CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The state of Wyoming is looking to boost tourism through an animated film that will be released nationwide next month.
"The Good Dinosaur," which will be released Thanksgiving week, is about a dinosaur named Arlo and his human friend as they travel a harsh and scenic land. Valleys and mountains depicted in the film were inspired by the Wyoming landscape, such as the Teton Range.
Under an agreement between the state Office of Tourism and Pixar, Wyoming will invest $1.2 million of its advertising budget on a media campaign promoting both the film and the state.
In addition, the state will pay Pixar $100,000 to help sponsor the film's world premiere Nov. 17 in Los Angeles. In return, Wyoming will be able to promote the state, such as displaying its bucking horse and rider logo on the red carpet at the premiere.
Tourism Office spokesman Chris Mickey said that Wyoming will be able to use images from the film in commercials marketing the state to potential visitors.
"One of the things we love about this partnership is we can directly tie the dinosaurs to Wyoming in the movie," Mickey said.
The commercials will run from mid-November to mid-December, but probably won't be aired in Wyoming, he said.
"But they will be seen in select markets all over the country," Mickey said.
Diane Shober, executive director of the Wyoming Office of Tourism, said arrangement with Pixar provides the state the opportunity to increase interest in and visitation to Wyoming.
"The film is visually stunning and the setting is very characteristic of the Wyoming scenery we know and love," Shober said in a statement. "'The Good Dinosaur' is a perfect fit for Wyoming with the mountain backdrops, sweeping landscapes and ties to paleontology and culture of the American West."
While the Office of Tourism has worked with film studios before, Mickey said this is the first time the state has ever partnered with a film via an advertising campaign.
"What we really hope is that this will move the needle on young families, people who have younger kids but are still in the adventure stage of their lives," Mickey said. "Even though it's an animated film, because of how well the Disney Pixar team did, the locations and backgrounds of this film, it almost looks like you could be there."