, The Good Dinosaur features a simple, relatable story. “It’s really a coming-of-age story,” says Sohn. “Arlo is afraid of everything. But his father, Poppa, is always there for him, encouraging Arlo to step out of his comfort zone, to confront his fears, to make his mark.”
Arlo desperately wants to impress his family, but finds himself continually falling short. Screenplay writer Meg LeFauve says, “Arlo disappoints his father time and again, but Poppa always believes in him. And even though Arlo doesn’t know it, that unconditional love gives him strength that he’ll need later.”
“From the moment Arlo is born, he’s afraid of the world,” says first-time director Peter Sohn, a 15-year Pixar veteran and graduate of CalArts (California Institute of Arts). “He’s fun-loving and determined; he’s got a lot of fire when it comes to his desire to help his family. And his father is his biggest supporter. But Arlo is scared. His fear holds him back.
“Spot is the opposite of Arlo,” continues Sohn. “He’s tenacious, brave and an animal in every sense of the word. It’s the story of a boy and his dog—only in our story, the boy is a dinosaur and the dog is a boy.”
“The Good Dinosaur is one of the most emotional movies we’ve ever made,” says executive producer John Lasseter. “It’s really funny and clever, and as the story unfolds, this deep emotion emerges. You fall in love with Spot right along with Arlo. Their bond is so interesting and unique—so different from anything we’ve ever done. It’s a very special movie.”
From the footage we have seen, director Peter Sohn and Pixar’s team of artists and technical wizards have gone to great lengths to create colourful personalities, to capture the magic of nature and, above all, to tell a compelling and believable story. The effort, as with all films at Pixar Animation Studios, began with in-depth research.
The research that Pixar undertake for each of their films is legendary, which gives their stories the emotional depth we have come to expect. For this, Sohn and his team consulted experts about dinosaur anatomy and child psychology. To develop their own tone and style, they referenced a host of iconic films — Westerns like Shane, Caroll Ballard movies like The Black Stallion, plus Lawrence of Arabia, Top of the Lake and Stand By Me, among others. They visited various locations such at the American Northwest and all of this research went into the mix to make a wonderful film.
The Good Dinosaur is Pixar's sixteenth film and we fully expect their long run of success to continue.
The Good Dinosaur opens at Showcase Cinemas November 27