Has Bob Petersen been Removed from Pixar’s ‘The Good Dinosaur’?

Concept art for The Good Dinosaur
Concept art for The Good Dinosaur
Photo: Disney / Pixar

In recent history we’ve seen John Lasseter step in and take away directorial reigns from Brad Lewis on Cars 2 and then Brenda Chapman was ousted from the director’s chair on Brave and replaced by Mark Andrews with Steve Purcell given a co-director credit. Many would argue these are two of Pixar’s worst films and in my opinion Brave is their worst film. Well, it seems there are some issues in the house of Pixar yet again.

A couple weeks back Disney held their D23 Expo and featured new concept art and information for their upcoming film The Good Dinosaur, which was to be directed by Bob Petersen who was given a co-director credit alongside Pete Docter on Up. However, Petersen wasn’t on hand to present the footage that was shown, instead a newly announced co-director, Peter Sohn, and producer Denise Ream handled those duties.

The Good Dinosaur was originally eyed as being Petersen’s first solo directorial outing, but if there is any truth to a new rumor out of Blue Sky Disney that won’t be coming to pass.

The site reports Petersen has been removed from the film but it has not yet been put into turnaround. John Lasseter is reportedly the one that pulled the trigger and he is now looking for a replacement in hopes of still meeting the May 30, 2014 release date.

In addition to the films mentioned above, Lasseter also took over direction from Ash Brannon on Toy Story 2 and would ultimately give Pixar vet Lee Unkrich a co-direction credit on the film. Also, Jan Pinkava shepherded Ratatouille for four years before being replaced by Brad Bird.

So, while there is excitement over the fact Pixar has an original property on the horizon it seems there may be some early trouble.

The Good Dinosaur is described as asking the age-old question: What if the cataclysmic asteroid that forever changed life on Earth actually missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? The story follows Arlo, a lively 70-foot-tall teenage Apatosaurus with a big heart. After a traumatic event rattles Arlo’s tranquil community, he sets out on a quest to restore peace, gaining an unlikely companion along the way–a young human boy named Spot.

The voice cast includes Lucas Neff, John Lithgow, Frances McDormand, Bill Hader and Neil Patrick Harris, which was just announced at the aforementioned D23. Stay tuned as I expect more on this story will come to light soon.

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