I was invited as media to cover this press event. Expenses were covered, however all opinions are my own.
What goes into making a movie? A lot of hard work and dedication. Last week I had the opportunity to sit down with Director Peter Sohn and Producer Denise Ream to talk about the new Disney Pixar film “The Good Dinosaur.”
When asked about what led him to be director for this film, Peter shares that The Good Dinosaur was originally pitched in 2009 by director Bob Peterson. During the development Bob asked Peter to be his co-director on the film. From there the two wrestled with the storyline, trying several paths and directions, and ultimately Peter stuck with the film and simplified the story to what it is today.
Peter also shared that his experience with so many Pixar films, like working as a story artist on Finding Nemo, and voicing characters in The Incredibles and Monsters University helped him in his directing role. He gave a lot of credit to Producer Denise Ream and the experienced team around him for their determination and heart.
The Good Dinosaur has mind-blowing animation. The detail and authentic feel of the movie are incredible. Peter mentioned that while they didn’t use new technology, they did use Google Maps to create a lot of the locations and terrain in the film. He also shared that this was the first time they used 3-D clouds, called volumetric clouds, throughout the entire film. We learned that water scenes are some of the toughest to create and they chose to give each animator a run of shots versus individual ones to create a more consistent performance.
When doing research for the film, Denise suggested that they “go get lost” and so that’s what they did. They visited western locations like the Rockies and the Grand Teton’s. Once there Peter knew that was where the story needed to take place. He also shared the generosity and experience they encountered with The McKay’s, a ranching family from Oregon who blew him away. So much so that he changed the direction of the T-Rex’s that are cowhands in The Good Dinosaur. Originally they were sort of making fun and being more silly, but after that visit he chose to honor that lifestyle instead.
Peter touched on working with the young voice actors on the film, bringing his own personal voicing experience to connect with them. When there were sad moments in the film, he would paint the picture for them and sometimes turn out the lights to give them that comfortability without everyone staring at them. He also mentioned the kids were pros and did a great job.
Peter actually voiced the character of The Collector in this film, which was a decision made by John Lasseter. This was the first time Peter had been directed by John during a role.
I asked if there’s talk of a second Good Dinosaur film and Peter shared that they just wrapped up this film a few weeks ago, so they are taking a much needed (and deserved) break. Most animated films take 4-5 years, but their schedule was to complete it in under 2 years. That’s quite impressive! I still hope they decide to create a sequel because there’s definitely room for more of The Good Dinosaur! See more about the film during my red carpet experience.
Here’s a look at the latest movie trailer:
Don’t forget – The Good Dinosaur opens in theaters everywhere Thanksgiving day. It’s a great film to see as a family!