Inside Out is Pixar's fifteenth feature film. It is directed by Pete Docter and co-directed by Ronnie del Carmen, with Jonas Rivera as producer. It was released in theatres on June 19, 2015 in the US, and July 24, 2015 in the UK. It marks the third film directed by Pete Docter, after Monsters, Inc., and Up.
When first announced at the 2011 D23 Expo, the film was presented under the working title of "The Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside The Mind". In December 2012, Bleeding Cool published an article stating the name of Pete Docter's next film would be The Inside Out. On February 8, 2013, ComingSoon.net reported that the film's title would be Inside Out. Disney/Pixar officially announced the title on Twitter on April 17, 2013 during Cinema Con.
The story of Inside Out centers on an 11-year-old girl named Riley Andersen moving to San Francisco and her five emotions Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger trying to help her cope with her new life. The five emotions live in headquarters and control how Riley feels. When Joy and Sadness are accidentally kicked out of headquarters, they go on a wild journey to get back.
A girl named Riley Andersen is born in Minnesota. In her mind, which is commonly referred to as "Headquarters," five personified emotions are created over time: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger, each one being introduced in this specific order. The emotions are charged with reacting to Riley's circumstances and forming her memories, which are housed in spheres that produce a certain color depending on the emotion of the memory. The most important memories, which are known as "Core Memories," power five "Islands of Personality" that each reflect a different aspect of Riley's personality: Family Island, Friendship Island, Hockey Island, Honesty Island, and Goofball Island.
Each emotion also has a defined purpose in Riley's life: Joy makes sure she is happy, Fear keeps her safe, Anger keeps her life fair and Disgust prevents her from being poisoned, both physically and socially. No-one understands the purpose of Sadness, as all she seemingly does is make Riley feel bad. As a result, she is constantly ignored and kept from using the Headquarters controls, mainly by Joy, who prefers to keep Riley happy as much as possible.
When Riley turns eleven, her family relocates to San Francisco after her father gets a new job. Joy tries to make the move a pleasant experience for Riley and the other emotions, but several events leading up to the move make the other emotions think otherwise. And Sadness messes things up further when she turns a happy memory into a sad one by touching it and causes a core memory to fall out of the container it is housed in. Aware that memories can't be changed back once turned sad, Joy keeps Sadness occupied by having her memorize a stack of "mind manuals" all through the day and into the night.
On Riley's first day at her new school, Joy attempts to keep Sadness from touching anything by having her stand completely still inside a circle of chalk. But Sadness ventures outside the circle and creates a new core memory after making Riley cry in front of her new classmates. Joy attempts to dispose of the new memory, but her struggle with Sadness leads to all the core memories being knocked out from their container. Before Joy can put them back, she, Sadness, and the core memories are sent up a memory tube and into the far reaches of Riley's mind.
As Joy and Sadness make their way through "Long Term Memory," a labyrinth-like place where all of Riley's past memories are stored, they run into Riley's former imaginary friend Bing Bong, who is desperate to reconnect with Riley. When Bing Bong discovers that his song-powered imaginary wagon has been dumped into "the Memory Dump," a pit where obsolete memories are erased, he breaks down in tears of candy and is comforted by Sadness as Joy watches on in confusion. Meanwhile, back at Headquarters, Anger, Disgust, and Fear attempt to take charge in the wake of Joy's absence. But they are unable to make Riley joyful, and instead instigate a confrontation with Riley's parents, and cause Goofball Island to fall into the Memory Dump. The three soon realize that tampering with Riley's personality will cause it to slowly destroy itself with potentially disastrous results.
Joy, Sadness and Bing Bong hatch a plan to ride the "Train of Thought" back to Headquarters and trek through the various parts of Riley's mind, unaware that Riley's life is slowly starting to crumble. She alienates both her parents and her former best friend, struggles in her new surroundings and quits hockey after failing to do well in the first tryout. Anger reasons that the only way to restore Riley's personality and keep the remaining islands from falling into the Memory Dump is to persuade her to run away to Minnesota.
