The Good Dinosaur asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? Pixar takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of.
According to Production Designer Harley Jessup, the filmmakers did a deep dive into what’s known about the size of a real Apatosaurus in an effort to add authenticity to Arlo and his family. “We created a life-size printout of Arlo to help imagine his gigantic scale,” says Jessup. “Arlo is 18 feet tall and weighs about 6 tons, and Poppa, at 46 feet, is taller than the Steve Jobs Building on Pixar’s campus. We exaggerated the size of the T-Rexes for our story, and they range from 38 to 50 feet tall, with Butch weighing in at about 45 tons.
The last to hatch among his siblings, 11-year-old Arlo has yet to make his mark on his family’s farm. Though he is eager to help out with chores, this sheltered Apatosaurus just can’t seem to get past his fear of everything.
Spot is a wild, tough and tenacious human boy who has lived alone in the wilderness for much of his life. He speaks in only grunts and growls, but his strengths are clear: he’s fearless
Brave and selfless, Poppa is a devoted husband and father, working tirelessly to make a life for his family on their farm. He has a soft spot for Arlo, his small and fearful son, and takes special care of him as he grows up.
A loving wife and mother, Momma is smart and quick-witted. She’s a hard worker with a lot of love for her family, and she keeps her children and their farm in order. Her quiet strength is the backbone of the family.
Buck is Arlo’s brother: they’re the same age, but Buck is bigger, stronger and a little rambunctious. Arlo's sister Libby is a capable and willful girl who can plow a mean field.
“We wanted Buck and Libby to be more capable, more brave than Arlo,” says Story Supervisor Kelsey Mann. “Everything comes more easily, despite the fact that they’re all the same age.”
Pet Collector is a mysterious Styracosaurus who lives in the wilderness. Like Arlo, he harbors unreasonable fears. His ability to blend into his surroundings helps—along with an unusual (but not exactly fierce) collection of forest critters he’s recruited to protect him.
According to production designer Harley Jessup, the filmmakers did a deep dive into what’s known about the size of a real Apatosaurus in an effort to add authenticity to Arlo and his family. “We created a life-size printout of Arlo to help imagine his gigantic scale,” says Jessup. “Arlo is 18 feet tall and weighs about 6 tons, and Poppa, at 46 feet, is taller than the main building at Pixar. We exaggerated the size of the T-Rexes for our story, and they range from 38 to 50 feet tall, with Butch weighing in at about 45 tons.”
Nash, who isn’t the sharpest of spurs and has trouble keeping track of their herd, exhibits a mischievous charm and positive attitude that makes him good company out on the range.
Ramsey loves the challenge of driving a herd of longhorns with her father, Butch, and her little brother Nash. Ramsey has a lively, outgoing personality—she likes good jokes, tells a mean story and has a soft spot for those in need.
The Pterodactyls are a search-and-“rescue" team of five. They like to sit back and let the often-treacherous storms in this part of the world do their dirty work, then reap the benefits of the devastation.
Raptors prey on the prized herd of longhorns that belong to Butch and his Tyrannosaurus Rex family. Raptors—or Rustlers, as Butch calls them—sport wiry, feathered bodies and hardly compare in size or strength to a T-Rex. But as a group, the Raptors pose quite a threat, and even a T-Rex may need to call in reinforcements before tangling with them.
The Filmmakers wanted to capture the full scope of the environments they researched. According to Production Designer Harley Jessup, their experiences in the American Northwest not only illustrated nature’s power, but also its beauty. “The area has a fantastic variety of landscapes, ranging from the Jackson Valley and the Tetons to the amazing geysers and waterfalls in Yellowstone. We studied the grasslands of Montana and the mesas in Wyoming’s Red Desert, then incorporated all of it in Arlo’s journey.”
“The river became the vehicle that would take Arlo hundreds of miles away from home, where he wakes up and begins his life quest,” says Director Peter Sohn. “That same river becomes the yellow brick road back to Arlo’s family. And that simple concept became our basic structure: he gets washed away in first act and then fights his way home throughout the second
and third acts."
Their awe of nature’s beauty and power inspired the filmmakers to make the wilderness a character in itself and not just a setting for Arlo and Spot. “The golds and reds from the aspens were incredible—and the cottonwoods—I’ve never seen anything like that before,” says Director Peter Sohn. “The landscape is so huge. It makes you feel tiny. There’s such a simplicity to the graphic nature of the place that it felt perfect for making a giant animal like a dinosaur