Sam Elliott, Anna Paquin, Raymond Ochoa and director Peter Sohn discuss The Good Dinosaur. (Disney-Pixar)
Disney-Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur is set to take audiences on an epic journey to a land where dinosaurs never went extinct to tell the unique story of a young Apatosaurus named Arlo and Spot, the little boy who starts them on an incredible journey.
During the press tour, actor Sam Elliott (voice of Butch the T-Rex) talked about the simplicity of the coming-of- age film.
“It’s a universal tale; it speaks to the human kind,” he says. “We all go through it all our lives.”
Arlo and Spot come across Butch and his kids when they get lost and need to find their way back home. The Good Dinosaur is also return to a more western film that Elliott believes will get kids interested in the spirit of adventure.
“There is great value in the genre, a simplicity,” says Elliott. “I think there are a lot elements in this that’s common to westerns: struggle against man, struggle against nature and struggle against self. Those are the three main themes that are most important; those speak to a lot of people.”
The universality of The Good Dinosaur speaks to any child and the child at heart about many current events and how to get through them. Anna Paquin shares her enthusiasm of playing a great female role in the form of Ramsey, Butch’s daughter, and how she found her roar.
“My roar came very naturally. I’d say 24 years of being a girl/woman in the film industry and never getting to be, for the most part, anything other than girly-girl,” she says. “Trust me, there were several decades worth of roar.”
Paquin has starred as both Rogue in the X-Men films and recently ended her run as “True Blood” heroine Sookie Stackhouse, giving young women characters to look up to. She sees Ramsey as an addition to this list and is proud to join the Pixar family.
“She’s one of the dudes. There is nothing intrinsically unfeminine about that, and I think it’s really great. It’s the kind of stuff I wished I could have watched when I was growing up,” she says of playing a rowdy T-Rex.
Pixar has a great history of being this generation’s most impactful animation studio. Star of the film Raymond Ochoa (voice of Arlo) talks about the honor of voicing a character who will inspire kids someday and being part of an animated film that could go on to be the first in the lives of children.
He says, “Monsters Inc. was my first one. That’s when I fell in love with Pixar. To be here today and someday have people say, ‘What’s your favorite movie,’ and they could be like, ‘It’s The Good Dinosaur,’ it’s overwhelming.”
A long time in development, The Good Dinosaur saw many changes leading up to its Thanksgiving weekend debut. Director Peter Sohn discusses the spark that led to the film, which centers around the adoptive family Arlo sees in the T-Rex clan.
“Once we got the T-Rexes in family mode, it all started to click in so many different ways,” Sohn reveals. “The evolution of the story, what Arlo would need from them, the idea that every member is integral to the family, knowing that he was in a place of love and knowing that love could get him through.”
It’s a message that will reach families all around the world during this holiday.
Elliott explains that when his character meets Arlo, the kid dinosaur is learning to overcome many things including, “fear of the unknown, survival, trying to do what’s right or wrong. It’s great family fare. With life as dark as it is, as horrific as it is, it’s why we sit here making these kind of movies.”
The Good Dinosaur is in theaters Nov. 25.