Pixar’s Animated Dinosaur Adventure – “Dismantled and Reimagined” According to John Lithgow

Dinosaurs and cinema block busters seem made for each other.  No time travelling film/exploration of a lost world is complete without at least one or two of the Dinosauria showing up somewhere along the way.  For example, in the latest reincarnation of the BBC’s favourite Time Lord,  due to hit our television screens this weekend, “The Doctor” is going to encounter dinosaurs in one of the forthcoming episodes.  So whilst we were waiting for further news of Jurassic Park IV (Jurassic World) and learning all about “Dinosaur 13” via a wonderful documentary directed by Todd Douglas Miller, press releases about Pixar’s animated dinosaur film came to our attention.

Team members at Everything Dinosaur first mentioned that Pixar was going to make an animated feature entitled “The Good Dinosaur” back in the spring of 2012, since then there have been a number of delays and setbacks. The premier being postponed by eighteen months or so and rescheduled for November 2015.

Big Changes for “The Good Dinosaur” (Pixar)

The film is "evolving"

The film is “evolving”

The delay of eighteen months before release came about following the departure of the film’s director.  It now turns out that this production has been undergoing a number of significant changes as alluded to by one of the voice over actors – John Lithgow.

The original storyline for the film imagined what would life on Earth be like if that huge extraterrestrial object that stuck our planet and assisted the demise of the dinosaurs had missed.  In essence, in Pixar’s view of the world, the dinosaurs survived and lived alongside early humans.  John Lithgow had been contracted to play “Poppa” one of the dinosaur characters featured in the film.  In a recent interview, the actor was asked to provide an update on production and he stated that after the director’s departure the entire film was “dismantled” and “completely reimagined.”

There have been lots of rumours surrounding “The Good Dinosaur”.  A number of media reports had cited serious issues behind the decision to change directors and expressed concerns over the quality of the story.  It seems that John Lithgow’s comments may have given some of these reports credence.  From Pixar’s point of view, they want to add to their stable of excellent, award-winning animations, so it is essential that the very best possible film is delivered.

It must be a bit like putting together dinosaur bones for an exhibit, these things take time, the process cannot be rushed and the final result is paramount.  At the time of the change in director, Pixar’s President Ed Catmull told the Los Angeles Times:

“Nobody, ever remembers the fact that you slipped a film, but they will remember a bad film.  Our conclusion was that we were going to give the film some more time.”

More time certainly, but reading between the actor’s lines it suggests that Pixar may have begun the project all over again.  John Lithgow had recorded his entire role for the voice of “Poppa” one of the daddy dinosaurs in the movie.  However, with the changes that are being implemented, John is going to have to re-record his role all over again.  The actor went onto explain that the film was coming out and it was going to be better than he ever imagined.   All sounds good to us.

As far as team members at Everything Dinosaur know, the release date is still scheduled for November 2015, no further delays have been announced.  We look forward to seeing the film when it does hit our screens and of course we can’t wait to meet John Lithgow’s character.

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