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.”
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.