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."
Forest & Mountains
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