Pixar president Jim Morris: It’s good to have rivals

The head honcho of the top animation studio shares his thoughts with us on the so-called “Pixar slump”

Pixar president Jim Morris: It’s good to have rivals

Photos: Disney/Pixar

Over the past 20 years, Pixar has delighted countless moviegoers by breathing life into all sorts of creatures and objects: ever since cowboy doll Woody and space action figure Buzz Lightyear first burst onto the scene – and into our hearts – in 1995’s Toy Story, viewers have been introduced to talking fish, sentient cars, office-going monsters and more.

In their next big project after the highly successful Inside Out (which gave feelings to, well, feelings), the animation studio takes us to an alternate universe where ancient creatures survive and thrive in The Good Dinosaur. The computer-animated flick centres on Arlo, a young Apatosaurus who befriends a human cave boy during his journey to find his lost family. As they trek through strange lands and confront a variety of colourful characters, we get to witness Arlo’s transformation from cowardly to courageous.

Pixar president Jim Morris: It’s good to have rivals

During a press presentation by Pixar president Jim Morris last month, we learned that The Good Dinosaur had undergone a lot of drastic changes ever since the story idea was conceived in 2009, including its release date, director and voice cast.

Jim elaborated a little more on the overhaul in an interview with Toggle, “It’s pretty much completely different from the original, which we liked, but there were problems with the story that we weren’t able to solve, so we scrapped that completely and came up with something else.”


One example of the divergence is in the overall premise of the movie. “At first it took place in a community of dinosaurs, something like a village, but now it’s a kind of prehistoric buddy road trip picture by comparison,” he said.

All this reimagining inevitably meant a two-year delay for its theatrical opening, but that ended up being a blessing in disguise: thanks to the breakneck advancement of technology, filmmakers were able to create even more stunning environments that look like they were photographed. To achieve this breath-taking realism, Jim revealed that the team built the sets on top of actual scans of landscapes from Montana and Wyoming in the U.S.

Pixar president Jim Morris: It’s good to have rivals

Report a problem