The Good Dinosaur: Exclusive Q&A with Filmmaker Peter Sohn

With stunning animation and a story that transcends language, The Good Dinosaur is up there among our favourite family movies… so we’re delighted that we’ll be able to watch it again at home over the Easter holidays! We’re going to be challenging families to a little Kahoot! quiz about the movie, so you’re going to want to brush up on a few Good Dino facts if you stand any chance of winning against Really Kid Friendly’s mini reviewers. Luckily, we’ve got an exclusive Q&A with Director Peter Sohn to help you do just that… Here goes…

What is the film about?

THE GOOD DINOSAUR - Pictured: Spot and Arlo. ©2015 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.“The Good Dinosaur” is a coming-of-age story about Arlo, who’s afraid of everything. He has a lot to overcome—he really wants to make his father proud, but he has yet to make his mark. Poppa knows he’s capable of much more, but it takes this emotional journey through a vast wilderness—and an unexpected friendship—for Arlo to realize it.

It’s the story of a boy and his dog—only in our story, the boy is a dinosaur and the dog is a boy.

Who is Arlo?

THE GOOD DINOSAUR – Pictured (L-R): Thunderclap and Arlo. ©2015 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.Arlo is an 11-year-old Apatosaurus. He was born the runt of the litter and right out of the egg, he’s afraid of the world. He’s got a lot of tenacity when it comes to his desire to help his family. And his father is his biggest supporter. But Arlo is scared and his fear holds him back.

Arlo is at a crossroads—evolving from weak and innocent to a strong, more mature young adult.

Who is Poppa and what’s his relationship with Arlo?

THE GOOD DINOSAUR – Pictured (L-R): Poppa and Arlo. ©2015 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.Poppa is Arlo’s anchor. From the very beginning, there’s a connection between them. Poppa supports Arlo, he believes in him. Poppa finds magic in the world—there’s a moment when Poppa shows Arlo these fireflies. He really wants Arlo to understand that even through he’s scared, there’s something on the other side of that fear if you can just push through it.

Who is Spot?

THE GOOD DINOSAUR - Pictured: Spot.Spot is the opposite of Arlo. He’s tenacious, brave and an animal in every sense of the word. He’s a ferocious little kid. Spot has been living on his own for a while, and after Arlo offers a single kindness, setting him free despite his father’s wishes—Spot is quite loyal to Arlo, teaching him about bravery and giving him strength. Even though Spot and Arlo don’t speak the same language—Spot doesn’t speak at all—they find that not only can they communicate, but they actually have a lot in common.

It’s really fun to push Spot’s canine quality. We want it to be clear that he thinks and reacts like an animal in the beginning, but there’s a boy deep, deep down.

How does Arlo get lost?

Arlo, who’s furious with a critter who has been eating the food in the family’s silo, ends up chasing after him. He falls into a river and gets swept hundreds of miles downstream. He knows he needs to find his way home again, but he doesn’t believe in himself.

How does Spot help Arlo?

The Good Dinosaur Arlo and SpotEven though Arlo keeps pushing Spot away—he blames him for everything that has gone wrong—Spot just keeps hanging around. He brings him food and protects him from an attack from a very evolved snake. Arlo starts to appreciate Spot and care about him. The bond formed between them ends up being exactly what Arlo needs to start to see his own strengths.

What role does nature play in “The Good Dinosaur”?

THE GOOD DINOSAUR - Pictured (L-R): Arlo, Spot. ©2015 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.Nature is like a character in the story. It doesn’t have eyes or a voice, but it is fighting Arlo and taking care of him at the same time. There are moments that we’ve given nature a feeling of breathing, of being alive.

In this film, nature is so detailed, it’s beautiful. Arlo feels like a stranger when he finds himself in the middle of the wilderness. But slowly he evolves. He begins to fit into it. We’ve taken our time to sit and be pensive. We allow Arlo to notice nature, to see the details.

Why should people see The Good Dinosaur movie?

There’s a real emotional journey in “The Good Dinosaur.” It’s adventurous, a little scary and wondrous. The characters are great and the obstacles Arlo overcomes are so relatable. Our goal throughout the film was to do it in a way that’s immersive in a very cinematic way.

The Good Dinosaur is released on 3D Blu-rayTM, Blu-rayTM, DVD and digital download on 21st March 2016

P.S. If you haven’t yet had a chance, go on and read Rosie’s review of The Good Dinosaur, as well as Janis’ little story of filmmaker Peter Sohn’s journey (ooh, it would make his mamma proud!).

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Janis

Founder & Director at ReallyKidFriendly
Janis is a cheery and versatile digital expert with a healthcare background, usually seen either geeking out or sprinting through North London trying to catch her kids, Mads and Danger Boy. Thanks to her two boisterous rascals, she has become an expert in soft play areas, parks, energetic music classes, and where to get a stiff drink once they’ve gone to bed.
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