This past weekend, Pixar got to present their upcoming animated feature film, The Good Dinosaur, which is about a young male dinosaur named Arlo, and his “pet” human, Arlo. And now we have the second trailer for The Good Dinosaur as well as director Peter Sohn’s take on bringing it to the big screen.
From the image above, you can see the cartoon-ish look given to the dinosaurs. However, not only is the human boy considered the pet in this story, the background and landscape shown in the movie is nowhere near cartoon-ish. In fact, it’s as good as Pixar has given its movies in recent years. So, don’t brush off this movie just yet. Check out the image below to see what I’m talking about.
And here are some highlights of the EW interview with director Peter Sohn as he talks about the process of making The Good Dinosaur:
I read that you said that the environment is a character in this story. How so?
Nature itself becoming a character was a big deal. Everything that we want to throw at Arlo, we can do externally but also internally as well. And what I mean by that is when a storm hits, it can affect Arlo in a real external way, but we also tried to find ways that it can affect him emotionally. His big issue is that he’s afraid of everything, and he isn’t capable. When he’s in front of these natural backgrounds, it’s important that he feels outside of that.
We really wanted nature to also parallel Arlo’s journey in a way. For example, when Arlo is in really tough trouble, the river can be white and roiling, but when Arlo becomes more peaceful and connecting to Spot, we can have the river be glass. And trying to capture all those looks was part of that early research trip. When we got out there, it wasn’t just the landscapes that became inspiration. It became the people that we met and the kind of lifestyle out there that also affected the film in a great way.
So, I wanted to switch gears a little bit and talk to you about character design, specifically Arlo’s character design. He’s an apatosaurus, right? How did you decide on that kind of dinosaur?
This started early on with Bob Peterson, the original director on this. He came up with this idea of the story of an apatosaur, and more than other dinosaurs, that was something with which he greatly connected. And then he brought me on as well, and I shared the same type of love for brontosauruses and apatosauruses. In his early pitches, it was kind of this boy and dog concept and always this fun of being with a dinosaur like this and riding it. And early on, the apatosaur was a little older, much older, and had a different look. But when I started getting into the project, I really wanted to focus on the boy and his dog story. We started aging Arlo down, so he became a younger character, and in that design, bringing in this 11-year-old boy, some of those design changes started to influence the wider eye and the more innocent look.
I know in addition to aging the character down, there were some casting changes, and Raymond Ochoa, who voices Arlo, is much younger than the original actor. When you cast him, did you find that in any way influenced the character design?
Yeah, absolutely. What’s interesting was the casting changes really happened a while ago. I feel like that press release happened, and it felt like all those casting changes were much later, but once we started the project with the boy and dog story and making Arlo much younger, immediately, all the siblings had to be younger and the world and the characters that he started to meet in the world all had to change to focus on the boy and dog journey. It was as simple as that. Once the main character changed, everything else around him had to reinforce what Arlo’s main journey was.
You could read the full interview at EW.com.