Monday, August 18, 2014

The New Dinosaur

Pixar's The Good Dinosaur has been down a rather bumpy road. Last summer, director Bob Peterson was removed from the project and his replacement director is still yet to be revealed (though I think, given what I've seen and heard, his co-director Pete Sohn has assumed the mantle), and then it was moved from its original May 2014 release date to November 25, 2015…

Since then, Pixar has been hush-hush about the film in almost every way. They are currently focusing on Inside Out, which will be the first of their two 2015 releases. Makes sense, because that's a big deal (I roll my eyes at people calling it "Pixar's comeback", they never went away) and the last original - Brave - will be three years old by that point.

Now, John Lithgow (who is voicing the main apatosaur's father) has spoken about the film. He says that the film was "completely reimagined":

"I recorded the entire role in Good Dinosaur. They have now dismantled it and completely reimagined it, and it is a fantastic new story. So I’m gonna record again on it within the next month. Don’t worry. It’s coming and it’s gonna be better than I ever imagined… But me and Frannie McDormand, we’re still playing Momma and Poppa dinosaur."

Of course, I knew the film had been re-imagined thanks to a recent article by Pixar President Ed Catmull. He said that the studio had "restarted" the film, so this director change/rewrite was basically a Kingdom of the Sun/Emperor's New Groove situation for Pixar, nothing new for them (or animation studios) since films like Cars and WALL-E began life as completely different concepts.

Lithgow says the film is better than he ever imagined, but actors and crew normally don't speak ill of an upcoming film they are in. I'm not saying Pixar's holiday 2015 film will be a letdown, I am very much looking forward to it and I'm sure it'll be really good. If you've been here long enough, you'll know that I don't believe that Pixar is now a pale shadow of its "former self" or whatever. I'm hoping it's really good.

If anything, I really want to know if the new story is set during a different time period. Many of us assumed that the film would took place in modern times, but some people weren't keen on the scrapped film's actual setting (main bronto Arlo meets a caveman kid) that was unveiled at last summer's D23 Expo… But now I'm wondering when Pixar will A) release a new plot synopsis and B) announce who the new director is.

I'm guessing they will hold all of the major announcements off until maybe this autumn, because they still have 2015 Movie #1 to plug. Inside Out doesn't have a teaser yet, and I'm willing to bet that Disney and Pixar will launch the campaign this autumn, presumably a few weeks before Disney Animation's Big Hero 6 opens. At the same time though, I hope Good Dinosaur's campaign kicks into high gear soon as well. Maybe they'll pull a Disney Animation with it, and wait till next summer to unleash a teaser.

That may seem like a long wait, but Disney Animation's recent trio of hits (Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen) were all November releases in their respective years, and their campaigns began during the summer. A pretty short gap, but the marketing and good buzz got audiences to go see those films. I'm thinking they (Disney marketing) will do the same for The Good Dinosaur since that film opens in November of next year: Teaser premieres with Inside Out in June (or maybe even before it, perhaps before Disney/fellow Pixarian Brad Bird's Tomorrowland in May), second trailer follows, D23 gives it a boost, then the campaign really kicks in before the release.

Usually Pixar does their own thing when it comes to marketing. Usually a trailer appears a while before the movie's release. Maybe the June kick-off won't be done, though it could work as it gives Disney and Pixar time to really focus on Inside Out. I think maybe Pixar will release a new plot synopsis and crew info sometime later in the year, then unveil the poster and teaser the following spring/summer.

What do you think will happen? What do you think of The Good Dinosaur being completely re-imagined? Sound off below!

(via /Film)

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