Later that night, while Riley is sleeping, Joy, Sadness, and Bing Bong arrive at the loading dock for the Train of Thought, only to realize the train does not run during nighttime. In an attempt to jump-start the train, the three infiltrate "Dream Productions", where Riley's dreams and nightmares are created. Onstage, they infiltrate a monstrous birthday clown named Jangles, who scares Riley and wakes her up. As Joy, Sadness, and Bing Bong board the Train of Thought and make their way towards Headquarters, Anger enacts his plan of running away. Riley is led to steal her mother's credit card, which causes Honesty Island to crumble, destroying the Train of Thought in the process. Joy, Sadness and Bing Bong take refuge on Family Island only for the island to begin to fall in pieces when Riley boards a waiting bus to Minnesota. Then, after a failed attempt to hitch a ride to Headquarters through an exposed memory recall tube, Joy and Bing Bong fall into the dump, leaving Sadness on her own.
Joy, in despair and on the verge of giving up, bursts into tears and shifts through Riley's memories, locating a sad one in which Riley missed a shot in a hockey game and cost her team the win. When she sees Riley's teammates and parents consoling her (which turns the memory into a happy one), Joy realizes what Sadness' function is - to act as a beacon to others to let them know when Riley needs help. Joy helps Bing Bong find his rocket wagon and attempts to jumpstart it only to realize it falls short of reaching the cliff every time. Bing Bong, in a moment of self-realization, starts the rocket again and jumps off before it flies away. As Joy looks over her shoulder after barely making it to the cliff, Bing Bong thanks her for letting him be important one last time and fades away.
Joy emerges from the dump and finds Sadness, who has come to the conclusion that her doings can only hurt Riley and flees her. Using a huge pile of imaginary boyfriends from Imagination Land, Joy launches herself towards Sadness with a large trampoline and grabs her before flying towards Headquarters, where Anger and Disgust work together to get them inside. Everyone then looks to Joy to save the situation, but she steps back and lets Sadness take control. Riley, now in control of her emotions, gets off the bus before it leaves the station and returns home to her parents, where she breaks down in tears after admitting she misses her old life. As her parents comfort her, Joy and Sadness create a new core memory together, which glows both blue and yellow, beginning the restoration of Riley's personality.
With Riley now adapting to life in a new city and Sadness finally having found her place among her fellow emotions, everyone works together to help lead Riley to a happy life as she turns 12.
- Amy Poehler as Joy
- Phyllis Smith as Sadness
- Lewis Black as Anger
- Bill Hader as Fear and Cool Girl
- Mindy Kaling as Disgust
- Richard Kind as Bing Bong
- Kaitlyn Dias as Riley Andersen
- Lola Cooley as Young Riley
- Mary Gibbs as Young Riley's screams and crying
- Diane Lane as Riley's Mother
- Kyle MacLachlan as Riley's Father
- Paris Van Dyke as Meg
- John Ratzenberger as Fritz
- Josh Cooley as Jangles
- Carlos Alazraqui as Brazilian helicopter pilot and Father's Fear
- Paula Poundstone as Forgetter Paula
- Bobby Moynihan as Forgetter Bobby
- Paula Pell as Dream Director and Mother's Anger
- Dave Goelz as Subconscious Guard Frank
- Frank Oz as Subconscious Guard Dave
- Flea as Mind Worker Cop Jake
- Peter Sagal as Clown's Joy
- Rashida Jones as Cool Girl's Emotions
- Pete Docter as Father's Anger
- Lori Alan as Mother's Sadness
- Sherry Lynn as Mother's Joy and Mother's Disgust
- Laraine Newman as Mother's Fear
- Dawnn Lewis as Teacher
- Ronnie del Carmen as Male Abstract Thought Mind Worker
- Elissa Knight as Female Abstract Thought Mind Worker
- Tony Fucile as Male cloud
- Patrick Seitz as the Thought Train Conductor and the Pizza Delivery Bear (in Riley's first dream sequence)
- Randy Hahn as Hockey game announcer in Dad's mind
- Molly Jackson as Dead Mouse
- Nick Pitera and Andrea Datzman as TripleDent Gum singers
- Veronika Bonell as "No pants" girl in dream
Early reports at the time of D23 Expo 2011 indicated that Michael Arndt was working on the script. In April 2014, Arndt stated that he left the project in 2011. The final film credits Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley for writing.
Pixar first revealed the following information on the upcoming film at D23 Expo 2011: "From director Pete Docter comes an inventive new film that explores a world that everyone knows, but no one has seen: inside the human mind."
