I was invited by Disney on an all expenses paid trip for my coverage of the #GoodDinoEvent, #ABCTVEvent, & #LionGuardEvent. All opinions are my own.
I had the privilege of being able to be a part of a Q&A with the young men actors who play Arlo, Spot, and Buck in Disney·Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur. Raymond Ochoa (voice of Arlo), Jack Bright (voice of Spot), and Marcus Scribner (voice of Buck). Let me start by saying they are such adorable and smart kids. I was so impressed by how they were all very level headed and down to Earth.
How did each of you get into character?
Raymond: I did a lot of research on the Apatosaurus. First off, I had no idea what he looked like. After I looked it up, I saw the long neck, he was kind-looking and sweet in the front of it. 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. But I think Pete [Director] trusted my voice and making it sound like I was good.
Marcus: 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 like ‘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 tough of a character. He’s very rambunctious. So to play a character like that, I really had to just let all my emotions through and just 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.
Jack: Playing Spot, it 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?” You make like growling, yelling, it’s very fun.
Raymond: I think he had the toughest character to do. He doesn’t have to talk. You know, you have to bring out emotion just within these howls and growls, all these things, but I think you did an amazing job, amazing.
How long did you guys work on this film?
Raymond: Well 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. I know fellow actors in the movie, they were like, ‘I did a day and it was over’. But, 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. And it was about a six-hour session every time. Every minute I was there I enjoyed it so much, ‘cause 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 the scenario was around you. 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 did all those characters. I want to thank Pete because he is such an amazing director.
Marcus: I did close to the amount of time that Raymond did. I was there for about a day (He smiles and laughs) wow, a whole day (he laughs). I agree with Raymond. Working with Peter Sohn was amazing because he really brings the characters to life. 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. So getting into a new character was a fun experience Peter has a lot to do with it.
How do you balance being celebrities and the girls and your moms and your dads, how do you balance everything?
Raymond: Well let’s just say it’s the good part of being in the industry. It’s definitely a plus. But, 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. So I’ve been acting in this business for a pretty long time now. I kind of grew up knowing nothing but being in the entertainment business. Being grounded. I have such amazing parents that help me stay grounded. And I have amazing brothers that guide me throughout my life and help me whenever. So it’s just so amazing. That’s how I really handle it because family is my main key. 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.
Was there a particular scene that you all enjoyed voicing, and then seeing come to life?
Jack: I haven’t seen the movie yet, so I’m looking forward to it. But I’ve watched the trailer a lot to see what’s like. And my favorite part is when Arlo is trying to get the berries from the tree and he falls.
Raymond: I like the scene where me and Spot are in that sand and we start sharing our family. That actually was really touching to me because it was actually really difficult to film that scene. Because 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 probably took the longest to film. Because he knew that was gonna be really impactful to the audience.
Marcus: Well, my favorite part is 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. 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 onto the big screen.
What traits do you have in common with your characters, and what traits would you like to incorporate from them?
Raymond: With Arlo, I think one of his 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 ‘cause I do respect them a lot. So to be a great son to them, that’s all I really want in life. They do so much for me so I just want to pay them back for all they do. I feel like Arlo is so helpful. So I want to be as helpful as he is to the family. I’m gonna try and be more helpful around the house just like Arlo is on his farm.
Marcus: 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 a really cool character and it was really cool to get to play him, he’s very different from my personality in real life.
How does it feel to be a part of Disney Pixar history now?
Marcus: 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 voiceover work, it’s really just mind-boggling. It’s amazing.
Jack: Like Marcus said, I grew up watching Cars, like all those movies, I love Disney Pixar. It’s like he said, a dream come true to actually be in one of their movies. I never thought I would be in it.
Raymond: I think my first ever Pixar movie I saw was Monsters Inc. and that’s my personal favorite Pixar movie. And I love Pixar. My other favorite movie in the world is The Incredibles, I love that movie. So being the title character of one, I’m just so grateful that I was given this opportunity because it’s just so incredible. I don’t know how it happened, someone’s looking down on me right now and he’s just like, ‘you know what, I think you should have that opportunity’ and it is such an amazing thing. To be a part of the history now, it’s amazing and I want to thank everyone that gave me that opportunity.
If there’s one thing that you would want people your age to take away from the movie, what would it be?
Marcus: 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 home 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. And throughout the entire movie he really has a connection to his family, so I think that’s one of the main points. I think self-discovery is probably what I took away and what I hope that other kids take away from the movie.
Raymond: 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. I 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.
It was great to talk with these young men. They were so adorable and we grabbed a quick group photo with them at the end.
The Good Dinosaur is now playing in theaters! Be sure to take the whole family to see it!
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Read my The Good Dinosaur Movie review
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