‘The Good Dinosaur’ Updated Concept Artwork & Additional Story Details – Updated

The Good Dinosaur Concept Artwork

The LA Times released an article this evening highlighting a series of changes in store for The Good Dinosaur along with a new piece of concept artwork. The article really excites us regarding the story changes that have taken place and reveals a new piece of concept art that is similar to the original concept art released at the 2013 D23 Expo (shown below). So, what’s new, what elements were changed, and what about the directing change to Peter Sohn? We have summarized the elements of the article which answer those questions – to read the full article, head over to LA Times.

The Good Dinosaur Concept Art


As in Peterson’s version, the film still posits that an asteroid never hit the Earth and the dinosaurs never went extinct; a teenage Apatosaurus named Arlo takes a wild, young human boy named Spot as a pet.

We were excited to see that the premise for the story remained – the idea of the dinosaurs not becoming extinct after an asteroid missed the Earth was extremely intriguing to us.


Over the last year, Sohn has been quietly streamlining the story, a buddy comedy about a teenage dinosaur and a human boy, in preparation for a November 2015 release. “The heart of the story remains the same,” Sohn said, in an interview last week. “It’s always been about this young dinosaur growing up. But the world itself has changed a lot. Nature has become a character.” Sohn has jettisoned some of Peterson’s signature ideas, such as modeling the dinosaurs on Amish farmers and added new elements, including treating nature as the film’s antagonist.

If you are a listener of our podcast, on episode 020 we discussed our thoughts on which elements would stay and which would change. T.J. had predicted that the dinosaurs as farmers would eventually be cut and Julie had suggested that Spot (who was originally noted would only speak like a caveman) would have a speaking role. Although we’ll have to wait to see if Spot will speak more clearly, we do know that the dinosaurs are no longer farmers.


We especially liked the section which shined a light on how Sohn was eventually slotted into the Director’s chair and we’re happy to see a quick note about what veteran Pixarian (and original The Good Dinosaur) director is working on.

Sohn got the “Good Dinosaur” job after he presented a possible new version of the film in storyboards last summer, according to producer Denise Ream. Because of Sohn’s relative inexperience, Ream enlisted some of Pixar’s veteran department heads to help him finish “The Good Dinosaur,” including production designer Harley Jessup and director of photography-lighting Sharon Calahan, both of whom lent “Ratatouille” much of its visual richness. 

Peterson remains at Pixar and, according to Morris, has been working on Docter’s next film, “Inside Out,” and on “Finding Dory” as a writer.

What are your thoughts on the new concept art as well as the changes which were revealed? Leave a comment below or chat about it further on the Pixar Post Forum dedicated to The Good Dinosaur.

Thanks to Dan the Pixar Fan for the heads up on the new concept artwork.

UPDATED November 25 – Pixar released additional concept artwork this afternoon (1 year prior to the theatrical release) with the tagline.

The Good Dinosaur tells the story of Arlo, a lively Apatosaurus with a big heart who sets out on a remarkable journey, gaining an unlikely companion along the way—a human boy. Directed by Peter Sohn (“Partly Cloudy”) and produced by Denise Ream (“Cars 2,” “The Good Dinosaur” opens in theaters on Nov. 25, 2015.

Comments 4
  1. Yeahh I suppose. I just thought the idea of a farming community and way of life sounded like it had more potential to be very different a story for Pixar: whereas a journey with two friends they've already proven they can do. Too soon to say of course, perhaps it will be very different from Marlin and Dory's journey, or Carl and Russel's. It's just this is the first thing most animators criticize about Pixar's films: so many Buddy movies. Not that I think it's quite that bad myself, but it is starting to seem a bit familiar.

  2. Great feedback. Remember that the buddy film element was always the main story between Arlo and Spot – the farming element was a smaller section which most likely was used to show the separation between Arlo and his family (guessing Arlo didn't want to farm). Just a guess…but that's most likely why it was cut – it didn't serve the story enough. As far as the concept artwork looking different – that just depends on which artist was culled for that particular drawing as they infused their own style into it. I see your point as far as the size contrast as well. Arlo looks substantially younger in the updated concept artwork so I wonder if they meet at a younger age initially and then Arlo gets bigger. I'd also guess that from a visualization standpoint, if they do stay closer in size it would be to help that out. Telling a story with such drastic angles would be very tough to convey to an audience if the story mostly revolves around their journey. Think of it like photographing one person in the shade and one in the direct sun – the person in the sun will be blown out while the person in the shade will be dark. Drastic size is another example of this extreme which makes things more difficult to portray cleanly.Again, these are just my thoughts and examples – doesn't mean I'm right! 🙂 I hope it pays off as well – I have all the faith in Sohn's vision – especially since this project has been examined under the microscope like crazy by now!

  3. I have to say that's a BIG disappointment that the farmer element was cut. That was, to me, one of the cleverest elements of the first version; while the buddy story has been already done SO MUCH by Pixar. ALSO: This new piece of concept art looks SO amateurish: airbrushed and flat. AND they took out the visually intriguing concept of having the insane size contrast! MAN this had better pay off

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