Do you ever look at someone and wonder what is going on inside their head? Disney•Pixar’s original new film “Inside Out” ventures inside the mind to find out.
Based in Headquarters, the control center inside 11-year-old Riley’s mind, five Emotions are hard at work, led by lighthearted optimist Joy, whose mission is to make sure Riley stays happy. Fear heads up safety, Anger ensures all is fair and Disgust prevents Riley from getting poisoned—both physically and socially. Sadness isn’t exactly sure what her role is, and frankly, neither is anyone else.
“The Emotions are kind of like the voices in our heads,” says director Pete Docter. “When we were just getting started on this film, we looked around—at our kids, friends, co-workers—and we realized that everybody has a default temperament. We all go through periods of being happy or sad, but certain people are just happy or angry or what have you. Riley is one of those happy kids. So Joy had to be the first Emotion to show up, and she has a very special bond with Riley.”
“Joy has 33 beautiful seconds of being the only one there,” says Amy Poehler, who lends her voice to Joy. “Then Riley starts to cry and Sadness shows up. Joy realizes that she’s going to have to share Riley with all the other feelings and emotions.”
When Riley’s family relocates to a scary new city, the Emotions are on the job, eager to help guide her through the difficult transition. But when Joy and Sadness are inadvertently swept into the far reaches of Riley’s mind—taking some of her core memories with them—Fear, Anger and Disgust are left reluctantly in charge. “Think about that,” says executive producer John Lasseter. “An 11-year-old is left without Joy and Sadness—only Anger, Fear and Disgust. Does that sound like any 11-year-olds you know?”
Joy and Sadness must venture through unfamiliar places—Long Term Memory, Imagination Land, Abstract Thought and Dream Productions—in a desperate effort to get back to Headquarters, and Riley. Along the way, they meet some colorful characters—from the Forgetters, who are Mind Workers in charge of sorting Riley’s memories, to Riley’s imaginary friend named Bing Bong, who is searching for a way to make Riley remember him. “He was a favorite when Riley was a little kid with an active imagination,” says Docter. “But these days, he’s like an out-of-work actor who’s desperately trying to make his comeback.”
Loaded with Pixar’s signature charm, “Inside Out” features a mind full of memorable characters, poignant moments and humor. “Our goal, right off the top, was to make it fun,” says producer Jonas Rivera. “My kids have seen it and all they talk about is Anger. They think he’s really funny. And the journey that Joy and Sadness take is one big, cool adventure.
“I think adults—parents—will see it in a completely different way,” continues Rivera. “It’ll still be fun, but there’s something deeper in it for them. That’s something Walt Disney always wanted to do.”
“I just love the crazy amount of heart that’s in this film,” adds Poehler. “In minutes you go from crying to laughing. And it just looks so incredibly beautiful. It is like a world that feels very familiar and really magical at the same time.”
Helping to bring the characters to life is a creative and comedic ensemble voice cast, including Poehler as Joy, Bill Hader as Fear, Mindy Kaling as Disgust, Lewis Black as Anger and Phyllis Smith as Sadness. Riley is voiced by Kaitlyn Dias, and providing the voices of Mom and Dad are Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan. “We have a dream cast,” says Docter. “We could bring in material, describe what we want out of a scene, and then workshop with them about how they might say it. They would give us what we wrote, plus plenty of improvised alternate lines. It’s been fun.”
“Inside Out” was directed by Docter (“Up,” “Monsters, Inc.”), produced by Rivera (“Up”), co-directed by Ronnie Del Carmen (“Dug’s Special Mission”) and executive produced by Lasseter (“Toy Story,” “Cars”) and Andrew Stanton (“Finding Nemo,” “WALL•E”). The screenplay was penned by Docter, Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley from an original story by Docter and Del Carmen. Academy Award®–winning composer Michael Giacchino (“The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “Up”) was called on to provide the score.
Opening across the Philippines on August 19, “Inside Out” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures.