Time for a Cry-toon
There will be sad moments in Pixar's new animated flick about dinosaurs
The great Walt Disney once said: "For every laugh, there should be a tear."
And this mantra is followed in all Pixar's and Disney animated films, with the latest Pixar offering, The Good Dinosaur, promising to do just that.
There is a poignant moment in the Peter Sohn-directed flick, in which its hero, a young Apatosaurus named Arlo (voiced by Raymond Ochoa), experiences loss for the very first time.
That scene will definitely make you reach for your tissue paper.
"It's a quick narrative device to create a lot of drama," Pixar president Jim Morris told M when he was here last month to promote the studio's 16th film.
The Good Dinosaur, which opens here on Nov 26, finds Arlo desperate to return home after an accident that separates him from his family.
On the long and perilous journey, he meets a human cave-lad whom he names Spot (Jack Bright) and the pair form an unlikely bond.
"It seems like a movie tradition to have a loss," said Morris, laughing, adding that The Good Dinosaur has "a bit of the Western genre and it's common in a Western to have people losing their parents as the American West had seen a high mortality rate".
"(A loss) is an effective device to get you into an emotional place quickly."
This story-telling technique certainly has become failproof for Pixar and Disney.
Their previous hit flicks that dealt with the death of a loved one include Finding Nemo (2003), Up (2009) and Frozen (2013).
This year's Inside Out revolved around the theme of lost childhood.
Pixar has always prided itself on telling great stories. Morris credits it to their Brain Trust, a small group of creative leaders at Pixar.
The group's feedback was particularly crucial for The Good Dinosaur as the production "hit the wall a lot".
Pixar president Jim Morris PHOTO: WALT DISNEY
"We realised (the first story) wasn't a story we wanted to tell. We just started over again," said Morris.
He admitted that it was hard to acknowledge they had made a mistake and pull the plug.
“Standing up in front of the company and telling them we have screwed up was definitely difficult to do,” he said.
He stressed that the original story was “a good film, but it wasn’t going to be excellent”, and Pixar would not settle for mediocrity.
“There are enough bad movies out there, and we don’t want to contribute another one!”