Sinclair Oil Corporation Inspired Pixar’s Dinoco

The Sinclair Oil Corporation is an American petroleum corporation, founded by Harry F. Sinclair on May 1, 1916, by combining the assets of 11 small petroleum companies. Originally a New York corporation, Sinclair Oil reincorporated in Wyoming in 1976. The corporation’s logo features the silhouette of a large green dinosaur. And there is where the Disney/Pixar tie-in begins!

Dinoco is an oil company/gas station that has been seen in Toy Story and Cars. In Toy Story, the logo is an Apatosaurus. In Cars, the logo is a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Dinoco may have been based on the Sinclair Oil Corporation, because it also uses an Apatosaurus as its logo (above).

I recently came across a vintage promotional film for Sinclair service station owners entitled Sinclair: You Are a Retailer. It likely dates from the early 1960’s if the vehicles in it are any indication.

This was an extremely well done film for an in-house effort! And it yielded many interesting images…

    Sinclair Sales Video 006

Directly above, you can see what a typical Sinclair service station looked like back in the days of full-service and friendly attendants. Below is what a Dinoco service station looked like in Toy Story:

Dinoco Station Toy Story

Let’s compare all three dinosaur logos side by side. First will be Sinclair, then Dinoco from Toy Story, and last Dinoco from Cars:

    Dinoco Toy Story         Dinoco Cars

The first two dinosaur logos are very close, but it appears the Dinoco of the Cars franchise decided to power up their Dino!

It was a real treat to find this vintage promotional film from Sinclair! And it is good to see that Disney/Pixar is paying homage to companies that have helped to shape the landscape we pass through on a daily basis.

Ding Ding! Fill’er up please!

Good Dinosaur

Disney Pixar Movie: The Good Dinosaur

Good Dinosaur

Image ©Disney/Pixar

The Good Dinosaur

By Mike Ellis.

Last night my family went out to see the Disney/Pixar movie The Good Dinosaur.  Coming into the movie, I’ll admit that I wasn’t too sure how I would like the movie; all the previews made it seem like it would be a good family movie, but I just wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy it.  Well, twenty minutes or less into the movie, and I was hooked.  This film has it all — a heart-warming story of the love a family has, brotherly and sisterly rivalry, tragedy, sorrow, and grief, friendship, and courage.

The story centers around the Dinosaur family, Henry (Poppa), Ida (Momma), Libby, Buck, and Arlo.  Libby and Buck easily adjust to life on the family farm, but Arlo, the runt, has a hard time adjusting, and is frightened of almost anything that moves.

As the story progresses, we find that Henry is doing all he can to get Arlo to overcome his fear, and in the course of yet another attempt, Henry is washed downriver and dies.  Arlo is devastated, rightfully so, as he is also lost, and who knows what might have happened to him if not for Spot, a young human boy.  After some trials, the two become best friends.

It turns out that Spot and Arlo have both seen sorrows in their lives — Spot has lost his parents, and believes them dead, just like Arlo has lost his dad.  Having to rely on one another, they run into their share of mean characters as well as friendly characters — I never would have thought that a T-Rex family could be considered “friendly characters” — and throughout it all, they slowly make their way towards Arlo’s home.

The climax of the story comes as Spot is taken by some scavengers because he’s a “critter”, and it is up to Arlo to save his friend.  Only by overcoming his fear of the storm, the rushing water that reminds him of losing his father, and the fear of waterfall, can Arlo come to his friends rescue.

As I said, I wasn’t sure what I would think of this movie, but I really enjoyed it.  It had incredible animation, truly photo-realistic in fact, it had a great, heartwarming story, and a good flow.  I know that many reviewers did not like it, but I did, although I will agree that it is definitely a kids movie at heart.

If you have a young one, go ahead and see it, I think they will like it, and you will too!

Have you seen The Good Dinosaur?  If so, what did you think of it?  Let me know in the comments below, and thanks for stopping by!