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    Arlo 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/arlo.png
Voiced by: Raymond Ochoa, Jack McGraw (younger)

The youngest of the Apatosaurus family and the protagonist.


  • Adorkable: He's clumsy, nervous and a real sweetheart.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: The youngest and smallest of his family.
  • Badass Adorable: After he becomes more assertive, Arlo manages to take out a gang of predators and save Spot all by himself.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Arlo yells at Spot when the former believes it's Spot's fault that Henry died.
    • He was able to take out Thunderclap and his gang all by himself.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Arlo gains a protective streak for Spot. He became a One-Man Army against Thunderclap and his gang and dived straight into a raging river to protect Spot.
  • Butt-Monkey: Nearly drowns 3 times, has his leg caught under a boulder, gets a scar from a raptor, eats hallucinogenic fruit, chased by chickens. Poor kid really goes through a lot, though it helps him to develop as a character.
  • Character Development: Over the course of his journey back home, Arlo comes to terms with his fears.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: Even more than his skittishness, Arlo's biggest problem is his crippling lack of self-confidence. He gets better through Character Development.
  • Cowardly Lion: He possesses a fairly long list of fears, but does his level best to face them.
  • Establishing Character Moment: When Arlo hatches from his egg, he goes back in after being scared by his parents.
  • Farm Boy: He and his family live in a ranch.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The foolish to Buck and Libby's responsible. While Arlo is by no means lazy, his fear gets in the way of getting his chores done. On the other hand, Libby and Buck complete their chores everyday without problem.
  • Gentle Giant: A juvenile Apatosaurus with a huge heart.
  • The Hero: Arlo is the main protagonist, with his main desire is to return home. However, during his vision (caused by being hit on the head with a rock), he has the opportunity to travel home with the spirit of his father. At which point he realizes he can't because Spot is in trouble and he must go and save his friend.
  • Informed Flaw: Arlo's timidness is presented as holding him back from doing the things he needs to do, but when it really counts, it never does. Most of his fears are either justified (leeches, falling into water before Spot teaches him how to swim, storms after his father is killed in one) or small enough to be fairly inconsequential (his family's chickens), and he always makes an attempt to brave them either way. In the course of the story, he learns that this is all that counts.
  • Interspecies Friendship: He (an Apatosaurus) and Spot (a human) become the best of friends throughout the story.
  • Irony: Despite being the youngest and smallest of his siblings, he was born in the biggest egg.
  • Kid Hero: Arlo is 11-years-old and the main protagonist.
  • Lovable Coward: Deconstructed. Arlo is afraid of practically anything that looks scary and panics instantly. This trait causes him to take longer with his chores or make mistakes which causes trouble with the rest of his family. This is viciously brought up by Buck (albeit via intentionally mocking his chicken fear right as Arlo is in the middle of pushing himself through it.)
  • Meaningful Name: "Arlo" is an Old English word for "hill" and his journey involves travelling around a lot of them.
  • Nice Guy: Arlo is a kind-hearted, selfless, and gentle Apatosaurus.
  • One-Man Army: A kid example. He takes on Thunderclap and his gang all by himself. And wins.
  • Patchwork Kids: Unlike his older siblings, who both only strongly resemble one of their parents, Arlo is a perfect blend between Poppa Henry and Momma Ida.
  • Protagonist Title: Arlo is the titular good dinosaur.
  • Shoo the Dog: At the end, Arlo encourages Spot to go with a family of cave-people rather than go back to Arlo's family farm.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In the beginning, Arlo was easily scared by the chickens he had to keep fed. Come the climax, he takes down an entire gang of pterodactyls to save Spot.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: He wants to "earn his mark" to make his father proud.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
    • Thunder and lightning are Arlo's biggest fears, because there was a massive thunderstorm on the day Arlo's father died, causing Arlo to associate thunderstorms with his father's death. It has many of the symptoms of a Post-Traumatic Trigger.
    • He shows a profound fear of birds. Once he helps take down cattle rustlers (not quite birds but very similar to them), this one falls away pretty quickly.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He attacks one of the female rustlers to save Butch and one of the female members in Thunderclap's gang to save Spot. To be fair, it was out of self-defense and helping Spot, so it is partially justified.
  • You Killed My Father: Arlo initially blames Spot for his father's death. He quickly gets over it and in his daydream of his father, Arlo tells him that his death wasn't Spot's fault.
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    Spot 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/spot_the_good_dinosaur_disney_pixar_1.png
Voiced by: Jack Bright

A 6–7-year-old human caveboy that Arlo befriends.


