Pixar’s Inside Out could be the most exciting film the studio has done since Up. Coincidentally, Up‘s director Pete Docter is also the man behind Inside Out, which takes place in the mind of an 11-year-old girl named Riley Anderson. As we previously reported, the story focuses on Riley’s anthropomorphized emotions—Fear (Bill Hader), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Joy (Amy Poehler), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Anger (Lewis Black). These characters “manage how the girl feels at any given moment from a control panel that looks something like the flight deck of the Starship Enterprise,” according to Variety. When Riley relocates to a new town and a new school, it ends up forcing Joy and Sadness “out of the control panel and into the far, unfamiliar reaches of her mind.”
Hit the jump for more. Inside Out opens June 19, 2015.
At the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in southern France yesterday, Docter provided a one-hour, in-depth presentation about the movie, and Variety reports that “Inside Out will forever change the way people think about the way people think.” As proof, Docter related the story of a family that came over to watch the movie, and the son always had trouble going off the diving board. Following the film, he said “I just felt like Fear was driving, and I needed to make him step aside.’”
Up is renowned for its opening scene, and Variety says that the one for Inside Out is also impressive:
The inventive opening scene extends from the moment of Riley’ birth and the creation of her first memory to the introduction of its five main characters, ending with an encounter between Joy and Sadness where the former can’t seem to figure out Sadness’ role in the operation.
Eventually, Joy and Sadness are forced to venture into new places in Riley’s mind. The exciting locations include “such areas as Imagination Land (“a giant amusement park full of everything Riley has ever daydreamed about”), a movie studio where nightmares are made, the Train of Thought (a free-ranging locomotive that can go zooming off in any direction) and Abstract Thought — the zone Docter had the most fun translating to the screen.”
Although the movie was inspired by Docter’s daughter becoming moody around the time she turned twelve, the making of Inside Out has made him reevaluate the picture:
“I thought I was making a film about my daughter, but the truth is, I’m more making a film about myself in relation to my daughter and understanding that. The film is told from a parent’s point of view, and being a parent, I just sort of slipped into that, I guess. It’s definitely made me think again about the way I grew up, my adolescence, and even on a day-to-day basis what I’m doing and why.”
This sounds like the Pixar movie I’ve been waiting to see for years. I like Toy Story 3, Brave, and Monsters University, but Inside Out sounds far bolder than any of those films and possibly any Pixar movie to date. When I think about what this movie could be, Joy is driving.