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- "A single moment can change everything."
The Good Dinosaur is Pixar's sixteenth feature film. It was released on November 25, 2015 in the US, and November 27, 2015 in the UK. It is directed by Peter Sohn. The score is composed by Mychael Danna and Jeff Danna. Bob Peterson was originally going to be the director, but on August 30, 2013, it was announced that he left the project due to story problems. The Pixar short Sanjay's Super Team is attached to the film.Despite receiving positive reviews from critics, who commended the musical score, the vocal performances, and the humor, the film earned the studio a total net loss of $85 million and underperformed at the box-office, making it the first Pixar film to be a box-office bomb.
- 1 Synopsis
- 2 Plot
- 3 Voice cast
- 4 Development
- 5 Director change
- 6 Bumped-off 2013 release date
- 7 Production
- 8 Rating
- 9 Attached short film
- 10 Trivia
- 11 Gallery
- 12 External Links
- 13 References
Disney/Pixar's The Good Dinosaur shows us an alternate universe where Dinosaurs never became extinct and focuses on a young dinosaur named Arlo. One day when Arlo gets lost in the wilderness, he teams up with a small human boy named Spot on an incredible adventure to get home, during which Arlo bonds with Spot and learn a lot about himself.
In an alternate timeline set 65 million years after the asteroid that would have caused the extinction of dinosaurs passes safely over Earth, two Apatosaurus farmers named Henry and Ida, give birth to three children: Libby, Buck, and the runt Arlo. While Libby and Buck easily adjust to life and their responsibilities on their farm (signified by a mud-print on a corn silo), Arlo's nervous nature makes his tasks difficult for him. In order to give Arlo a sense of purpose, Henry puts him in charge of guarding their silo from pests and helping him set up traps. One day, a trap manages to capture a feral caveboy, but Arlo is too reluctant to kill him and lets him free. Heavily disappointed, Henry forces Arlo to accompany him to track the caveboy through a ravine where it begins to rain. After Arlo injures himself, Henry decides to turn back just as a flash flood occurs and a massive rapid appears. Henry only manages to save Arlo before he is swept away and killed.
Without his father, Arlo must help his mother with harvesting crops before the first snow. After spotting the caveboy inside the silo, Arlo chases him in a fit of rage, the both of them falling into a river where Arlo hits his head on a boulder and is knocked unconscious. Waking up, Arlo is dismayed to find himself far from home and tries to survive on his own with minimal success. The caveboy finds Arlo and eventually gives him some berries to eat, and leads him to a berry tree where they are both attacked by a snake. The caveboy fights and repels the snake which amazes Arlo. A nearby Styracosaurus named Forrest Woodbush, also impressed with the caveboy's physical prowess, tries to give him a name, but it is revealed that his name is "Spot" when Arlo calls out that name which he responds to. After traveling together for the rest of the day, Arlo laments about his lost family and confides in Spot who reveals that his own mother and father are dead. The next day, a storm ravages the land and Arlo, remembering the storm that took his father's life, runs for safety on his own.
The next morning, Arlo wakes up to find Spot only to be encountered by a fanatical band of pterodactyls consisting of a Nyctosaurus named Thunderclap and his accomplices Downpour and Coldfront. The pterodactyls turn out to be savagely carnivorous. After they find Spot, Arlo and Spot run away, encountering a pair of Tyrannosaurus named Nash and Ramsey who both ward the pterodactyls off. Arlo and Spot then meet Nash and Ramsey's father Butch, who agrees to let the two of them join their party if they can help them locate a herd of longhorns they had lost. Spot manages to sniff them out with Arlo discovering the presence of "Rustlers." On Butch's instruction, Arlo lures the Rustlers out, who are revealed to be a group of Velociraptors led by Bubbha looking to steal Butch's herd. Butch and his children try to fend off the Rustlers, and Arlo successfully hits two of them allowing Butch to scare them off for good. With the T-rexes now fully respecting Arlo, Butch helps lead them towards the area of their homeland. Along the way, Arlo and Spot encounter a human off in the distance, but ignore him and continue on.
As another storm begins to pick up, Thunderclap and the pterodactyls return and attack the two, this time managing to take Spot away and leaving Arlo behind. As Arlo gets tangled in some vines, he has a vision of Henry leading him away and back toward home, but Arlo admits his love for Spot and resolves to save him which makes his father proud before he fades away. Filled with determination, Arlo wakes up and attacks the pterodactyls who have cornered Spot at the river and the two of them manage to throw them into the water where they ride helplessly downstream. A flash flood begins and a massive mudslide crashes into the river and triggers a torrent. Arlo leaps to save Spot and the two of them are carried away towards a waterfall. Arlo manages to swim towards Spot and hold on to him as they both fall, with Arlo carrying Spot to shore where he regains consciousness.
