Just one day after the world premiere of Inside Out at the Cannes International Film Festival 2015, Pixar Executive Producer and Creative Chief Office John Lasseter held a presentation on Pixar's future film slate, giving the audience exciting plot details and other important aspects of the films that we had previously not known. Of the many exciting scoops given, the plot details given about The Good Dinosaur stand out as some of the most intriguing. Find out what details were given by John Lasseter about November 2015's The Good Dinosaur, June 2016's Finding Dory, and even June 2017's Toy Story 4 all after the break!
Variety reported the following from John Lasseter's presentation:
The Good Dinosaur, November 25th, 2015
The early clips from this movie played like a cross between “Tarzan” and “Lilo & Stitch.” The story centers on Arlo (Lucas Neff), an Apatosaurus, who after losing his father in a tragic accident, falls into a river, gets knocked out by a rock and finds himself in a land far away. As he makes the trek back home to the Clawed-Tooth Mountains, he befriends a human cave-boy named Spot.
“This is a boy and a dog story, but the roles are reversed,” Lasseter said. “Arlo, the dinosaur, is the boy in the story and Spot is the dog” — meaning Arlo stands upright and speaks, while Spot travels on his hands and feet and grunts.
There will be a supporting cast of dinosaurs straight out of “Jurassic Park” (only friendlier). “We’re putting our own unique Pixar spin on the dinosaur world,” Lasseter said, as he showed images of a trio of T-Rexes, a Pterodactyl and a shaggy Velociraptor. “The feathers on the Veliraptor look like the haircuts of famous football players,” Lasseter joked.
Lasseter talked up the visuals that serve as the backdrop of the story. In one clip he showed, Arlo and Spot chase fireflies in a forest, which looks more real than any scene from a Pixar production. “It’s unlike anything we’ve had before,” Lasseter said. “The level of believability we’re striving for in this film is going to be breathtaking.”
Finding Dory, June 17th, 2016
Even though it’s been 12 years since the original “Finding Nemo,” the sequel takes place just six months later. Dory and Nemo re-team, this time on an adventure to find the title heroine’s family (Ellen DeGeneres, of course, returns as her voice). Dory’s parents, who Lasseter unveiled images of at the presentation, will be played by Diane Keaton (“Neither of us remember a thing?” she says, channeling an aquatic version of Annie Hall) and Eugene Levy.
Among the adventures in store this time: a dip through the Pacific Ocean where shipping containers have fallen off boats; a frightening encounter with a giant squid; wading past a kelp forest on California’s northern coastline; and new friends in the form of an octopus and a whale-shark named Destiny. “She thinks she’s a whale, but she’s actually a shark,” Lasseter said.
Toy Story 4, June 15th, 2017
Lasseter didn’t show any clips from this upcoming sequel, but offered a few small clues. “I am very excited to be directing again,” he said. “We’re in the early stages of the film, but it’s shaping up nicely. It’s funny. The story is not as much a continuation of the past films, but a brand new chapter in the ‘Toy Story’ world.”
The comments on The Good Dinosaur are particularly interesting because they validate a long lasting question over the problems over the films plot. The film is really starting to take on some very interesting story points; I love the role reversal that Arlo and Spot with have, and the way Arlo is put on his journey sounds tantalizing. It's so nice to finally hear some really good news over this project, and I'm so happy that the conversation has changed from whether or not inside Out will overshadow The Good Dinosaur to having a really nice and friendly competition over which film will be the front runner of this year. And not a front runner in terms of box office or reviews, but simply which film progresses the studio into the future. It may end up a tie as both look to be game changing in terms of animation, concept, visualization, and character development. 2015 is looking to be a much more important year in Pixar's history than anyone could have ever projected.
The Finding Dory and Toy Story 4 comments are also exciting, although they don't give nearly as much information away, as they should. We still have time to build excitement over those films, unlike the fast approaching The Good Dinosaur release date. I love the idea of Destiny the whale shark from Finding Dory thinking that she's a whale when she really is a shark- it's that kind of Pixar spin that really intrigues me. And the TS4 comments reaffirm my thinking that the film will in fact be titled somtheing other than Toy Story 4- its looking more and more like a completely new story rather than a continuation, as the current title implies.
All around, John Lasseter's presentation has told us very interesting new details on Pixar's future slate that excite me very much. The next several years are looking to be very bright!
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