Personally, I like to consider Buck as being my best film. It had emotional value to it, and it was unlike anything I ever made.
Pre-production and conception for BUCK Edit
I wanted to make a stop motion film project, so I looked through my stuff, and I decided to make a stop motion film about dinosaurs when I saw this bin loaded with toy dinosaurs. And there are so many in there, I can imagine me being able to make a hundred stop motion films with these. I went for dinosaurs for my new project, but I asked myself, "what would my new film be about?" and I thought of Ice Age, and then I thought of Buck. I then decided to do an origin film explaining why Buck lives with dinosaurs. I went for that! This idea was conceived about late September or early October.
I worked on the film, but I needed some context for it, so it would work. I needed this film to happen as far away from Dawn of the Dinosaurs as possible. I thought that at the same time of the first Ice Age film would be the best place to set this film. And because it would happen at the same time as the first Ice Age, I made it as a reflection of the first film by having identical events.
Examples of these reflections would be when Threehorn mourns at the boneyard, which reflects Manny at the cave, and the final battle, which is identical to the final battle scene in Ice Age. Spine was pretty much Soto.
Creating a Character that already Exists Edit
I was making an origin film for Buck, a character that already exists. I needed a beginning for him, to explain who he was. I made him an adventurer, as he is in the Ice Age film series. But before he lived with dinosaurs, he would do things in the world that the Ice Age animals live in. I came up with ideas for what kinds of things he would do. He would avoid humans, and in the opening scene that shows who he is and what he does, a human throws a spear at him and the dodge scene is slowed down, which is a reference to the Matrix, when the bullet dodging scenes are slowed down. Buck also tackles a rhino that runs to him, who is actually Carl from the first film. Buck also wrestles a jaguar, which is a reference to Tarzan Untamed.
Buck would also have to have friends, or at least one. I came up with a bear named Roger, as a wink to the Roger joke from the third movie.
I came up with the idea that Buck does adventure mainly for the thrill and ardrenaline, but feels it is unfair not to gain any kind of reward for doing life risking tasks, particularly fame.
Threehorn and Emotion Edit
Because Buck happens at the same time as Ice Age, and that I wanted it to reflect Ice Age, I wanted emotional value in Buck. I never made a film with emotion in it before, so this was going to be a big task for me. I made emotion in the friendship bond between Buck and the Triceratops.