About The Good Dinosaur
“The Good Dinosaur” asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo (voice of Raymond Ochoa) makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of. Directed by Peter Sohn and produced by Denise Ream (“Cars 2”), Disney•Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur” opened in theaters on Nov. 25, 2015.
THE GOOD DINOSAUR Raymond Ochoa, Jack Bright & Marcus Scribner interview
While in L.A., I had the opportunity to sit down with three young men who voice characters in The Good Dinosaur movie. If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s one you definitely should take the time to watch. There are some really important lessons held within the story and has enough action to keep younger ones engaged.
Wow. I have to say that these young men are so talented, down to earth, and extremely humble. What a joy it was to interview Raymond Ochoa (voice of Arlo), Marcus Scribner (voice of Buck), and Jack Bright (voice of Spot). They were all very composed and well spoken, funny and charming. They each had their parents and/or managers in the room, but the floor was all theirs. They easily took all of our questions and gave us thoughtful answers.
I think they each have the ability to go far in their careers. Let me share some of my favorite parts of the interview.
How did each of you get into character?
Mine was research. I did a lot of research on the Apatosaurus? First off, I had no idea what he looked like, so that was one of them. After I looked it up, I saw the long neck, and he was kind-looking and sweet in the front of it. But, also it’s a Pixar movie so you know it has to be kid-friendly obviously, so it was pretty difficult to make him sound that way. I think Pete [Sohn] trusted my voice and making it sound that I was good, so I hope it worked. -Raymond Ochoa (Arlo)
It definitely worked. I saw the movie and Raymond’s voice definitely fit the Apatosaurus. I agree with Raymond. It was definitely research because like he said I had no clue what an Apatosaurus was. What I saw in The Good Dinosaur was like, oh that’s a Brontosaurus and then I was oh, nope, it’s called an Apatosaurus. So, I did research and definitely getting into character really helped because Buck is really gruff and he’s really a tough character. He’s very rambunctious, so to play a character like that I really had to just let all my emotions through and really give it my all and play it towards the mic. And doing voice-over is very different from live-action so I was really able to release the character within. -Marcus Scribner (Buck)
Playing Spot was just fun. You would get to make all his noises, you go all-out, you just make noise. Like going around the house annoying my brother, they’re like ‘oh how did being so annoying, making all those noises get you to be in a movie?’ It’s very fun. You make like growling, yelling noises – it’s very fun. -Jack Bright (Spot)
I think he [Jack] had the toughest character to do. He doesn’t have to talk. You have to bring out emotion just within these howls and growls, but I think you did an amazing job, amazing. -Raymond
So how long did you guys work on your voice sessions?
It was about a year I had been working on this movie, the past year, but, many people have many different answers for this one. For me, they would call me back – I would do the entire script, then go back home. And they would fly me back up to Pixar, and it was literally just like that. It was about a six-hour session every time.
Every minute I was there I enjoyed it so much, because literally just people that I was working with, like the director Pete, he is so amazing and he’s so helpful to you by providing you what needs to help you and what the scenario was around you, so I didn’t have anyone to play with. But it felt like I was acting with Jack and I was acting with Marcus because he [Pete] did all those characters. I want to thank Pete because he is such an amazing director. -Raymond
I did close to the amount of time that Raymond did. I was there for about a day. I agree with Raymond. Working with Peter Sohn was amazing because he really brings the characters to life, and he lets you know how he wants the character to be portrayed and it really allowed me to get into the character that was Buck, because he’s definitely different from the character that I play on television [on black-ish], so getting into a new character was a fun experience and Peter has a lot to do with it. -Marcus
How do you balance being celebrities and the girls and your moms and your dads, so how do you balance everything? Social media, girls trying to pick you up, how are you dealing with that?
Let’s just say it’s the good part of being in the industry. It’s definitely a plus. So I have three older brothers and they’re all in the entertainment business. Me and my brothers are also actually in a music group together. I’ve been acting in this business for a pretty long time now so I kind of grew up knowing nothing but being in the entertainment business. But, being grounded, I have such amazing parents that help me stay grounded. And I have amazing brothers that kind of guide me throughout my life and help me whenever I need it.