In an interview with Charlie Rose in early December 2011, John Lasseter revealed the film takes place in a girl's mind, and is about her emotions as characters. In June 2012, he made a similar statement to Bleeding Cool, and gave further details:
- "Pete [Docter] has this way of constantly trying to figure out something that we’re all familiar with in some way… he's constantly looking for these kinds of things. You look at people oftentimes and they do something to make you go "What are they thinking?" or it's like how a song gets stuck in your head and you just can’t get it out. Little quirky thing like this that we all do. Certain emotions just seem to take us over, anger or happiness, where you start giggling and laughing and you can’t stop. He thought "I want to take a look at that, explain that." His idea is that the emotions of this little girl are the characters and it takes place in the head of this little girl, and shows how they control things that go on. It's very, very clever and it's truly unlike anything you've ever seen, yet it explains things you've seen."
Docter said to have first pitched this project's idea in June 2009 and to have started work on it in 2009.
Docter said that when thinking about his next project following Up, one of his goals was to make a film that would be new and innovative animation-wise, while keeping with some of his previous themes.
Docter took inspiration from the personal experience of watching his daughter Elie as she grew up into adolescence. It was moving for him, as she seemed to have lost her childhood joy and became more withdrawn. The film stemmed from his reflection on these events, from his perspective as a parent and adult, and on his own experience of change. He said:
- "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."
In their research, the team consulted psychologists and read scientific theories regarding the workings of the mind. The film's design was influenced by what they learned, such as the idea that memories are sent to long term memory during sleep. Much of their work was to simplify complex ideas to get a simple and comprehensible concept. Nevertheless, Docter says they are "approaching it from a poetic viewpoint. It’s not even trying to be scientific at all."
At one point, to fit with some scientific theories, the team considered having 27 emotion characters, but they found this to be too complex. The set of emotions in the final film is based on the six universal emotions as identified in works by Paul Ekman, with Surprise being omitted. The five emotions also correspond with the eight basic emotions defined by Robert Plutchik's theory, with Trust, Surprise and Anticipation missing. Docter said he would consider Surprise to be the main emotion missing, but felt it was somewhat redundant with their Fear character. Other emotions which were considered but not used include Pride and Trust.
At the 2013 Siggraph convention, Pete Docter said the story was "one of the most challenging I've ever had to put together", because the film has to tell simultaneously what is happening to Riley and what is happening inside her mind.
Docter has insisted the film's setting is independent from the biological, physical reality of the brain, and that it is rather set in the mind, with a more metaphysical, abstract viewpoint.
Emotions, because of their nature, were made as strong, highly caricatured and distinctive characters, in a way Docter compared to the seven dwarfs from Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. According to Docter, each emotion is based on a basic shape: Sadness on a teardrop, Joy on a star, Fear on a raw nerve, Anger on a fire brick and Disgust on a broccoli.
Continuing with the idea the mind is independent from reality, and in an effort to have emotions look the way one would feel them, emotions are not made of flesh and blood. As Docter says: "They are made up of particles that actually move. Instead of being skin and solid, it is a massive collection of energy." Similarly, to animate them the team took a style with more stretching and exaggeration of movements than is usual for Pixar, closer to classic cartoon animation. Inspiration was taken from Chuck Jones and Tex Avery, as well as Milt Kahl and John Sibley.
Regarding how the genders of the emotions were chosen, the process was intuitive, according to Docter; he felt Anger was more masculine, while Sadness was more feminine. Casting was also an influence, notably for Disgust with Mindy Kaling. The main characters were made female also to reflect their location inside a girl's mind. Regarding the emotions of Riley's parents, he said: "We skewed them all male and all female for a quick read, because you have to understand where we are, which is a little phony but hopefully people don't mind!"
About the general design of Riley's mind, Docter said: "Jonas [Rivera] likes to joke that it looks like an Apple store meets It's A Small World. We wanted it to reflect what I think an 11-year-old girl would be interested in without being overly cutesy about it or clichéd. We cast a wide net and this is where we ended up."
Inside Out is rated PG by the MPAA for (mild thematic elements and some action), making it the fourth Pixar film to deserve that rating, after The Incredibles, Up, and Brave.
Attached Short Film
Pixar's short film Lava is attached to Inside Out.
Additionally, the short Riley's First Date?, directed by Josh Cooley, is included with the DVD and Blu-ray releases of the film.
Docter said that there are currently not any plans to make a sequel, but still left it a possibility with saying "never say never."
- A113 is visible as graffiti on a background wall when Riley receives a phone call from her mother. "113" is also visible on the Train of Thought when Joy, Sadness and Bing Bong jump into it after waking up Riley, though no "A" appears to be seen. Also, according to CinemaBlend, Pete Docter has said that Riley's classroom in her new school is room A113. However, the film makes it impossible to verify this claim, as the classroom's door is never seen from the outside.
