SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

Dig­ging be­hind the scenes of The Good Di­nosaur

The Mane Event There are Rap­tors in The Good Di­nosaur, but Sohn made the tooth­some peo­ple- eaters kid- friendly by turn­ing to science. “Around the time we started de­vel­op­ing this, there was a lot of ev­i­dence that Ve­loci­rap­tors had these an­chor points in their skin for what looked like feath­ers,” Sohn says. “Once we saw that, some of the guys were com­ing up with some re­ally funny ideas for hair­dos and how to make them into a char­ac­ter that also split be­cause of the evo­lu­tion­ary change that we’re do­ing. They look re­ally fun.”

Boy Story Arlo un­der­went some ma­jor changes when Sohn jumped on board The Good Di­nosaur. “When we first started the pro­ject, he was a much older char­ac­ter that was pretty much a four- legged crea­ture you would think be­longs in the wilder­ness. I re­ally pushed for that com­ing- of- age con­cept, and the story gang started mak­ing Arlo younger. Once we started fo­cus­ing on the idea that the di­nosaur would be the boy we pushed the de­sign to have boy- like fea­tures. He’s kind of gan­gly, and the way he ges­tures with his eyes pushes that idea.”

Nat­u­ral Se­lec­tion Of all the di­nosaurs, why make Arlo an Apatosaurus? The an­swer goes back to Sohn’s child­hood. “It was one of the first di­nosaurs that I loved when I was a kid. I grew up in New York and used to go to the Nat­u­ral History Mu­seum all the time. In the first room there was a huge Barosaurus. The magic of some­thing like that was so real, it just sparks the imag­i­na­tion. With Arlo we started off try­ing to find a clas­sic di­nosaur feel, but at the same time de­velop him into the char­ac­ter we would need for the film.”

Silent Movie

Sohn has been at Pixar since Find­ing Nemo, and work­ing on WALL- E helped with the cre­ation of Spot – a speech­less char­ac­ter. “I worked on WALL- E and that first act where An­drew Stan­ton didn’t want any di­a­logue. He knew I came from an an­i­ma­tion back­ground, so in my boards I would try to sell the ges­tures with­out di­a­logue. There was a part of that skill set that was nec­es­sary in flesh­ing this film out. It’s not a silent movie at all, but we have found ways to keep the re­la­tion­ship be­tween Arlo and Spot non- ver­bal.”

Smile for the cam­era.

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