So it’s just so amazing. And that’s how I really handle it because, you know, family is my main key. That helps me stay with everything, you know? Right now my main focus is not really on the entire girls’ thing but it’s mainly on my career and being successful at a young age so that’s my main focus. -Raymond
Was there a particular scene that y’all enjoyed voicing, and then seeing come to life in the movie later?
My favorite part is when Arlo is trying to get the berries from the tree and he falls and then he looks behind him and Spot walks […] when Arlo is walking down below, and then he looks up and Spot is on top of the big mountain, he looks down at him after he was telling him that – that’s one of my favorite scenes. -Jack
I particularly like the scene where me [Arlo] and Spot were kind of in that sand and we start sharing our family. And that actually was really touching to me because it was actually really difficult to film that scene because I know Pete, he’s such an amazing director, he knows what he wants. He has his own vision so I think that was the scene that took probably the longest to film. That was probably the longest because he knew that was going to impact the crowd and the audience.
So just by saying that one line, it was just literally naming names but just filming that was so amazing because once I did complete it, it was such a relief and it was like wow, I finally got what Pete wanted, and it was amazing. So that’s probably my favorite scene filming. What about you [to Marcus]? -Raymond
My favorite scene to film was the part where I get to scare Arlo. That scene took a while to film because my voice is very weird right now so laughing is a little difficult. And so it was like [LAUGH] and no sound really came out, so that scene took a little bit to film.
But to actually see it on the big screen was really nice and I was like oh wow, I actually sound like I’m laughing. But Raymond was definitely right, working with Peter is what really got me to that place because he really gives you the direction that he wants you to go in, and you just act it out for him and it translated well on to the big screen. -Marcus
What traits do you have in common with your characters, and what traits would you like to incorporate?
I think one of Arlo’s biggest things and one of his biggest goals is to make his parents proud. His main one is his Papa. He really looks up to his Papa and I think that’s one of my biggest characteristics. I try to be the best son I can to my parents because I do respect them a lot, so to be a great son to them, that’s all I really want in life, because they do so much for me. So, I just want to pay them back for all they do. But what I want to be is I feel like Arlo is so helpful, he is.
So I want to be as helpful as he is to the family. I don’t really have a lot of chores in my life so I want to start being like him because he does have to take care of the farm. He has to replace his Papa as not being there, and that’s really difficult for him. So I just want to, I really don’t have a lot of chores because I do have three older brothers that can help me out with that whole scenario. But I’m gonna try and be more helpful around the house just like Arlo is on his farm. -Raymond
Spot is like, I haven’t seen it so I’m imagining he’s wild, he’s not really scared of anything so… -Jack
Spot is very, he’s very vicious and he’s very mean but, that’s what Arlo sees in the beginning. He’s really not like that later on in the film. Arlo does. That’s why they become friends. He really sees the kind in him. And I literally just met Jack like last night. That’s literally when I met him. But just by seeing him I see how kind he is, how much of an amazing soul he is, and he’s a great son. He was talking to his mom and I was – wow, he’s so kind.
So, you know, I think that’s where I see the resemblance between him and Spot. And not just from another person’s perspective but, you [to Jack] are a pretty cool guy. -Raymond
Thank you. -Jack
I really aspire to be like Buck, my character, who’s really self-confident and he’s a real leader. I hope that I have those traits and hopefully I’ll develop them in the future, but Buck is really cool character and it was really cool to get to play him, he’s very different from my personality in real life. -Marcus
How does it feel to be a part of Disney Pixar history now?