- The Luxo Ball appears in Riley's house in Minnesota in one of the flashbacks of Riley playing tag with Bing Bong.
- The Pizza Planet Truck has been found in three different scenes of the film. In all known instances, the truck appears in a golden memory orb, and seemingly recycles a shot from Toy Story 2 (a three-quarters view from behind). According to Victor Navone's wife on Twitter, the truck is also in the background of China Town and San Francisco, although this claim has not been substantiated in any way since.
- The Pizza Planet Truck appears in a golden memory that briefly shows up in the foreground when Bing Bong knocks it off as he runs away from Joy on their first encounter.
- A memory of the truck appears in three shots when Riley goes to the hockey tryouts:
- When Disgust says, "Luck is not gonna help us now," the truck briefly appears in a memory orb just behind her.
- When Fear says, "We did it, gang! It's working!", the truck appears in a memory orb just next to Disgust.
- The truck appears in a memory orb on the right side of the screen after Riley falls and Anger takes control of the console.
- A memory of the truck appears when Joy, Sadness and Bing Bong successfully get onboard the Train of Thought.
- Riley and her family are eating from Chinese Food Boxes of the same type as the one seen in A Bug's Life and several other Pixar films.
- Some of the background memories contain images from the "Married Life" sequence from Up.
- The birds from For the Birds appear during Riley's family's trip to San Francisco on a telephone wire.
- One of Riley's classmates is wearing a camouflage pattern made up of Toy Story characters.
- Another of Riley's classmates wears a shirt with the same skull motif as Sid's shirt in Toy Story.
- The stars from the Buzz Lightyear aisle in Toy Story 2 are reused for Riley's bedroom stars.
- Models from Cars 2 are reused as background cars. These include the model of the Hugo Lemons crime family, as well as a type of micro car used for many backgrounds characters in Cars 2 (such as Cartney Brakin).
- Some of the background cars in San Francisco bear bumper stickers from Cars.
- The globe in Riley's classroom appeared in Andy's room, in all three Toy Story films.
- A box in Imagination Land features a clownfish, along with the title "Find Me", an allusion to Finding Nemo.
- Some of the board game boxes in Imagination Land are reused from Toy Story That Time Forgot, including one with the title "For the Birds", an allusion to the 2000 short of the same name.
- The playground in one of Riley's memories in Minnesota is taken from Sunnyside Daycare in Toy Story 3, with one difference being that the slide is not coiled but straight.
- Colette from Ratatouille appears on a magazine cover when Riley pretends the floor is lava in the living room of her Minnesota house.
- When Riley falls asleep after the first day of living in San Francisco, her dream turns into a nightmare and the score from Disney's The Haunted Mansion attraction plays in the background.
- In that same nightmare, the bear serving pizza resembles Queen Elinor in her bear form, and the talking pizzas have the same arms as Mr. Potato Head.
- When Joy, Sadness, and Bing Bong are about to board the Train of Thought in Imagination Land, a portrait of Figment from EPCOT's Journey To Imagination can be seen in the foreground on the right.
- While entering Dream Productions, Dream Workers dressed as Emperor Zurg can be seen.
- The giant legs of Ted from Monsters, Inc. can be seen in Dream Productions as giant props.
- The dead mouse that Riley sees bears a resemblance to Remy.
- Some of young Riley's cries and squeals are recycled from Boo in Monsters, Inc. The credits list Mary Gibbs as an additional voice because of this.
- During the scene where Riley fails to play hockey properly, if you look closely in the background, there is a banner that says: "Tri-County Youth Hockey". The Tri-County area is where the Toy Story franchise takes place.
- In Riley's classroom, there is a poster with stars, a nod to the short film, La Luna.
- Forrest Woodbush and Arlo from the film The Good Dinosaur can be seen as statues at the dinosaur park when Riley and her mom are talking about their favorite part of the trip to San Francisco. This was based off a real-life dinosaur park in Arizona.
- When Bing Bong empties his bag, he is seen removing the boot containing the plant from WALL•E.
- The cloud that Bing Bong sneezes away in Imagination Land resembles one of the clouds from Partly Cloudy.
- One of Riley's contacts on her messaging app is "DocPete", an allusion to director Pete Docter. Another one is "Ronnify", a likely allusion to co-director Ronnie del Carmen.
- One of the stores in San Francisco is named "Krause", an allusion to supervising animator Shawn Krause.