  • Action Survivor: His official bio even describes him as a survivalist.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: He has a number of traits common to dogs.
  • Androcles' Lion: Inverted. Arlo gains Spot's loyalty after he spares him when Spot falls in a trap his father set up.
  • Badass Adorable: He's a cute kid who can take on a snake and win.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Spot is a sweet guy, but he's fearless.
  • But Now I Must Go: When other humans show up, Spot chooses to go with them at the cost of leaving his best friend Arlo.
  • Big Eater: He ate so much food from Arlo's family that Poppa Henry feared they wouldn't have enough food for the winter.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Spot is deathly protective over Arlo. He took on a snake to protect Arlo and spends the rest of the movie acting as a bodyguard and protector for Arlo.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: His parents died at some point in his life and since then he's been on his own.
  • Deuteragonist: The second main focus after Arlo.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: A rare example where a human acts like a dog. He's pretty buddy buddy with Arlo and the Tyrannosaurus Rexes, all of which are good characters.
  • Happily Adopted: Spot is taken in by another caveman family.
  • Heartwarming Orphan: Spot is a wild, funny orphan.
  • Hidden Depths: Despite his feral nature, Spot has shown to be smarter than he looks.
  • Human Pet: He's basically Arlo's pet. He even acts more like a dog than a human.
  • Interspecies Friendship: He (a human) and Arlo (an Apatosaurus) become the best of friends throughout the story.
  • Kid Hero: Spot is 6 or 7 and the deuteragonist.
  • Messy Hair: That is filled with leaves.
  • Mysterious Past: His entire backstory is left a mystery.
  • Nice Guy: Spot may be feral, but he has a kind and noble heart.
  • The Nose Knows: He possesses an incredible sense of smell like a dog that enables him to track down anything.
  • The Not-Love Interest: For Arlo. The film revolves around their growing bond, the dangers they go through together, them protecting each other and finally their heartfelt separation.
  • The Speechless: Only speaks in howling and growling sounds. He does laugh, and says "Wow!" at one point in the movie, though.
  • Token Human: The only human who serves as one of the main characters.
  • Undying Loyalty: Spot becomes loyal to Arlo after the latter spared him.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He's shown to be terrified of Thunderclap and his pterosaurs, and with good reason. That doesn't stop him from getting somehow freed from their grasp when he gets captured by them later on, and then tearing a hole into Thunderclap's wing membrane.
  • Wild Child: Completed with only communicating with grunts and walking on all fours.
  • Youthful Freckles: Has a few of them and they represent his energetic (if feral) nature.

Arlo's Family

    Poppa Henry 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/poppa_render.png
Voiced by: Jeffrey Wright

Arlo's father.


  • Berserk Button: While he's usually calm and good-natured, he utterly loathes pests, so much that he tries to force Arlo to catch it with him. Fortunately, he quickly realizes he's being too hard on Arlo.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: He dies saving Arlo from a flash flood.
  • Disappeared Dad: Poppa Henry dies in the first part of the movie.
  • Face Death with Dignity: It's a quick moment, but before the river kills Henry, he gives a smile to Arlo.
  • Farm Boy: He and his family lives in a ranch.
  • Fatal Flaw: Unfortunately, he doesn't realize that there's a difference between being brave and stupid before it's too late.
  • Fearless Fool: Justified. He wants his youngest son to be brave but ended pushing it too far by going through heavy danger until it's too late for him too realize it.
  • Good Parents: Like Momma Ida, he's a caring and devoted parent to his kids.
  • Happily Married: Has a strong and loving marriage with Momma Ida.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Saves Arlo from a storm-generated flash flood, at the cost of his own life.
  • Informed Species: His more upright stance coupled with long forelimbs make him look more like a Brachiosaurus than an Apatosaurus.
  • Large and in Charge: He's The Patriarch of his family, who are all Gentle Giants.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When he pushes Arlo into keeping up with him to chase down the critter, he has this realization when he looks around and realizes that his son injured his leg in his attempts to keep up with him.
  • Nice Guy: Although not above ordering Arlo to kill Spot which is understandable considering that the human child was constantly stealing food from them, He's a friendly, good-natured Apatosaurus.
  • Papa Wolf: Poppa Henry rushes Arlo to safety to make sure he doesn't get caught in the flash flood.
  • Parents as People: He becomes noticeably frustrated at Arlo for letting the critter (Spot) that's been eating their food get away and becomes more adamant to catch him, but he soon realizes how his actions are hurting Arlo.
  • Was Too Hard on Him: Feels this way towards Arlo after forcing him to help him chase after the critter, which caused Arlo to injure himself.