As they venture back forth, Arlo and Spot both hear the calls of a caveman family just as they come over the hill overseeing Arlo's farm. With great reluctance, Arlo allows Spot to return with them and the two of them share a tearful, but loving goodbye. Arlo comes back home to his mother and siblings, and he is allowed to leave his mud-print on the silo between the prints of his mother and father.
- Raymond Ochoa: Arlo, a young Apatosaurus
- Jack Bright: Spot, a little orphaned human boy
- Sam Elliott: Butch, a Tyrannosaurus rex
- A.J. Buckley: Nash, a T-Rex and Butch's son
- Anna Paquin: Ramsey, a T-Rex and Butch's daughter
- Steve Zahn: Thunderclap, a Nyctosaurus
- Jeffrey Wright: Poppa Henry, Arlo's father
- Frances McDormand: Momma Ida, Arlo's mother
- Marcus Scribner: Buck, Arlo's brother
- Maleah Padilla: Libby, Arlo's sister
- Peter Sohn: Forrest Woodbush, a Styracosaurus
- Mandy Freund: Downpour, a Caulkicephalus
- Steven Clay Hunter: Coldfront, a Ludodactylus
- Dave Boat: Bubbha, a Velociraptor
- Carrie Paff: Lurleane, a member of Bubbha's pack
- John Ratzenberger: Earl, a member of Bubbha's pack
- Calum Grant: Pervis, a member of Bubbha's pack
- Alan Tudyk: Windgust, a Guidraco
- TBA: Frostbite, a Ludodactylus
At D23 Expo 2013, the following voice cast had been announced. It can be noted only Frances McDormand retained her role in the final film.
- Lucas Neff: Arlo
- John Lithgow: Poppa, Arlo's father
- Frances McDormand: Momma, Arlo's mother
- Bill Hader: Forrest, one of Arlo's brothers
- Neil Patrick Harris: Cliff, one of Arlo's brothers
- Judy Greer: Ivy, Arlo's sister
When a promotional video for Up called Up: B-roll 1 was released in 2009, many fans noticed four stand-out images in the background of sculptor Greg Dykstra's office. The top image is a clay sculpture of a sauropod dinosaur with a person standing next to it. Below it are two more images of clay sculptures of a boy. The fourth image, not clearly visible, is a drawing of the same or another Sauropod. As Up was released in May of that year, development could have started as late as early 2009.
The plot, director, co-director, producer, and other small details were announced at the D23 Expo on August 20, 2011. Bob Peterson and John Walker humorously titled the film The Untitled Pixar Movie About Dinosaurs and even created a logo for the mock title. Enrico Casarosa, director of La Luna, was head of story and Daniel Lopez Munoz production designer.
Story before director change
Before the director change was announced, some additional details had already been given about the film's premise. According to the Los Angeles Times, Peter Sohn said: "The heart of the story remains the same. It's always been about this young dinosaur growing up. But the world itself has changed a lot. Nature has become a character." The Los Angeles Times also stated that nature had become the film's antagonist and also (incorrectly, as it turned out) that the idea from the original draft that dinosaurs are farmers has been dropped. Sohn's work aimed at simplifying and streamlining the story.
In June 2012, John Lasseter said : "They [the dinosaurs] are kind of cartoony but they are dinosaurs; they are not walking around with clothes on or anything like that, they still are kind of dinosaurs. We focused on mostly the plant-eaters, not the carnivores... Their society becomes more of an agrarian society, meaning farmers. They become farmers. It’s a very funny story about a certain way of life that a young dinosaur has trouble fitting into and he ends up going on this quest. He kind of messes up and he has to put everything right by going on this quest and on that quest he meets this our character that is an outcast from his society too and so the two of them form this bond and it becomes this unique kind of story...'"
At D23 Expo 2013, the film's plot was described further. Dinosaurs would have been the dominant species and had become farmers, using their physical characteristics to function as farm equipment. The film followed a family of apatosaurus. One of them, named Arlo and who is fascinated with bugs, discovered a large beetle that is in fact a human child, called Spot. The two of them then went on a journey through various climates.
The Art of The Good Dinosaur and other sources indicate that in the earlier versions, Rather than being on their own, Arlo's family was part of a larger community composed of more apatosaurus, along with other species. Arlo was an older, and considerably larger dinosaur then how he ended up in the final film, and was an outcast from his community.
In August 2013, Blue Sky Disney reported that due to story problems, the director and producer had been removed from the film. According to the report, the studio was looking for a new director who would put the film back on track, while still attempting to release the film in 2014. Other sites also noted Peterson's absence at D23 Expo 2013, where Sohn and producer Denise Ream presented footage from the film. A few days later, Ed Catmull, Pixar's president, confirmed to Los Angeles Times, saying: "All directors get really deep in their film. Sometimes you just need a different perspective to get the idea out. Sometimes directors ... are so deeply embedded in their ideas it actually takes someone else to finish it up." Peterson, who is remaining at Pixar, moved on to another project he is developing, while Ream replaced Walker, who left to work on Tomorrowland. John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich, Mark Andrews and Sohn are working on various sections of the film.
