Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with some more D23 goodies. Now I'm going to rundown the stuff John Lasseter showed from the upcoming Pixar outing The Good Dinosaur.
Lasseter said all good Pixar movies all started with a “What if?” What if your toys were actually alive and ran around when you left them alone? That kind of thing. He said he was going to show the What If The Good Dinosaur is based on and ran a clip.
This clip showed a gorgeous star field. Camera pans down (a lot like Star Wars, actually) to an astroid belt. One small asteroid bumps into a larger one, which bumps into a huge one, sending it out of the belt and into the emptiness of space. Of course we know where it's going and shortly enough we see it tumbling towards Earth. The music swells at it gets closer and closer, reaching a crescendo as it starts to burn up in our atmosphere.
The ominous music abruptly cuts to silence as we see the asteroid passing over the planet. We see a bunch of herbivores look up as it passes like a shooting star in the night sky before going back to eating leaves. It was a dark shot, with the dinos in silhouette, but they looked very real, not at all cartoony like the rest of the movie.
And that's not a dig on the look of the rest of the stuff we saw. Yes, it looked like a cartoon, but in the same way all Pixar's films look like cartoons.
The basic set up is that dinosaurs are now evolved to being great farmers. Triceratops are natural bulldozers, stegosauruses use their tails to cut crops, ankylosaurs haul materials and Apatosauruses use their long necks in a unique way... they till the earth by jamming their heads into the dirt and walk forward, making long rows of soil to grow greens.
One of these families of farming dinosaurs are a brood of Apatosauruses. Poppa will be voiced by John Lithgow, Mama is Frances McDormand and the main character is Arlo, voiced by Lucas Neff. Arlo has a couple brothers and a sister, voiced by Bill Hader, Neil Patrick Harris and Judy Greer.
Arlo is excitable and curious. We were shown a scene where he discovers a weird bug. Giant pre-historic insects are the pests the dinos have to deal with as they try to raise crops. All the dinos hate them, but Arlo is fascinated by them.
He's out alone one day and one particularly weird one catches his attention. It has a brown shell with some weird colorization. He flips the shell and it's revealed to be a shield of some sort... for a little human kid. He's a bit feral, has three spots of paint on his forehead and carries a spear, which he promptly chucks at Arlo, stabbing Arlo right in the nose.
The kid jumps on this dino's head and bites his eyelid, starting a comical tussle as this little guy with a strong Napoleon complex keeps attacking this dinosaur which is a few hundred times bigger than he is. Arlo gets the kid in his mouth, closes him in and mumbles that he'll let him out when he calms down... Naturally, this kid sees the dino's uvula and attacks it, causing the dino to spit him out.
The human kid's name is Spot (which I misheard as “Spunk” when they first said it and thought, “Wow, that's risky...” before they said it again and I realized my error) and my understanding is this becomes something of a buddy film between the dinosaur and this small warrior child.
Footage looked good and the relationship between the two main characters could already been glimpsed in this early scene. Could be really good if they can keep the cute and humor as balanced as this scene.
More D23 stuff coming up! Stay tuned!