    Momma Ida 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/momma_render.png

Arlo's mother.


  • Crusading Widower: Despite the grief she is still feeling from her husband's death, Momma Ida still keeps her and her kids going so they can survive the winter.
  • Curtains Match the Windows: While she doesn't have hair, she does have green scales that match her green eyes.
  • Good Parents: Like Poppa Henry, she's a caring and devoted parent to her kids.
  • Happily Married: Has a strong and loving marriage with Poppa Henry.
  • Nice Girl: She has a sweet and gentle character and is a very good parent to the kids.
  • Widow Woman: After the death of her husband.

    Libby 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/libby_render.png
Voiced by: Maleah Padilla

Arlo's older sister.


  • Establishing Character Moment: During her hatching, Libby shows her quick speed and playful nature after she fall into some hay but somehow ends up behind her parents.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The responsible (with Buck) to Arlo's foolish. She and Buck complete their chores everyday without problem. And while Arlo is by no means lazy, his fear gets in the way of getting his chores done.
  • Genki Girl: She's a very energetic girl with incredible speed, moving so quickly it's almost like she's teleporting.
  • Little Big Sister: She's the oldest of the siblings, but she's the second smallest.
  • Nice Girl: Libby has a loving personality.
  • Outnumbered Sibling: The only daughter between her siblings.
  • The Prankster: "The little trickster has a great sense of humor, and loves playing silly pranks on her family." For instance, she once tricked Buck into watering the field for her by spitting water in his face and daring him to do the same.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Of her siblings, she has the closest resemblance to their mother. But she does have her father's brown eyes.
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    Buck 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/buck_render.png
Voiced by: Marcus Scribner, Ryan Teeple (younger)

Arlo's older brother.


  • Big Brother Bully: He takes advantage of his little brother's timid nature to pull a prank, before he calls him a "coward". Even as a newborn, he whacked Arlo's egg with a stick before Arlo hatched, though fortunately it doesn't result in him suffering birth defects.
  • The Big Guy: He's being groomed by his father to be the muscle of the family.
  • Big Little Brother: To Libby; while he's the biggest of his siblings, Libby is technically the oldest.
  • Carry a Big Stick: He likes to pick up sticks and branches in his mouth and whack things with it.
  • Curtains Match the Windows: Has his mother's green eyes and green scales.
  • Establishing Character Moment: During his hatching, Buck goes off running the moment his feet are out of his egg shell and then proceeds to pick up a stick with his mouth and hit his father's knee repeatedly.
  • Farm Boy: He and his family lives in a ranch.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The responsible (with Libby) to Arlo's foolish. He and Libby complete their chores everyday without problem. And while Arlo is by no means lazy, his fear gets in the way of getting his chores done.
  • Green and Mean: Downplayed. He's not evil at all but he is somewhat of a bully to Arlo.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While he was being a bully, Buck was technically right on how Arlo's timid nature is causing problems for their family's farm.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite his bullying to Arlo, he was equally happy to be reunited with him at the end, showing that Buck does love him.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Of his siblings, he has the closest resemblance to their father. But he does have his mother's green eyes.

Tyrannosaurus Rancher Family

    Butch 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/butch_render.png
Voiced by: Sam Elliott

A Tyrannosaurus who runs a "ranch" filled with prehistoric longhorns.


    Ramsey 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ramsey_the_good_dinosaur_disney_pixar.png
Voiced by: Anna Paquin

Butch's daughter.


