‘The Good Dinosaur’ Reveals Its Official Voice Cast and a Few Major Names Are Missing
It’s possible to talk about Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur without bringing up its troubled production, but it’s difficult. Aside from one very cute teaser trailer, everything we’ve heard about this movie has revolved around massive delays and directors being replaced and the story being radically reworked. Even the newly revealed voice cast includes major changes – Pixar has revealed the “official” cast for this movie before and it looked very, very different.
Straight from the press release, here is the voice cast for The Good Dinosaur. As you can see, it’s a nice mixture of lesser known performers, noteworthy character actors like Jeffrey Wright and Sam Elliot, and two well-known actresses in Anna Paquin and Frances McDormand:
· RAYMOND OCHOA (NBC’s “The Night Shift,” TNT’s "Rizzoli & Isles," "Disney’s A Christmas Carol") provides the voice of an Apatosaurus named Arlo.
· JEFFREY WRIGHT ("The Hunger Games: Mockingjay" - parts I & II, HBO's "Boardwalk Empire") was tapped as the voice of Poppa, Arlo’s father.
· STEVE ZAHN (“Captain Fantastic,” “Ridiculous Six,” “Rescue Dawn,” “Mad Dogs”) provides the voice of a pterodactyl named Thunderclap.
· AJ BUCKLEY (TNT’s “Murder in the First,” FX’s “Justified”) voices a T-Rex called Nash.
· ANNA PAQUIN (HBO’s “True Blood”) is the voice of T-Rex Ramsey.
· SAM ELLIOTT (FX's "Justified," "I’ll See You In My Dreams," “Grandma”) was called on as the voice of a tough T-Rex named Butch.
· FRANCES MCDORMAND (HBO's "Olive Kitteridge," "Fargo") was tapped as the voice of Momma, Arlo’s mother.
· MARCUS SCRIBNER (ABC’s “black•ish”) voices Arlo's brother Buck.
· JACK BRIGHT (“Monsters University”) provides the voice of Arlo’s unlikely human friend, Spot
But take a moment to compare that to the cast that was originally announced. Raymond Ochoa has replaced Lucas Neff as Arlo. Wright has replaced John Lithgow as Poppa. Characters originally announced as being played by Neil Patrick Harris, Judy Greer and Bill Hader don’t seem to exist anymore. The only person to survive from the original cast list is McDormand.
We knew that director Peter Sohn was tasked with radically reworking this film when we was given the helm, but we had no idea it was so radical that entire characters would be eliminated and almost every actor replaced. On one hand, it’s refreshing to see some of the more famous names replaced with people whose voices won’t be so instantly recognizable and potentially distracting. On the other hand, yikes.
This is the point where we remind you that Toy Story 2 and Ratatouille were also notoriously troubled before Pixar reconfigured them. The troubles plaguing The Good Dinosaur may be public, but the only thing that matters is the finished movie that opens in theaters on November 25, 2015.