I was invited as media to cover this press event. All opinions are my own.
I had the awesome opportunity to sit down with three actors who are the voices of Arlo, Buck and Spot in The Good Dinosaur. It was SO neat to see these young actors and hear their experiences from the film. We spoke with Raymond Ochoa who is the voice of Arlo, Marcus Scribner who is the voice of Buck and Jack Bright who is the voice of Spot. They certainly are all three wonderful kids. I’m excited to share the interview that we had with them and some exclusive pictures from our time spent with these three young kids.
Question: So we talked to other people, when they do heavy animation the put on like heavy shoes or the colors of their character. How did each of you get into character?
Raymond: Mine was research. I did a lot of research on the Apatosaurus, you know? First off, I had no idea what he looked like, so that was one of them. So, after I looked it up, I kind of saw the long neck and he was kind of kind-looking and sweet in the front of it. But, also 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. I think Pete trusted my voice and making it sound that I was good, so I hope it worked.
Marcus: It definitely worked. I mean, 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 like let all my emotions through and just like really give it my all and play it towards the microphone. Doing voiceover is very different from live-action so I was really able to release the character within.
Jack: Playing Spot is very 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? It’s very fun. You make like growling and yelling noises, it’s very fun.
The three were very encouraging to one another during the interview, sharing how they think their parts were in the movie! I loved that about them.
Question: How long did you guys work on your voice sessions?
Raymond: Well it was about a year I had been working on this movie but many people have many different answers for this one. Fellow actors in the movie said they did a day and it was over. For me, they would call me back and I would do the entire script, then go back home. Then, they would fly me back up to Pixar, and it was literally just like that. It was about a six-hour session every time. Every minute I was there I enjoyed it so much, ‘cause of the 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 need to help you and 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 and I agree with Raymond about working with Pete. Working with Peter Sohn was amazing because he 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, so getting into a new character was, was a fun experience and Peter has a lot to do with it.
Raymond, Marcus and Jack were so amazing! As young kids, they truly shared what they were going through and how they balance life as actors and kids.
Question: How are you dealing with, how do you balance being celebrities and the girls and your moms and your dads, so how do you balance everything? Social media, girls trying to pick you up, how are you dealing with that?
Raymond: Well let’s just say it’s the good part of being in the industry. It’s defiantly a plus. 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 in this business for a pretty long time now so I kind of grew up knowing nothing but being in the entertainment business. I have such amazing parents that help me stay grounded. I have amazing brothers that kind of guide me throughout my life and help me whenever I need it. It’s just so amazing. That’s how I really handle it because family is my main key. That helps me stay with everything. 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 so that’s my main focus.
At this point only Marcus had seen the movie. It was really cool to hear how the three interacted about the movie!
Question: Was there a particular scene that y’all enjoyed voicing, and then seeing come to life in the movie later?
Jack: I like when Arlo is trying to get the berries from the tree and he falls! Then he looks behind him and Spot is on top of the big mountain, he looks down at him after he was telling him!
Raymond: I particularly like the scene where me and Spot were in the sand and we start sharing our family. That 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 that was gonna be really impactful to the crowd and to 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.
Marcus: My favorite scene to film was where I get to scare Arlo. I mean, that scene took a while to film because my voice is, is very weird right now so laughing is a little difficult. So, it was like (laugh) and no sound really came out, so that scene took a little bit to film. To actually see it on the big screen was really nice and I was like oh wow, I actually sound like I’m laughing. 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.
Question: So of the characters you play, what traits do you have in common with your, um, characters, and what traits would you like to incorporate?
Raymond: I think one of Arlo’s biggest goals is to make his parents proud. I mean, his main one is his papa. You know, he really looks up to his papa and I think that’s one of my biggest characteristics. I try to be the best son as 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. Arlo is very helpful as well, so I want to be as helpful as he is to the family. I don’t really have a lot of chores in my life so I want to start being like him ‘cause, you know, he does have to take care of the farm. He has to replace his papa as not being there, and that’s really difficult for him. I’m gonna try and be more helpful around the house just like Arlo is on his farm.
Jack: Spot is wild, he’s not really scared of anything! I don’t know what he does…. I haven’t seen the film yet.
Raymond: Spot is very vicious and he’s very mean but that’s what Arlo sees in the beginning. He’s really not like that later on in the film. That’s why he and Arlo become friends. He really sees the kind in him. I literally just met Jack last night. 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 like wow, he’s so kind. I think that’s where I see the resemblance between him and Spot. You’re a pretty cool guy.
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 really cool character and it was really cool to get to play him, so he’s very different from my personality in real life.
Question: (Directed to Marcus) Do you have any siblings that you get to torture like he did at first?
Marcus: Yes, I have a younger sister so kind of I guess. I don’t torture her as much as Buck does, but she can get on my nerves.
