‘The Good Dinosaur’ Director Peter Sohn Explains Delay and Story Changes; New Image Released
Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 at 4:00 pm
Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur was originally slated for a 2014 release. But problems with the story forced the film’s original director, Bob Peterson, out, and pushed the film back to a November 2015 release. The first signs of trouble started to appear when Peterson was noticeably absent at the D23 Expo in 2013.
Since then Peter Sohn came on board as director to resolve some of the story issues that The Good Dinosaur was suffering from, and in a new report from The LA Times, we are getting a better understanding of why the film had to be pushed back, and what he has done to fix some of the problems. Hit the jump for more and to see a new image from the movie.
Changing directors midway through the production process isn’t something new in Pixar, in fact it happens very often. Cars 2, Brave, and Ratatouille are just some of the films that have undergone a director change. Though it would have been Peterson’s directorial debut, the ousting didn’t seem to offend the Pixar filmmaker as he is contributing his time to working on the scripts for Inside Out and Finding Dory.
Now onto Sohn’s involvement. Here’s what the newly appointed director had to say about his contribution to the film.
“The heart of the story remains the same. It’s always been about this young dinosaur growing up. But the world itself has changed a lot. Nature has become a character.”
One of the major problems behind the scenes was that “Peterson was creatively stuck on the film and was proving too slow to make important story decisions.”
Peterson’s premise of the asteroid never hitting the Earth, and a teenage Apatosaurus named Arlo taking a wild young human boy named Spot as a pet, still remains intact. But Sohn took out some of Peterson’s signature ideas like modeling the dinosaurs on Amish farmers. He also turned nature itself into an antagonist. Seeing as how he inherited The Good Dinosaur, Sohn talks about what he did for the film,
“When Bob was taken off, I was supporting the film as best I could. It felt like, this child, this film still needs to be raised. It was just about how to take care of the thing at that time. … Trying to keep the original vision of this film intact and trying to plus it as well.”
2014 is the first year that Pixar hasn’t released a film since 2005. While a gap like that isn’t quite as damaging, the studio had a very good reason to push the film’s release a full year and a half.
Pixar general manager and executive vice president of production Jim Morris explained:
“For Pixar it was a dramatic event. It was tough on the company. Most studios would have said, ‘The movie’s fine. It’s not bad.’ And it wasn’t bad; it just wasn’t great. We wanted to have a great movie.”
We’ve always known that Pixar pushes for story over anything else seen in the film, so to hear that they wanted to have a great movie over one that is fine is unsurprising.
It will still be a while before we even get to see a mild tease of the film, but Pixar has released a new image from The Good Dinosaur seen below.