- In Imagination Land, a tower of cards can be seen. Riley is on the Jack (which has an R rather than J), her mom is on the Queen and her dad is on the King.
References to non-Pixar movies
- The "Sure Locks for Homes" poster is likely an allusion to Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), the first movie in which Pixar did animation work (the stained-glass knight).
- In Dream Productions, the poster for "I'm Falling for a Long Time Into a Pit" echoes the design of the poster for Vertigo by Alfred Hitchcock.
- In the Cloud Town section of Imagination Land, just after Bing Bong runs through and disperses one of the inhabitants, one of the cops who were interviewing her starts to pursue him; the other restrains him and says, "Forget it, Jake, it's Cloud Town." This pays homage to the ending of Chinatown (1974).
- When Joy asks Sadness to tell something funny, the latter says, "Remember the funny movie where the dog dies?" This is a reference to Old Yeller.
- The second Pixar film to have a female protagonist, after Brave. The third one will be Dory in Finding Dory.
- This is the first Pixar releases two films in the same year, while the other film is The Good Dinosaur.
- The fourth Pixar film to be rated PG by the MPAA, after The Incredibles, Up and Brave.
- Like WALL•E before it, this film does not have a traditional villain. The closest it gets is Joy, who like AUTO in WALL•E is just doing what she believes to be her job, oblivious to the harm she is causing. Unlike AUTO, Joy comes to realize her mistake and puts things right.
- The film's teaser trailer features clips from all previous Pixar movies except Toy Story 2 and Cars 2.
- Whereas in the original version the emotions of Riley's father are watching ice hockey during the dinner table scene, in most international versions, they are watching a soccer match. This can be seen when comparing the first US trailer with the corresponding UK trailer. A few international versions do retain the hockey match memory, like the Russian and French-Canadian ones.
- Pete Docter has worked as an animator on another project which explored the brain (although on a less metaphysical and more physiological level): the Cranium Command attraction at Epcot.
- Riley's hockey rink is located where the Walt Disney Family Museum is situated in San Francisco.
- This movie took five years to complete.
- The British comic The Beano made a reference to the film with "The Numskulls" having a story where Edd goes to watch Inside Out, only for Brainy to comment about it being similar to themselves, referencing the fact that some UK fans noticed some similarities between the two. The comic's editor-in-chief Mike Stirling explained: "We had people from all over the world pointing out the similarities, which is very flattering, but the Numskulls is a very British comic and we want to point out the differences." Ronnie del Carmen was also told about the comic during an interview with Den of Geek, which he said about the Numskulls: "I'm not familiar with it all."
- The title does not appear until about 7 minutes into the movie. This marks the longest time the movie's title has taken to appear.
- The puzzle box dinosaur world may be a reference to The Good Dinosaur.
- The locksmith Krause has a notice in the window advertising: "Sure Locks for Homes," a reference to the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes.
- The dog-grooming salon is called "Penny and Rita", a likely reference to two classic Beatles songs from 1967.
- Jordan's memory orbs are monochromatic (each has only one color) in both Inside Out and Riley's First Date?, implying that he's still emotionally immature.
- Inside Out is the first PG rated Pixar film to have a non-human protagonist.
- One of Riley's contacts on her messaging app is Shion4U, which is a possible reference to Shion Todo, a character from the Japanese anime series PriPara.
- In the Family Island flashback, Riley can be heard muttering, "I'm gonna be Rapunzel!" when giving cookies to her family. This is a possible reference to one of activities that the Disney version of Rapunzel enjoyed was baking. However, this is an anachronism, as the scene clearly takes place when Riley is 2 or 3 (which, given that the movie takes place in 2015, would be either 2006 or 2007), and Tangled, Disney's version of the story, wouldn't come out until 2010.
- Just before Joy, Sadness and Bing Bong are trapped in and nearly destroyed by the Abstract Thought Chamber, one of the Mind Workers who closes the door and turns on the chamber says, "What abstract thought are we trying to comprehend today?", and the other replies, "Loneliness." Judging by this, Riley's joy is nearly destroyed by loneliness.
- The dinosaur park Riley and her family visited was inspired by a real one in Arizona.
- Inside Out reunited Phyllis Smith and Mindy Kailing, who previously worked together on NBC's adaption of The Office. The show ended its nine-season run two years earlier in 2013.
- Amy Poehler,who voices Joy,now judges the new 2018 NBC show,Making It.
- Inside Out is the third Pixar movie to be directed by Pete Docter, after Monsters Inc., and Up.