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Interview: Raymond Ochoa is The Good Dinosaur

November 20, 2015

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By: Lynn Barker

In The Good Dinosaur, a young Apatosaurus gets separated from his family. Since the meteor that killed all the dinosaurs missed the earth in this story, humans co-exist with them. Lonely, scared Arlo bonds with a caveman-style kid he names Spot and their search for Arlo’s family is launched.

Arlo and RaymondArlo and RaymondCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

14-year-old Raymond Ochoa whose older bro Ryan is also an actor, won the voice role of lead dino Arlo over a load of other kids. His voice started changing when he was recording at ages 12 and 13 but he adapted. Raymond tells us what he has in common with little dino Arlo, how he acts sad scenes and all about his cool visit to Pixar Studios. Check it out!

Q: Your voice is a little deeper now.

  • Raymond: Yes, it was challenging throughout the film when my voice got deeper. Every time (I recorded) they had to play my voice so I could hear and match it. It was like match pitch. I felt like I was doing Pitch Perfect.

Q: You were chosen from 1,400 boys for this role.

  • Raymond: That is true.

A magical momentA magical momentCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Q: You must be pretty proud of yourself for that.

  • Raymond: Oh yeah. I don’t usually say that though. The only time I say that is to my brothers. I auditioned in front of 1,400 people. No big deal. I don’t go and brag about it. I just brag about it to my brothers. You’ve got to make yourself sound cooler than you are to your brothers.

The Good Dinosaur Trailer

 

Q: You brought a lot of emotion to the character. So what did you do to get that effect?

  • Raymond: There’s a lot of scenes where I have to cry or be screaming and yelling and I think the hardest thing I had to do was put myself in a moment where I was like that. I used to have a dog and I was very close to my dog and he passed away so when I need to bring out a moment where I’m crying, I bring out that moment. His name was Rinkles. All of the boys in my family’s names are spelled with an “R” and he was a boy so he was Rinkles with an “R”, not a “W”. Fun fact. I had to bring (the memory) of him in there and it really helped me and it was cool because I was able to relate my dog Rinkles to Spot.

Arlo explains Spot to a friendArlo explains Spot to a friendCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Q: Do you find any similarities between yourself and your character Arlo?

  • Raymond: Actually, I do find a lot of similarities. Hopefully, it’s not in a physical trait but when it comes to being how he is, all he wants to do is be the perfect son and I think that’s his main goal; to make his father and mom proud and that’s kind of me too. I respect my parents a lot so I try my hardest to be the best son I can. He also is very shy sometimes and that was me at one time but he kind of broke out of that as I did. He’s not fearless but he broke out of that. He was very scared of a lot and, at the end of the movie, he doesn’t become fearless but he’s not like how he was in the beginning. I’m not saying I’m fearless but I try my hardest to not be scared and I try to be the person who says “Yeah, let’s go do that”. I don’t want to be the guy who says “No. I’m scared of that one”.

An adventure aheadAn adventure aheadCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Q: How do you stay grounded now that you’ve had some success?

  • Raymond: Staying grounded, I can’t really take the credit on that one. It’s really how you’re raised by your parents. I have amazing parents and also it’s your brothers and your family. My brothers are so amazing. My older brother Ryan, he is probably the most generous person I know in my life. He’s the one that kind of helps me and guides me. All of my brothers help me to be grounded so I really try to be like my brothers because all of them are so nice and very kind and I look up to them.

Bonding with T-Rex dinosBonding with T-Rex dinosCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Q: They kick your butt every once in a while though, right?

  • Raymond: That is true. Sometimes they’ve got to lay down the law and aren’t always nice.

Q: Were there any recent fights?

  • Raymond: There’s never fist fights but we bicker literally over the dumbest things ever and we’ll start fighting about it. Simple things like “I want the remote”. That happens all the time or I want to watch what I want to on TV and my other brother wants to watch the football game. That’s how it is but we’re very close at the same time. We’re all in a music group. That’s how close we are.

Little Spot watching ArloLittle Spot watching ArloCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Q: For a lot of young kids, this is their first introduction to film. Do you remember what your first film that made an impression was?

  • Raymond: Back when I was a little kid, probably Monsters Inc.. It was like “Wow I want to be in a movie like that”. It was such a cool thing of animation not real people. At that time I was just fascinated by the voices of the characters. Mike’s voice in the movie is just so cool (voiced by Billy Crystal) that it was fascinating to me and his look in the movie with his one eye. Everything about him just fascinated me. Then, after that, Pixar became a big love of mine. That’s why when The Incredibles and Ratatouille and all that came out, I was just so excited. I’m seen ‘um all.

Raymond in the recording studioRaymond in the recording studioCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Q: Did you ever get to visit the Pixar Studios up in northern California?

  • Raymond: Yes. First thing when I walked in I just got all the fun facts about it like Steve Jobs was one of the first investors into it. I didn’t know that so they have a Steve Jobs building. I walked in there and walked around the entire facility. I was like “Wow, this is the coolest thing in my life”.
  • My brother was actually going to college for Graphic Design and I’m like “Wow, I wish he could see all this right now”. I’m a kid and just appreciated seeing those Incredibles and Monsters Inc. things but if you really looked around there are original drawings. I thought that was kind of cool, the original ideas but he would have been flipping out. “What! That’s how they do that”. I wish he could have seen it. I might be able to pull some strings (to get him there).

See The Good Dinosaur in theaters starting November 25th!

The Good Dinosaur PosterThe Good Dinosaur PosterCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Have Your Say

Did you love dinosaurs as a little kid? What is your fave Disney•Pixar film? Lay down a comment below!