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Behind Pixar: Conversations with Bryn Imagire of “The Good Dinosaur”

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For many, going to the movies after class or work allows them to escape into another world away from the stress of everyday life. But for Bryn Imagire, the shading art director for Disney Pixar, working on movies is just another day on the job.

Imagire, who worked on movies such as “A Bug’s Life,” “Toy Story 2” and “Up,” visited Ohio State’s campus on Tuesday to talk about her work. She has finished working on the upcoming Pixar film, “The Good Dinosaur,” and continues to work on the upcoming sequel to “The Incredibles.”

As a shading art director, Imagire designs the colors and textures of the characters, the sets and the assets around the scenes. Imagire gets to work firsthand with the directors such as Brad Bird (“The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille”), John Lasseter (“Toy Story 2,” “Cars 2”), Pete Docter (“Up,” “Monsters Inc.”) and Pete Sohn, the director of “The Good Dinosaur.” Imagire works with these directors to get exactly what they are envisioning put on the screen. She said her favorite project to date is “The Incredibles.” The concepts, superheroes and working with Bird made it her favorite thus far — even though she said she has loved every project.

Imagire got into Pixar from her work with The Nature Company, which brings live animal workshops into classroom settings, in the ‘90s. She was creating images of insects and found out about the upcoming Pixar film, “A Bug’s Life.” She did not get the job right away, however, as it took three months of persistence to even get an interview, but eventually, she got the job, and has worked at Pixar for 18 years.

“The Good Dinosaur,” is a movie about a dinosaur named Arlo who is swept away from home and befriends a boy named Spot.

“(The film) is a ‘boy and his dog story,’ and is really about family, friendship and Arlo’s character arc,” Imagire said. “The boy and his dog story” is not the typical one, though, since the “boy” is a dinosaur and the “dog” is a boy.

During her talk held in Sullivant Hall, Imagire showed five clips from the upcoming film, and one thing that was very clear was the vast landscapes with mountainous backgrounds.

Arlo is a green Apatosaurus, and his design was done with purpose. Imagire said the cartoon-like aspects are the caricature of him, while the knobby knees and the big feet are used to appeal to younger audiences. The Apatosaurus was chosen so that the focus was not on T-Rexes.

Imagire said that Pixar always talks about the what-ifs. What if toys could talk? What if there were monsters in the closet? What if there were superheroes? What if there were little figures in your head making the decisions? This movie asks, “What if a meteor never hit Earth?”

Imagire is excited for the audience to see the grand scale of the film, as well as feel its emotion.

“The Good Dinosaur” comes to theaters nationwide on Nov. 25.

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