Pixar’s Inside Out Shows What Animation Can Do


I guess I missed the boat on this one. I had not even heard of the next feature film coming up for Pixar’s Pete Docter (Monsters Inc., Up). It’s called Inside Out and the whole thing apparently takes place in an eleven year old girl’s head. That’s not the exciting part, though. The exciting part is that all the main characters are her emotions (anger, fear, happiness, etc.).

Docter recently answered a few questions about the film at Siggraph, a computer graphics convention. Talking to THR, he called the film ‘one of the most challenging films I’ve ever put together.’ That’s a lot coming from the guy who made Up.

Why is Inside Out so challenging? Because the characters are emotions made of particles, apparently.

Here’s what Docter said:

One story is hard enough. This is two stories that need to talk to each other … The characters are created with this energy because we are trying to represent what emotions would look like. They are made up of particles that actually move. Instead of being skin and solid, it is a massive collection of energy.

While Docter did not drop any more information about how Pixar accomplished the construction of these characters, that’s a pretty tantalizing description. Presumably the ‘two stories’ will involve the interaction of emotions in the girl’s head, and her ‘real life’ experiences outside. That’s just a guess, though.

If Docter can pull off this kind of film, it will be yet another feather in Pixar’s cap. The studio has already proven incredibly ambitious when it comes to animation, but they’re really only as good as their scripts. Up, Wall-E, and the Toy Story films were all visually impressive, but without the heart and warmth of the stories they would have been nothing but exercises in CGI. Inside Out sounds like a brilliant idea, if Docter and Co. can keep the spirit alive.

Inside Out has been touted as a ‘wildly ambitious’ film that will show ