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WMG / The Good Dinosaur

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Thunderclap is the main villain.
He's also not either of the pterosaurs in the trailer. He just sent them.
  • Jossed. The producers have stated the main antagonist is nature itself (i.e. there is no real Big Bad), and the recently-revealed toys reveal Thunderclap is that Nyctosaurus-like pterosaur in the trailer.
  • Nature is not a villain, just a powerful and often antagonistic force, so Thunderclap could arguably qualify for main villain, but not the overall main antagonist.

The pterosaurs have Fantastic Racism against dinosaurs
To play on the fact that pterosaurs aren't dinosaurs, this film will portray pterosaurs putting themselves and dinosaurs in different categories and declaring themselves superior. This will be why they seem so dead set on killing Arlo and Spot.
  • Jossed. The pterosaurs don't specifically hate dinosaurs; they simply were Cargo Cult Disaster Scavengers. Early on, they fool Arlo into helping them flush out prey and even offer to have him join their "cause" - until they decide to go after Spot. Even there, though, they mostly just want Arlo out of the way so they can eat his "critter."

The movie takes place in the distant past of the Monster Hunter world.
A vast world that has both dinosaurs and modern mammals coexisting? It can describe both works.

Either Arlo or Spot will die, or at least pull a Disney Death
Given the recent track run of Tear Jerker moments in Disney films, then it'll be inevitable.
  • Somewhat confirmed as near the end Arlo revives an unconscious Spot after they go down the waterfall.

All differences/inaccuracies in the biology of the dinosaurs was done on purpose
It shows that they kept evolving. For example the Raptors lost most of their feathers, just like how Humans lost most of their hair.
  • I recall a similar argument brought up by the blog "When Dinosaurs Ruled the Mind" that suggested that the pterosaurs had evolved grasping talons to compete with the ever growing bird population. This makes sense, as in this chronology pterosaurs remained the dominant flying animals so they definitely needed to adapt and get a leg up (or wing up) on the competition, though this doesn't explain why the Nyctosauruses have teeth and wing claws (re-evolving lost traits is next to impossible, hence why whales don't have gills and most birds don't have hands).

Thunderclap is not a Nyctosaurus
Given Nyctosaurus do not have teeth and wing claws coupled with the odd creatures presented in the movie, he is probably a new species of ornithocheiroid pterosaur that developed a Nyctosaurus-like crest in some sort of weird convergent evolution.

Forrest Woodbush is a fictional descendant of Regaliceratops
Regaliceratops is the only Ceratopsid known with both enlarged, spike-like frill horns and Triceratops-like facial horns. His species just happened to be highly convergent with Styracosaurus.

The title is intended as a Stealth Insult
...directed at Disney's not so good Dinosaur. Kinda like The Real Ghostbusters or Twilight: The Good Version, only, well, stealthier.
  • Could be, though interviews revealed earlier versions of the script (before the director replacement) depicted Arlo as being ostracized from most dinosaur society, including his own family, for being different. He spends much of the movie trying to prove his worth, to be a good dinosaur. Producers felt the story wasn't working, as having most dinosaurs being Jerk Asses to Arlo made them a bit unappealing.

The dinosaurs have formed a barter-based civilization.
The T-Rexes were pretty friendly toward Arlo, and they'd have good reason to be: They're cattle ranchers, and cattle ranchers need land, feed, and water. The sauropods are farmers, so they could provide all the feed the cattle need. What would the T-rexes trade in return? Fertilizer. I'd assume that they'd also trade with the raptor clans: Raptors have pretty dexterous "hands" and could build simple items, in return for a share of the food. (The cattle rustlers could simply be rogues that wanted the meat for free). If they dammed a stream to provide a watering hole, the resulting fish pond could be used to trade with the pterosaurs for services as outriders/scouts. Etc.
  • Neither Jossed nor confirmed, but there are a couple of tantalizing hints. First, the T. rex family is quite happy to trade with Arlo, provided he does work for them. ("A deal's a deal.") They even offer (half-jokingly) to trade for Spot, which of course Arlo refuses. The second is that the sauropods are raising chickens. Why? They eat neither meat nor eggs. Finally, they have a number of structures built on their farm (like the fence) that they'd have little chance of constructing themselves.

Dinosaurs only survived in the Western Hemisphere.
Even with the comet missing its impact point, the Deccan traps—a massive volcanic field—still would have erupted. It was probably the combination of these two that caused the extinction. The Deccan traps were located in Asia, and in this timeline, they caused the extinction of dinosaurs in the Eastern Hemisphere, so Eurasia and Africa have no dinosaurs. The modern mammals, such as humans and bison, evolved naturally, and then migrated across the land bridge to North America during the ice ages like in real life. Except in this timeline, North America was already inhabited by civilized dinosaurs and pterosaurs.
  • This leaves it open if dinosaurs survived in Australia or Antarctica.

The raptors are meth addicts
I know, this started as a joke by CinemaSins, but then I thought about it—scrawny build, bad teeth, scraggly feathers, constant twitching—it would explain so much.
  • I don't know, the pterodactyls act more like druggies to me.

Alternatively, this world will eventually become like My Girlfriend is a T-Rex
  • Dinosaurs and humans will evolve to have shared communication and given human's body being adaptively superior, dinosaurs will develop more into a humanoid form.

Thunderclap is a genetic mutant.
Thunderclap's teeth and wing claws may not be the inaccuracy it first appears; he may actually be a genetic mutant, born with teeth and wing claws (like birds that are born with teeth) due to the genes for those traits being activated in his egg. Plus, in addition to Thunderclap's brutal methods, this would explain why his flock is so small. Nyctosaurus don't naturally have teeth and claws, so other Pterosaurs rejected and shunned him - except the four who were enamored with the mutant and his crusade and chose to follow him. Since Arlo has never met any other Nyctosaurus, he doesn't realize Thunderclap is an oddity, so this wasn't explored in the film.

This world is in fact the precursor to the world of Theodore Rex
  • This is pretty much in line with the other attempts above to line this up with other works. In Theodore Rex we saw a technologically advanced world with humans and dinosaurs living side by side. Humans did seem to be dominant, though that could be the result of humans being better adapted to using technology allowing a shift to occur in our favour. The advanced technology in that film could also be the result of this world getting a "head start" due to dinosaurs not dying out and developing technology before humans were able to. Note: this WMG is not an endorsement of Theodore Rex.

The movie takes place in the same universe as Dinosaurs
  • Both settings feature semi-civilized dinosaurs coexisting with primitive humans and various mammalian critters. The Good Dinosaur takes place somewhat earlier, as the dinosaurs are more animal-like in body shape and don't wear clothes than in Dinosaurs. The mammalian critters also gained the ability to talk in the time between The Good Dinosaur and Dinosaurs. Even the timelines add up: The Good Dinosaur starts 65 million years ago, when the asteroid missed Earth, whereas Dinosaurs takes place 60 million years ago. The dinosaurs became civilized over the course of these 5 million years, and then became extinct thanks to the ice age created by B.P. Richfield's

This movie is set in the same universe as Turok