Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur hits cinemas this Wednesday, just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. And who better than Neil de Grasse Tyson to indulge in a bit of playful speculation about the film’s premise: what if the K-T asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago had missed Earth?
The film explores this question through the adventures of a lost baby dinosaur named Arlo, who meets up with a Neanderthal boy named Spot. The two become pals and embark on a journey to return Arlo to his dino-parents.
According to Tyson, the real scenario would have been much different. He speculates that the dinosaurs were so dominant in the ecosystem of the Cretaceous period, it’s likely mammals would never have had the chance to evolve to larger (human) size. There would have been no Spot to befriend poor Arlo and help him get back home.
But it’s still fun to imagine—what if?
Bonus: Check out Brian Switek’s own take for Gizmodo on the science and design of the dinosaurs.
Video courtesy of Disney/Pixar.