Pixar's next movie is unlike anything you've seen before.
Next year Pixar will release Inside Out, a movie which takes place in the mind of an 11 year old girl. It’s a risky concept, the plot is unlike any other animated movie we’ve ever seen before. It’s surreal, a tad confusing but in essence perfectly Pixar. After all they’re a studio which made their name on pushing the boundaries of imagination, and Inside Out could end up being their best work yet.
Inside Out director Pete Docter previously worked on Up
Any information on Inside Out had been kept closely guarded by Pixar since the film was announced. What we knew was, the movie would take place inside the mind of an 11 year old girl and we’d encounter five emotions which were being brought to life. However at this week’s Annecy International Animated Film Festival, director Pete Docter gave us our clearest idea yet of what to expect from the movie, due out in June next year.
During his presentation, Docter showed footage from the film’s opening sequences and for the first time laid out its full plot and his vision for the movie. Docter, who previously directed Pixar’s Up, said his inspiration for the film was the “strong emotional experience” he had watching his daughter grow up. “There is something that is lost when you grow up — and the film became a way to explore that change on an emotional level,” he told Annecy audience.
The mind of an 11 year old girl named Riley provides the whole setting for Inside Out. She isn't the film’s main character, inside the movie takes place inside her subconscious where we meet her anthropomorphised emotions, who manage how she feels using a control panel.
Each emotion is its own unique colour coded character, they help Riley process and store new experiences to make memories which they record within brightly coloured orbs. Docter described the orbs as looking like “those translucent bath-bubble balls”. The memories are then filled away nightly and eventually erased in long-term storage by Minion like creatures, called “Forgetters”.
The movie’s opening sequence will reportedly be reminiscent of Up and show a montage where we’ll see Riley’s first memory being created. We’ll then follow her until her parents relocate to a new town where the film begins. Within the sequence there will also be a scene where the Joy and Sadness emotions encounter each other for the first time, with the former struggling to work out why the later exists.
The basic story of Inside Out could sound like any other movie geared towards a younger audience. Young girl moves to a new town and struggles to cope, we’ve seen that plot line many times before. But setting the movie inside Riley’s mind, means it has the opportunity to explore adolescent emotions with a depth unlike anything we've seen before. Docter even consulted with psychologists while developing the story, to ensure the tricky subject was tackled correctly.
If you’ve seen Up and Toy Story (on which he worked as a writer), you’ll now what Docter is capable of. He can certainly tug on the heartstrings and has proven himself to be more than apt at understanding and expressing childhood emotions. He might have once helped bring toys to life, but Inside Out is certainly both his and Pixar’s most ambitious project yet. Luckily for them, from what we've heard so far Inside Out sounds like it could be the most exciting animated feature we've seen in a long time. It might be over a year away, but Inside Out sounds like a movie well worth waiting for.