By August 2014, John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich, Mark Andrews, and original project co-director Pete Sohn had reworked the project to the point they felt is was ready to go ahead. Voice actor John Lithgow said that he would be completely re-recording his whole part by September 2014. Lithgow said, "They have now dismantled it [the movie] and completely reimagined it, and it is a fantastic new story." Lithgow was replaced by Jeffrey Wright in the final film.
Bumped-off 2013 release date
On December 22, 2011, Disney shared upcoming release dates for its films. A mysterious film titled Frozen rested on the date of November 27, 2013, which led many to believe that The Good Dinosaur, originally scheduled for release on that date, now had the title of Frozen. However, Peter Sciretta confirmed with Disney that Frozen was not a Pixar film.
On September 18, 2013, following the director change, it was announced that Pixar had pushed back the release date from May 30, 2014, to November 25, 2015 in order to 'give the film some more time'.
In May 2012, before the director change, the filmmakers discussed the film. They said they want to explore what dinosaurs represent today, and how they are represented in stereotypes. Bob Peterson said: "It's time to do a movie where you get to know the dinosaur, what it's really like to be a dinosaur and to be with a dinosaur". Peterson said the inspiration for the movie came from a childhood visit to the World's Fair where he was impressed by some dinosaur animatronics. The film's title might suggest that dinosaurs are evil. However, Peter Sohn warned: "The title is deceptively simple. It has more meaning than it seems."
Lasseter commented: "This is a boy and a dog story, but the roles are reversed. Arlo, the dinosaur, is the boy in the story and Spot is the dog." Lasseter also said that for this film Pixar aimed to make environments with a higher level of realism than anything they did before.
The Good Dinosaur received a PG rating (for peril, action and thematic elements) by the MPAA and the BBFC. This is the fifth Pixar movie to be rated as such in the US after The Incredibles, Up, Brave, and Inside Out, and the fourth in the UK after Toy Story, Cars, and Brave. This is also the second film to be given a PG rating in both the US and UK after Brave.
Attached short film
Stills and Promotional Images
- Jeff Danna Co-Scoring Pixar’s ‘The Good Dinosaur’
- Pixar's The Good Dinosaur footage reaction: Cannes 2015
- Mychael Danna Scoring Pixar’s ‘The Good Dinosaur’
- Disney•Pixar on Twitter
- Pixar Removes Director Bob Peterson From The Good Dinosaur
- Pixar artist Sanjay Patel gets personal with 'Sanjay's Super Team'
- All-New Vocal Cast Announced For The Good Dinosaur
- The Good Dinosaur Cast Announcement
- Pixar preview: Casts announced for Finding Dory, The Good Dinosaur, Inside Out at Disney's D23
- D23 Expo: Pixar Animation Studios News Roundup
- Art hints at Pixar dinosaur film (UPDATE)
- Sneak Peek at a New Pixar Production Featuring a Boy and His Dinosaur? (UPDATE)
- D23 2011: A Few More Details On Pixar’s Dinosaur Movie
- Interview: Enrico Casarosa Discusses ‘La Luna’
- Pixar redraws the lines for Good Dinosaur
- John Lasseter Explains Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur And Pete Docter’s Inside-The-Mind Movie
- D23 Expo: New ‘The Good Dinosaur’ Details, Neil Patrick Harris, John Lithgow, Bill Hader, And Judy Greer Join Cast
- Not Extinct, But Evolving...
- Rumor: ‘The Good Dinosaur’ Director Bob Peterson Is Off the Film
- Pixar Filmmaker Bob Peterson Reportedly Off The Good Dinosaur, Studio Seeking Replacement
- Pixar Animation yanks director Bob Peterson off The Good Dinosaur
- "John Lithgow to Completely Re-Record His Work for Pixar’s THE GOOD DINOSAUR; Says Original Story Was “Dismantled and Reimagined”
- Untitled Pixar feature coming Nov. 27, 2013
- Pixar Dinosaur Film Bumped Off Nov 2013 Release Date
- CinemaCon 2012: Pixar’s Dinosaur Film Gets A Title, New Lee Unkrich Project Announced
- The Good Dinosaur moved to 2015, leaving Pixar with no 2014 film
- Pixar Skips 2014 as ‘The Good Dinosaur’ Shifts to 2015 and ‘Finding Dory’ to 2016
- Disney Announces New Dates for Maleficent, The Good Dinosaur and Finding Dory
- Pixar's The Good Dinosaur will warm up a prehistoric reputation
- John Lasseter on ‘Finding Dory’, ‘The Good Dinosaur’ and Disney/Pixar Slate
- Film composer Thomas Newman discusses “The Art of Film Scoring”