How Pixar’s ‘The Good Dinosaur’ gets surprisingly rough-and-tumble

11.02.15 1 year ago

Disney•Pixar

When Pixar”s “The Good Dinosaur” opens in theaters later this month, be prepared to see the animated film”s dinos bear their teeth.

MINOR SPOILERS BELOW

“The Good Dinosaur” is a boy and his dog story, where the twist is that the boy is an 11-year-old Apatosaurus, and the dog is a human boy. That wild “dog” – named Spot – and the T-Rexes 11-year-old Arlo encounters are where things get fierce in the film.

When the rancher Tyrannosaurus Rexes find their herd of longhorns attacked by a band of vicious velociraptors, a brutal fight breaks out, and at one point a T-Rex digs his teeth into a raptor and slings him into the air across the plain.

It”s a somewhat surprisingly violent moment but not all that out of character for the House of Mouse – some of that scene is reminiscent of the raw fight between Simba and Scar in “The Lion King.”

As for Spot, one moment that got a shocked gasp out of journalists viewing some footage from the film last month was when he places a giant beetle at Arlo”s feet, expecting his new friend to kill and eat the bug. When Arlo won”t get near the beetle, Spot takes it upon himself to tear his teeth into the creature – still alive – and rip its head off.

“With Spot it”s such a simple thing for him. ‘If you want to eat, you don”t like that it”s alive, I will kill it for you.” He”s not making a human decision,” director Peter Sohn explained.

The film also deals a lot with the concept of fear, as Arlo learns to confront his fears. Scaring and shocking Arlo – and perhaps very young viewers too – proved necessary to tell that story.

“Good Dino” producer Denise Ream also said of that moment with the beetle, “We wanted it to feel authentic to what happens out in that environment. We are treating Spot like an animal, and animals do those types of things. It”s bold and hopefully won”t put people off, but I”m really excited that we”re kind of making those choices. It feels necessary and real to the story ultimately.”

For more on “The Good Dinosaur” – which opens on Wednesday, Nov. 25 – check out HitFix”s gallery of 10 things to know about the making of the film.

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