  • Action Girl: Takes on rustlers with a lot of ferocity.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: As sweet as she is to Arlo and Spot, Ramsey is still a T. rex and making her angry is a problem.
  • Big Sister Instinct: She waste no coming to her brother's aid when he is attacked by rustlers.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The responsible (serious and on point) to Nash's foolish (starts fights with his sister and was responsible for his family's cattle going missing).
  • Friend to All Children: Ramsey is the first one among her family to suggest helping the young Arlo and is disgusted at Thunderclap and his group for picking on a kid.
  • Gentle Giant: She's a Tyrannosaurus rex, but is definitely a decent creature.
  • Life-or-Limb Decision: She once got the tip of her tail trapped by a boulder while a stampede was about to hit her, so she bit it off to escape.
  • Little Big Sister: Is older than Nash but smaller than him.
  • Nice Girl: She has a caring, protective personality.

    Nash 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_art_of_the_good_dinosaur_48_1.jpeg
Voiced by: A.J. Buckley

Butch's son.


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Others

    Forrest Woodbrush 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pixar_post_the_good_dinosaur_subway_card_game.png
Voiced by: Peter Sohn

A Styracosaurus who lives in the forest, with small animals perched on his horns.


  • Chameleon Camouflage: He is camouflaged in the forest at the start of his appearance.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: After years of likely living by himself out in the wilderness, he's become a bit of a loon.
  • Creator Cameo: He's voiced by the film's director Peter Sohn.
  • Comically Cross-Eyed: Forrest has uneasy eyes, and is quite eccentric.
  • Graceful Loser: Even though he wanted to adopt Spot, he allows Arlo to keep him when Spot responds to Arlo first.
  • Informed Species: He closely resembles a mix between Triceratops and Styracosaurus, even though he's officially the latter. For refrence, the real Styracosaurus looked like this.
  • Mix-and-Match Critter: He has the frill spikes of a Styracosaurus, but his facial horns more closely resemble those of a Triceratops.
  • Nice Guy: Strange, but an affable guy.
  • The Nicknamer: He nicknames all of his animals, and unintentionally inspires Arlo to name Spot. The names he give are usually quite threatening.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: He briefly shows up to try to adopt Spot and that's what prompts Arlo to name the "critter".

    Pterodactyls 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/thunder_clap_and_his_fellow_dactyls.png
Voiced by: Steve Zahn (Thunderclap), Mandy Freund (Downpour), and Steven Clay Hunter (Coldfront)

A flock of hunter-scavenger pterosaurs led by Thunderclap.


