Pixar’s ‘The Good Dinosaur’ Has Been Completely “Dismantled and Reimagined”
Just about a year ago, Pixar announced that their planned 2014 movie 'The Good Dinosaur' would be moved to November 25, 2015 following the departure of director Bob Peterson. This is not necessarily unusual at Pixar with both 'Ratatouille' and 'Brave' undergoing last-minute director changes, but none perhaps will wind up being as drastic as 'Good Dinosaur.' Lead voice actor John Lithgow was recently asked to provide an update and said that after Peterson's departure the entire film was "dismantled" and "completely reimagined."
Pixar would not have delayed 'The Good Dinosaur' over a year and fired its director if they didn't think the film had some serious issues. At the time, Pixar president Ed Catmull told the LA 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." Pixar clearly felt the original version of 'The Good Dinosaur' was a "bad film" and instead of just fixing up what they had, they decided to start from scratch.
Lithgow told Collider:
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.
For what it's worth, Lithgow sounds very excited about the new direction of the film, and it's hard not to trust Pixar when it comes to these creative decisions ('Brave' notwithstanding). Yet, it's still surprising to think that the entire movie is being redone in just about two years time (the normal creative process at Pixar takes about 4 years, sometimes longer). What's even more interesting is that Pixar has yet to formally announce a replacement director for the project. Instead, Pete Sohn, the original co-director, is working on the film along with the rest of the "Pixar Brain Trust" which includes John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich, Gary Rydstrom and others (former director Bob Peterson was, ironically, one of the members of the brain trust before he was relieved of his duties).
The original film was set to follow a young dinosaur in a family of brontosaurus who befriends a young human. Lithgow confirmed that he and Frances McDormand are still set to play the mother and father dinosaurs, but no indication on whether the rest of the cast - including Bill Hader, Neil Patrick Harris and Judy Greer - are still involved with the production.
'The Good Dinosaur' is still set for its November 2015 release, just a few months after Pete Docter's 'Inside Out' hits theaters; the first time two Pixar films will be released in the same year.