Movie Feature

A sneak peek at Pixar: 'The Good Dinosaur' and upcoming films

By Deborah WeeMovies - 04 October 2015 4:59 PM | Updated 09 October 2015

A sneak peek at Pixar: 'The Good Dinosaur' and upcoming films

Just how long does it take to transform an idea for a movie into a completed Pixar animated film?

“Five years,” said Jim Morris, the president of Pixar Animation Studios, who was in town on 1 October to give a behind the scenes peek into the studio’s upcoming film releases.

With this lengthy production process in mind, audiences can better appreciate the fact that – for the first time in its history – Pixar will be releasing two films in the same year.

Just months after ‘Inside Out’ opened to widespread acclaim, Pixar is back to take viewers on another adventure with ‘The Good Dinosaur’, which is set to open in Singapore on 26 November 2015.

“2015’s been a busy year for us,” Morris said of the studio’s effort to release both movies, “We spend a lot of time and love on the films we make.”

And the hard work did not stop there. In addition to ‘The Good Dinosaur’, Morris unveiled several highly anticipated films that the studio will release over the next two years. It is a line-up that Pixar is “really excited about.”


“It is quite different from ‘Inside Out’; more like ‘Outside In’,” Morris said of ‘The Good Dinosaur’, which instead focuses its exploration on the external environment.

'The Good Dinosaur' | Photo: Getty

This coming-of-age comedy adventure follows an Apatosaurus named Arlo (voiced by Raymond Ochoa), who is forced to navigate the world on his own when a tragic event separates him from his family.

Arlo’s relationship with a feral human boy named Spot (voiced by Jack Bright) is the heart and soul of this movie. Interestingly, the animal-human relationship is reversed, with Arlo exhibiting more human-like intelligence and Spot being more animalistic.

Helming the film is Peter Sohn, who previously directed the Pixar short ‘Partly Cloudy’, voiced Emile in ‘Ratatouille’, and – amusingly enough – was the physical inspiration for Russell in ‘Up’.

As preview clips of the film indicate, audiences can expect to see impressively detailed and realistic animation from ‘The Good Dinosaur’. Morris explained that, in line with the film’s exploratory theme, new technology was employed to create “a world that feels visceral and immersive.”

‘The Good Dinosaur’ also features comparatively less dialogue than in most of the studio’s previous movies. Because of this, Morris was proud to note that “the film also relies (perhaps more than any previous Pixar film) on a fantastic score.”

Audiences can also expect a moving story. “’The Good Dinosaur’ has the comedy and emotion of ‘Inside Out’,” Morris said while noting that the film is otherwise very different, “We’re very proud of it.”

And to tempt viewers one more time, he added, “A few scenes might make you cry.”


Swimming to cinemas in the summer of 2016 is ‘Finding Dory’, the long anticipated sequel to 2003’s highly successful ‘Finding Nemo’. With Ellen DeGeneres reprising her voice role as the forgetful blue tang, the movie will follow Dory’s search for her family.

Morris revealed that the question surrounding Dory’s family “has stayed with (‘Finding Nemo’ director) Andrew Stanton since he made the original film.” Stanton’s love for the characters ultimately led to him making the sequel.

'Finding Dory' | Photo: Pixar Facebook page

In addition to returning cast member Albert Brooks as Nemo’s father, Marlin, ‘Finding Dory’ will feature big names like Ed O’Neill, Ty Burrell, Kaitlin Olson and Idris Elba as a diverse range of new characters.

With as much comedy and emotion as the original, Morris promised that fans of ‘Finding Nemo’ will enjoy the sequel.


‘Toy Story 4’ was never supposed to happen; the studio felt that the original trilogy had effectively concluded the story of Andy’s toys.

“The filmmakers vowed not to make another one unless one of them had an irresistible idea,” Morris revealed. Of course, they did come up with an idea that they could not ignore.

Composer Randy Newman of 'Toy Story 1, 2 and  and director John Lasseter of Toy Story 4' | Photo: Getty 

Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter, who directed the first two ‘Toy Story’ films, will return to helm this fourth outing. It is set to be released in 2017.

“(‘Toy Story 4’) is not a continuation of the trilogy,” Morris revealed, “It’s a new chapter.”

The love story will instead focus on the relationship between Woody and Bo Peep, with many of the original characters and cast members returning. New characters will also be added.


Attracting particular interest is Pixar’s next original film, ‘Coco’, which the studio plans to release in 2017.

From the director of ‘Toy Story 3’, ‘Coco’ is set during Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in rural Mexico, and follows a 12-year-old boy’s journey to the underworld to solve a family mystery.

Producer Darla K. Anderson (L) and director Lee Unkrich of 'Coco' | Photo: Getty

“’Coco’ revolves around the importance of family and the interconnectedness of generations,” Morris said.

With the preview clip boasting stunning animation, Morris promises that ‘Coco’ will be a “very visually striking film.”


While Pixar certainly has its sights set beyond 2017, Morris revealed that there are not yet any plans to make a feature-length film set in Asia.

“We bet on the person rather than the idea,” Morris said of Pixar’s practice of first commissioning a director for a film, before asking him to present his ideas, “If a director wants to do an Asian-themed film, then we’ll do one.”

However, Morris was pleased to announce that the next Pixar short film, ‘Sanjay’s Super Team’, will be set in India. The action-packed animation will be shown in theatrical screenings of ‘The Good Dinosaur’.

One thing for certain is that Pixar will continue to entertain audiences of all ages for years to come.

“(We are) terrified every time we work that we will not get it right,” Morris said of the secret behind Pixar’s long-running success, “We want to make films that the filmmaker is very passionate about.”

And the source of Pixar’s passion is clear. “All Pixar people are ‘family people’,” Morris said, and the studio will always make films that they want their own families to see.

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