“This is the biggest ‘what if?’ ever,” John Lasseter said today at the Animation panel at this year’s D23 Expo in Anaheim, CA, in describing Disney/Pixar’s animated feature The Good Dinosaur. Most Pixar films start off with big questions, he said, and The Good Dinosaur is no exception. Footage was shown, and details about the characters and who’d be voicing them were announced.
The main character is Arlo the Apatosaurus, as voiced by Lucas Neff. Other characters in the film include members of Arlo’s family: John Lithgow as Poppa, Frances McDormand as Momma, Bill Hader as older brother Forrest, Neil Patrick Harris as brother Cliff, Judy Greer as sister Ivy, and then there’s Neff as Arlo. Hader, Greer and Neff came out onto the stage, having just met one another.
This was followed by a series of forced, but funny comedic moments as the actors played like siblings. Hader and Neff even tussled around a little.
Lasseter showed a scene from the film – likely the beginning – that depicted a bunch of asteroids floating beyond Earth, seeming like they would crash onto the planet. But they don’t. They pass right by as the dinosaurs gaze into the sky.
Co-director Peter Sohn and producer Denise Ream discussed the feature, sharing concept art of the featured dinosaurs. Each species acts like a different type of farm equipment, they described, in this self-managed environment. The two showed a few scenes of the film, including those dinosaurs farming the land, like how the Apatosaurus farms by digging their heads into the ground, for instance. A beautiful systematic score complemented the scene. Sohn and Ream also shared animation tests of baby versions of dinosaurs.
[Disney Pixar The Good Dinosaur concept art, courtesy of Walt Disney Studios. Used with permission.]
Humans also factor into this dinosaur world, as evidenced by a little boy named Spot, who befriends Arlo, despite him being somewhat rough on the heartwarming dinosaur. Together the pair are thrust onto a “dangerous spectacular journey together.” The clips of The Good Dinosaur make it look like a truly hilarious and majestic movie, one that should not be missed when it premieres in May 30, 2014.
“The Good Dinosaur” asks the generations-old question: What if the cataclysmic asteroid that forever changed life on Earth actually missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? In theaters May 30, 2014, the film is a humorous and exciting original story about Arlo, a lively 70-foot-tall teenage Apatosaurus with a big heart. After a traumatic event rattles Arlo’s tranquil community, he sets out on a quest to restore peace, gaining an unlikely companion along the way—a young human boy named Spot.
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