One of the best parts of these Disney press trips is getting to sit down and chat with the cast of The Good Dinosaur. I especially enjoyed talking with the younger cast ie: Arlo, Spot & Buck. I think maybe it’s because I’m a mom and I always picture my own kids and what they’d be like in these roles or positions.
We got to talk with Raymond Ochoa (Arlo), Jack Bright (Spot) and Marcus Scribner (Buck). Three of the youth characters in the film The Good Dinosaur.
I think there was a bit of nerves for Jack. This was really his first role and really his first time doing interviews with the press. So of course he was going to be nervous. However, he was cute as a button and I loved how he answered some of the questions we posed to the boys. Of the three boys, he was the most reserved and quiet.
Jack described how he got into character and he noted that, “playing Spot was just fun” and that really he would just make all sorts of noises. He would even practice at home around the house annoying his brother.
Which by the way, his brother was originally cast as Spot but then because boys’ voices tend to change over the years, Jack started voicing some of Spot as well. They ended up needing to use about 90% Jack, 10% his brother just because of the issue with his voice changing.
Now everytime I see Spot, I definitely picture Jack. He even looks a bit like Spot, I think. 😉
Jack said his favorite part of the movie, “is when Arlo is trying to get the berries from the tree and he falls…” That was a super cute part in the film. You get a closer look at the dynamic between Spot and Arlo.
This is the mom coming out in me again but I loved to hear Jack talk about how this was a “dream come true” for him to be in a Disney/Pixar film. He grew up watching Cars and loves Disney/Pixar. He commented, “Instead of watching the movie you can actually interact with the characters, like you’re them, it’s really nice.”
The other two boys, are older and have a bit more experience than Jack. I was just super impressed by all of them but especially Raymond. He just seems so mature, especially for a young actor. Even the Director, Peter Sohn, had nothing but good things to say about him and all of the boys. I’m looking forward to seeing where Raymond takes his career in the future.
What was so impressive was really how well he answered all of our questions. He was so well spoken, articulate and complimentary of his fellow cast mates and crew. For example, when talking about Jack, Raymond said, “…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.”
He also raved about his director Peter Sohn. Raymond said that Peter was just so amazing and would help him out with the script by filling in the other character spots. He said he wanted to “Thank Pete because he is such an amazing director.”
My heart just melted to hear Raymond talk about his family. He has three older brothers that are also in the entertainment business. The four of them are also in a music group together. Raymond has really grown up knowing nothing but being in the business but his family and parents help him to stay grounded.
Raymond went on to say, “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?”
Hearing him speak about his family, I can understand why he said this about his favorite scene in The Good Dinosaur, “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.”
When asked how he gets into character, Raymond said that he did a lot of research. He researched the Apatosaurus which is the type of Dinosaur that Arlo is. He found pictures of what an Apatosaurus looked like with the long neck and also thought it was a “kind-looking and sweet… but also it’s a Pixar movie so it has to be kid-friendly obviously, so it was pretty difficult to make him sound that way.” He went on to say that he thinks Pete Sohn trusted his voice in making it sound right so he hopes that it works. Which I can say, yes it worked. I think he nailed it.
What traits do Arlo and Raymond have in common? Raymond says that he thinks on of Arlo’s biggest goals is to make his parents proud and he sees the same in himself. He tries to be the best son and wants to always respect his parents, be a great son to them. He also feels like Arlo is so helpful and Raymond wants to be helpful to his family as well.
Raymond would love for kids to “get” after watching The Good Dinosaur is to not “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 had been working on this movie on and off for about a year. He says his main focus mainly on his career right now and being successful at a young age.
Last but not least is Marcus. Another great young man and so fun to talk with.
Marcus voices Arlo’s brother Buck. Marcus says that he also did a lot of research because he, at first, didn’t have a clue what an Apatosaurs was either. He comments, “Doing voice-over is very different from live-action so I was really able to release the character within.”
When working on the film, it sounded like the boys had similar experiences. They would come in for a six hour session on one day, record the script and then wait to be called back to make changes, etc.
Marcus also agreed with Raymond and gave high praises to Director Peter Sohn. He said, “He [Peter Sohn] 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.
What was Marcus’ favorite scene in the movie? Marcus said, “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 commented that he really aspires to be like Buck. Buck is self-confident and a leader. He hopes that he has those traits and will develop them more in the future. Marcus loved getting to play Buck and noted that he’s very different from his own personality in real life.
Marcus also grew up watching Disney/Pixar like Toy Story, The Incredibles, etc 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.”
When Marcus answered what he would like viewers to take from the movie, this is what he said, “Self-discovery is probably what I took away and what I hope that other kids take away from the movie.”
What an amazing opportunity to get to talk to these three young men. I’m just really excited to see where their careers go from here.