It’s a mind-blowing experience. I grew up watching movies like Toy Story, The Incredibles, all those movies, so working on a Disney Pixar movie is like my dream come true. And for it to be my first voice-over work, it’s really just mind-boggling. I don’t even know what to say. It was just, it’s amazing. -Marcus
Like Marcus said, I grew up watching Cars, like all those Disney [films] – I love Disney Pixar. It’s a dream come true to actually be in one of their movies, I never thought I would be in it. Instead of watching the movie you can actually interact with the characters, like you’re them, it’s really nice. -Jack
RO : Well for me, I have three older brothers and I think my first ever Pixar movie I saw was Monsters Inc. and that’s my personal favorite Pixar movie. And I love, I love, I love Pixar. My other favorite movie in the world is The Incredibles and I love that movie. So, you know, to be a part of them, to be a part of just one and being the title character of one, I’m just so grateful that I was given this opportunity because it’s just so incredible.
It’s just weird to think about later on in the future someone could be asked, what’s your favorite Pixar movie, and they can be like, The Good Dinosaur is mine. And it’s just weird, so to be a part of the history now, it’s amazing and I want to thank everyone that gave me that opportunity.
What are you hoping that viewers your age will take away from watching the movie?
Self-discovery, family and friendship are the three most important things that I took away from the movie. Arlo goes on this whole journey to get back to [his family] but really throughout the whole thing he’s finding himself. So,that’s one of the biggest points, and also developing a friendship with Spot. Throughout the entire movie he really has a connection to his family, so I think that’s one of the main points.
Self-discovery is probably what I took away and what I hope that other kids take away from the movie. -Marcus
What I think other kids should actually get to this is the saying don’t judge a book by its cover, because Arlo judges Spot to be this mean and evil person but, later on in the film he realizes how caring and loving he really is. So, that’s why I really think everyone should take away the fact don’t judge someone, because you really don’t know who they are. You don’t know them, you don’t know about them. They could be the most caring person and you see something else. So, don’t judge someone because you don’t know them. -Raymond
Did any of you have trouble with your voices through the movie, since it was like a year-long thing for you?
To say the least, yeah. You know, there comes a time in a boy’s years where, you know, his voice gets a little deeper than it originally was. That time came [for me] in the middle of the film and literally the couple last times I was coming in, my voice sounded a lot deeper. And it was really funny to me because I was trying to match what was in the original film. So every time I needed them to play back my original voice and then, because I didn’t put any character to my voice. It was my original voice. It just got a little deeper.
I just had to match the pitch of what it was. It was like doing Pitch Perfect in this voice-over, [He Laughs] but I felt like I matched it and I think Pete liked it too so that’s all that mattered. -Raymond
Yeah, I definitely had some troubles with my voice. Like I was saying earlier, trying to laugh was very difficult because laughing on command with like a deeper voice sounds really weird. -Marcus
Jack didn’t have any problems with his voice changing, because he’s still young. But, he did say that he couldn’t laugh naturally so he had his mom come in and tickle him. I love that!
When you guys found out that you got your roles, what was the first thing you did or who did you call, or what did you do?
When I found out I was at home so I guess I just went into my room and started jumping on the bed, like I’m gonna be in a Disney Pixar movie, y’all. I was just really excited. It was mind-blowing for me because I booked the movie off of just some recording that I did in my closet on my phone because I couldn’t make it to the recording studio. So, to book a Pixar movie like that, my mind was blown, it was crazy. -Marcus
After I started screaming and I was over with that, first off, I was at the Pixar facility when I was told because I had three callbacks up there before I was told that I got the role. […] I literally started screaming and actually we went out to celebrate because it was probably one of my most favorite jobs I’ve ever gotten in my entire career. -Raymond
Jack let us know that he didn’t actually start off cast as Spot in The Good Dinosaur, his brother was cast! He said his brother was in the move and he did a year of work, but his voice changed and got really, really deep. So, they called in Jack to do a couple of recordings and eventually started using him more and more until the role was his.
I loved this interview so much because these kids were just so honest and open. Did I mention how well-spoken and composed they were. I was so very impressed.
Raymond Ochoa on Social Media
Marcus Scribner on Social Media
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