Interview with the Director & Producer of The Good Dinosaur
Before gliding down The Good Dinosaur red carpet in front of the El Capitan Theatre I pre-screened the movie the night before with our group of bloggers. This was to prepare us for a day of interviews for the movie. The day of the red carpet we met with Director Peter Sohn and Producer Denise Ream. One thing that really stood out to be is the animation in this movie of the mountains and nature. Now that I’ve interviewed several different creators of movies I start to look at the details and notice just how amazing the realism they can accomplish in these movies.
The Directory, Peter Sohn, said the movie was actually pitched by the original director Bob Peterson in 2009. Bob asked Peter to help develop the project. Once Peter was doing story and designs for Bob he asked him to be his co-director. After working with the story Peter was asked to become the director.
They used Google maps to create a lot of the locations in the movie. It’s called USGS topological survey maps. They modeled the trees, leaves, mulch, rocks and all of the vegetation. Once you see the movie you will notice how realistic it is! It was the first time they used 3-D clouds, which they call volumetric clouds, throughout the entire film. And the water… SO realistic! The Good Dinosaur has many, many more water shots then they’ve typically done in any Pixar movie.
“Let’s Get Lost…” – Producer, Denise Ream
And so they did. Peter Sohn, a New Yorker, and Denise Ream headed for the wilderness in the Rockies where they had never been before. It was so inspiring for them. It’s nothing like New York City! You can see 500 miles down one way and 500 miles down another. I have visited the Rockies several times and it truly is an amazing site to see. It is full of clouds that go forever and soul enriching. It was definitely something they wanted to capture.
Peter grew up watching Western movies. One of his favorites was Shane that starts out on a farm in the Teton Valley. And so they went to the Grand Tetons. Once they saw the Snake River that’s when they knew it was exactly what they needed for the story.
Peter told us of his growing up in New York where his dad owned a grocery store. It was a small family trying to survive in a big city. It’s similar to the types of families in the West. Families are trying to survive but on thousands of acres. Each member of the family has an integral part for their survival. No matter where we live we are all trying to survive. I live on a large farm and it’s the same thing. We are all working together towards survival. People living in love and working together.
During a visit to Oregon they met a ranching family, the McKay’s, who you will notice are thanked at the end of the movie in the credits. Before they met the family they said the film was almost becoming a cliché and making fun of the western lifestyle. Once they met the McKay’s they quickly learned how hard they worked and wanted to honor that. The McKay’s were made up of mom and dad, both white and their five adopted black Haitian kids. It was a unique family, especially to the ranching community, that would change Peter and Denise’s lives.
“The way that family lived in love really blew me away.” – Peter Sohn
It was all parallel with what Arlo’s family was going through compared to the McKay’s. Meeting the McKay’s helped Arlo’s journey.
We also met with the three young men from the movie: Marcus Scribner (voice of Buck), Raymond Ochoa (voice of Arlo) and Jack Bright (voice of Spot). They all were very complementary of the direction provided to them in the movie. Peter said voice work with directors can be very tough. Peter bragged on the boys and said those kids were such pros and amazing, all of them.
Peter is actually the voice of one of the characters in the movie, the Forrest Woodbush (pet collector). It is one of my favorite characters of the movie! Absolutely hilarious! Denise told Peter they didn’t have time to audition for another voice so she told him he would have to do it. He didn’t want to at first but he ends up being the perfect voice! Executive Producer John Lasseter ended up directing the scene for the pet collector.
Most animated films take from four to five years to create but The Good Dinosaur was completed within two years. The film was literally finished only a few weeks ago. It is an absolutely amazing movie! I can’t wait to take my ten year old son to see it!
Learn more about The Good Dinosaur:
HOT Disney Gifts to Give this Holiday Season – including The Good Dinosaur products and Star Wars Disney Infinity 3.0
Be sure to grab more The Good Dinosaur free printables for the kids to enjoy!
Check out the trailer for The Good Dinosaur below:
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The Good Dinosaur opens in theaters everywhere on November 25th, 2015!