  • Always Chaotic Evil: Every single one of them is portrayed as cruel meat eaters (in comparison to the cattle-raising T. Rex family.)
  • Animal Religion: Their obsessive deification of the weather reads as this.
  • Ax-Crazy: All of them, but especially Thunderclap.
  • Bad Boss: Thunderclap is quick to reveal himself as such when Coldfront and Downpour try to steal the remains of a critter from him.
    Thunderclap: You think you can mess with me!? I've seen the eye of the Storm! AND I FORGOT WHAT FEAR IS! I'M NOT AFRAID OF ANYTHING!
    Downpour: (genuinely frightened) N-No, we never said you were...
  • Big Bad: Thunderclap. He's also the closest thing the movie has to an actual villain, with nature itself being the driving force for most of the story.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: First shown as silly pterodactyls but they are shown to eat things alive.
  • Cargo Cult: They're obsessed with the storms to the point of idol worship.
  • Catchphrase: "The storm provides!" is Thunderclap's motto, and provide it does.
  • Death Glare: Thunderclap gives Arlo a long, intense one to get him to give away Spot's hiding place, and it works.
  • Disaster Scavengers: A literal example. They rely on the storms to kill their prey for them.
  • The Dreaded: It's subtle, but Thunderclap's followers seem to legitimately fear him, as shown when he subdues two of them while they're fighting over the scraps of a meal.
  • Evil Laugh: Heard as each of them drop menacingly from the clouds.
  • Faux Affably Evil: When Arlo first meets them, they appear to be friendly creatures searching for wounded survivors. But their true nature slowly begins to show through, culminating in them swallowing a cute little animal alive right in front of him. Their religious obsession with the storm certainly helps in this regard.
    Thunderclap: Ah, a free critter, thanks to you, you know. I just wanted to take a moment to thank the storm for this meal.
  • The Heavy: Seeing as the story's biggest antagonist is nature itself, these predatory creatures are among those that represent said danger.
  • Karma Houdini: Downplaed; despite the Humiliation Conga he suffers from at Arlo's hands, Word of God confirms that Thunderclap survives and is still hunting critters, having learned little from his experiences beyond "don't attack dinosaurs".
  • Karmic Death: While whether or not they're dead is unconfirmed, all of them are defeated when they're knocked into and swept away by the river...which was swollen by the storm they so emphatically worship.
    • Subverted: Word of God confirms that Thunderclap survived and still hunts for little critters.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Thunderclap himself, mostly, but all of them succeed at significantly darkening the film's mood.
  • Meaningful Rename: "Thunderclap" isn't his real name; it's what he calls himself after being in a storm. Presumably, the same is true about the rest of the gang, who also have storm-related names.
  • Mix-and-Match Critter: Thunderclap appears to be one, having a Nyctosaurus-like crest alongside teeth and wing claws.
  • Ptero Soarer: All mistakes listed there, plus with the extra fact the specific species probably spent most of their lives soaring above the sea. Instead they spend their days following a storm far out inland.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Thunderclap has bloodshot red eyes.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: The flock consists of this. Nyctosaurus (which Thunderclap resembles, though his exact genus is rather...sketchy), Ludodactylus, Caulkicephalus, and Guidraco aren't the kind of pterosaurs you'd typically see in media.
  • Sinister Minister: Thunderclap, seeing as he's the leader and the most firm believer in his "the storm provides" mentality.
  • Smurfette Principle: Downpour, the Caulkicephalus, is the only female member of the flock.
  • The Sociopath: Thunderclap, his self-proclaimed fearlessness borders on this, he eats a critter alive, harasses Arlo when he won't relinquish Spot. Not to mention he gives Arlo something they call the Predatory Stare.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: The film has Thunderclap having his wing injured and was knocked into the river by Arlo. In the novelization, Arlo's roar simply frightens him and he flies from the river unscathed.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: They won't stop hunting Spot, though it's justified because they're sentient and probably insane. Also downplayed, as they're forced to retreat when larger predators show up, like Nash and Ramsay.
  • Theme Naming: Their names (Thunderclap, Downpour, Windgust, Frostbite, Coldfront) are all storm-related words.
  • Twitchy Eye: Thunderclap has a slight case of this, though "slight" doesn't mean "less creepy".
  • Would Hurt a Child: They don't hesitate to injure Arlo to get to Spot, going so far as to throw Arlo off a cliff.

    Rustlers 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/raptors_render.png
Voiced by: Dave Boat (Bubbha), Carrie Paff (Lurleane), Calum Mackenzie Grant (Pervis), and John Ratzenberger (Earl)

A pack of Velociraptors who seek and prey on Butch's prized herd of longhorns.


  • Ax-Crazy: All of them are quite eager in killing "trespassers", though unlike the pterodactyls they're merely territorial. Earl in particular seems to be the most unhinged.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Pervis is a goofy but strong raptor.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Pervis isn't the smartest of raptors, but he managed to handle Butch in battle.
  • Deep South: The raptors come off as redneck hillbillies.
  • The Ditz: Pervis is quite a silly raptor.
  • Feathered Fiend: A bunch of Ax-Crazy cattle rustlers with a thin coat of feathers.
  • Raptor Attack: They do have some feathers, though not quite as much as the ones in real life. Ironically, they also break the stereotype of raptors being Genius Bruisers; if anything, the raptors here seem to be the dumbest of the dinosaurs in the cast.
  • Shown Their Work: While not accurately so, they at least have feathers.
  • Smurfette Principle: Lurleane is the sole female of the pack.
  • Would Hurt a Child: They have no qualms trying to kill Arlo for trespassing.

    SPOILER CHARACTERS 

Cave Family

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/thecavefamily.png
Voiced by: N/A

A family of four that adopt Spot at the end.


  • Nice Guy: In their one scene, with zero dialogue, they all prove to be kind and friendly people.
  • No Name Given: None of their names are mentioned and, unlike Spot, Arlo didn't name them.
  • Parental Substitute: They act as a surrogate family to Spot.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: They only appear in one scene (the patriarch technically had two), but they are the reason Spot is able to have a family who can take care of him.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: All of them have similar facial structures and hair color that let the viewers know they are biologically related.
  • The Voiceless: None of them say a word. And unlike Spot, they don't produce sounds like he does.
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