The Good Dinosaur asks the 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 you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of.”
John Lasseter gave details about the film during a presentation at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. According to Lasseter, the film follows Arlo, which, after the tragic death of his father, falls in a river and ends up far away and separated from his family. On his journey to get back home, he befriends a human boy named Spot. 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.”
The characters include T-Rexes, feathered Velociraptors with haircuts like those of famous football players, pterodactyls and a triceratops. Lasseter also said that for this film Pixar is aiming to make environments with a higher level of realism than anything they did before.
Before Director Change
Before the director change was announced, some additional details had already been given about the film’s premise. Currently, it is uncertain how much of these will be retained in the final film. 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 states that the idea from the original draft that dinosaurs are farmers has been dropped, and that nature is the film’s antagonist.
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 were 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 Good Dinosaur
Directed by: Peter Sohn
Starring: Raymond Ochoa, Jeffrey Wright, Steve Zahn, A.J. Buckley, Anna Paquin, Sam Elliott, Frances McDormand
Screenplay by: Meg LeFauve
Art Department: Edgar Karapetyan
Visual Effects by: Pauline Chu, Jared Fong, Andrew Jimenez
Music by: Jeff Danna, Mychael Danna
MPAA Rating: PG for peril, action and thematic elements.
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation
Release Date: November 25, 2015