Question: Do any of you have any voiceover acting coming up?
Raymond: I don’t have anything currently coming to voiceovers. I am working on a movie. However, my main focus right now is working on this movie and just enjoying the moment that I am a part of this movie ‘cause it is such a great film.
Marcus: Yeah, well I’m currently on Blackish! However, my main focus is The Good Dinosaur. This is my first voiceover.
Question: 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. For it to be my first voiceover work, it’s really just mind-boggling. I don’t even know what to say! It’s amazing!
Jack: I grew up watching Cars, like all those Disney movies so I love Disney Pixar. It is like Marcus said, a dream come true to actually be in one of their movies, like I never thought I would be in it. Instead of watching the movie you can actually like interact like with the characters, like you’re them, it’s really nice.
Raymond: I have three older brothers and I think my first ever Pixar movie I saw was Monsters Inc. and that’s my personal favorite Pixar movie. I love Pixar, my other favorite movie in the world is The Incredibles and I love that movie. So, to be a part of just one and 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, but, you know, someone’s looking down on me right now and he’s just like, you know what, you should, I think you should have that opportunity and it is such an amazing thing I was given. It’s just weird to think about later on in the future someone could be asked what’s their favorite Pixar movie is, and they may say The Good Dinosaur is mine. So to be a part of the history now, it’s amazing and I want to thank everyone that gave me that opportunity.
Question: So if there’s one thing that you would want people your age to take away from the movie, what would it be, or what are you really hoping jumps out at them while they’re watching the movie?
Marcus: I think some of the the most important themes of the movie are self-discovery, family and friendship. Arlo goes on this whole journey to get back to the farm and his family but, throughout the whole thing he’s finding himself. Throughout the entire movie he really has a connection to his family, so I think that’s one of the main points. Overall, think self-discovery is probably what, what I took away and what I hope that other kids take away from the movie.
Raymond: What I think other kids should actually get to is the saying “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. So, that’s why 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. So yeah, everyone don’t judge someone because you don’t know them.
Question: Did any of you have trouble with your voices through the movie, since it was like a year-long thing for you?
Raymond: There comes a time in a boy’s years where his voice gets a little deeper than it originally was. That time came in the middle of the film so like literally the couple last times I was coming in, my voice sounded a lot deeper. It was really funny to me because I was trying to match what was in the original film. So every time I needed them to play back my original voice and then, ‘cause I didn’t put any character to my voice. It was my original voice. It just got a little deeper. I just had to match the pitch of what it was. It was like doing Pitch Perfect in this voiceover but I felt like I matched it and I think Pete liked it too so that’s all that mattered.
Jack: I guess I’m still a little young. I’m glad it didn’t happen so if I’m doing any voiceovers later, it’ll probably happen then.
Marcus: I definitely had some troubles with my voice. Like I was saying earlier, trying to laugh was very difficult because laughing on command with like a deeper voice sounds really weird.
Question: When you guys found out that you got your roles, what was the first thing you did or who did you call, or what did you do?
Marcus: When I found out I was at home so I guess I just went into my room and started jumping on the bed, like I’m gonna be in a Disney Pixar movie, y’all. I was just really excited! It was mind-blowing for me ‘cause I booked the movie off of just like some recording that I did in my closet on my phone because I couldn’t make it to the recording studio. So to book a Pixar movie like that, I don’t know, my mind was blown, it was crazy.
Raymond: Okay, so is your question called before or after the screaming? After I started screaming and I was over with that, first off, I was at the Pixar facility when I was told ‘cause I had three callbacks up there before I was told that I got the role. I got a little yelly and stuff, that was my first reaction. Then, I was actually with my mom and I did a performance with my brothers down where it was so my brothers were in the car and they already knew, ‘cause they called. I found out in the car right after! I came out and my brother’s like oh, congratulations. I was like wait, what happened? They’re like, oh you got it. I was like wait, what? Why didn’t you guys tell me? Like you guys are the worst, like come on, mom. But yeah, I literally started screaming and actually we went out to celebrate because it was probably, probably one of my most favorite jobs I’ve ever gotten in my entire career.
Jack: I didn’t start off in the movie. It was my brother, he started off in the movie and I was like, ‘cause he was in Toy Story 3, and I was like oh, that’s good for him. He was in the movie and he started off, he did like maybe a year of work and his voice changed and it got really, really deep. I’m not sure what happened but they called me in and I did a couple of recordings and they said that they’re gonna do it 50/50 with my brother. Then, they used me a lot more, then put it to 90/10! When I figured that out, I got really happy!!
The Good Dinosaur is now in theaters! Now that you’ve had a chance to hear from the real people behind the characters, I hope you will go see it! See the official trailer here.