Behind The Scenes of Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur”


“The Good Dinosaur” animated movie asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? In this epic journey into the world of dinosaurs, 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.

I interviewed technical effects lead Michael O’Brien, who worked on “The Good Dinosaur.” O’Brien’s job is to make sure they have all the right materials to animate the film. To make an animated film, you have to follow a special process. First, you have to decide what the movie is about. Next, you have to write the script. Then, you need to record the voices. And last, but not least, you animate the film. For this movie, the creators used computer animation, which is where you create the movie using computer software. According to O’Brien, each Pixar animated film takes roughly 7 years to complete. Pixar tries to let out a film every 8 months, so movie work time overlaps. Michael O’Brien’s favorite part of his job is just getting to have this job. “Just getting to go to Pixar every day, […] I feel very lucky.” This film is rated PG, but O’Brien says it is up to you to decide if it is too scary or not.

According to O’Brien, the most difficult thing in the making of the movie was animating the river. “That’s something that I worked on a lot, and those are very hard for us. So we wanted to make a really big realistic river, and so that was the biggest challenge, making sure we could make this river.”

You might wonder, why did Pixar choose to put two species who have never met in history in a movie together? Pixar likes to do lots of “What If?” movies. What if fish could talk? What if cars could talk? What if we had tiny feelings running around in our head? What if toys were alive?

I think that “The Good Dinosaur” is going to be a very good movie. It will be released in movie theaters on Thanksgiving Day. I know I’m going to see it!