The latest frothy animated concoction from the wizards over at Pixar was supposed to be delivered into theaters nationwide in May of 2014, but that has changed. In “The Good Dinosaur,” the asteroid that killed off all the dinosaurs misses the planet completely, so it’s sort of fitting that the movie itself will bypass its original release date, rescheduled for Thanksgiving 2015. Well, the first poster for the film has just debuted (via Bleeding Cool), and we got an exclusive statement from two Pixar principles about the delay.
The poster is very much a teaser, but clearly showcases our two heroes: Arlo (voiced by Lucas Neff), the member of an agrarian dinosaur family who discovers and then befriends what he first thinks is a bug but then discovers is a small human boy who he quickly nicknames Spot. It’s this relationship that fuels “The Good Dinosaur,” and in the footage that we saw at this year’s D23, the studio is doing some truly incredible things with scale. There was a great sequence where Spot is running around Arlo’s body that was, admittedly, pretty amazing.
Of course, who knows if that will even be a part of the new version of “The Good Dinosaur,” which is currently being retooled without the help of the film’s original director Bob Peterson (who co-directed the Oscar-winning “Up”). We can, however, confirm that Peterson is still at Pixar, despite endless speculation online (after similarly ousted filmmakers Brenda Chapman and Jan Pinkava left the studio altogether). How do we know? We saw him there a couple of days ago.
While at Pixar we also took the opportunity to talk to “Monsters University” director Dan Scanlon and producer Kori Rae about the creative process of Pixar, in relation to what the “Good Dinosaur” is going through and how it applies to all of their films. “Really, it is all about the story. We don’t move forward without it. And it’s excruciating. There’s nothing fun about it and it can be really painful,” Rae explained. “It’s a group effort here at Pixar and really collaborative, because we’re showing it to the Brain Trust and other folks at Pixar and getting notes from everyone. We really want to hear it all and make it better and better.”
“Luckily, there’s great respect from the whole studio that the story has to work first,” Scanlon added. “And unfortunately, it’s this really amorphous, weird process that you can’t quite nail down or put a formula on. So you’re dealing with unruly child. And the great thing is that everyone is respectful and understanding of it even when it’s frustrating. Sometimes you’re dealing with a department and you’re on hold or you have to guess and it can be really scary but I think people try to trust the process, what little process there is.”
When we brought up “Up” director Pete Docter’s famous assessment of the Pixar creative process from a profile of Andrew Stanton in The New Yorker that it’s like jumping out of an airplane and having to stitch together a parachute before you hit the ground, both filmmakers agreed. “That’s pretty much it,” Scanlon concluded.
Rae said that “The Good Dinosaur” scenario isn’t unheard of at Pixar, either: “Each film goes through its own experience and it’s amazing that we’ve made 14 of these at all, because each film has its own set of problems. No one goes unscathed. Not even ‘Toy Story 3.’ So no one’s safe.”
“The Good Dinosaur” will now be released on November 25, 2015. Before that we will get Docter’s “Inside Out,” test footage of which at D23 impressed the hell out of us, on June 19, 2015.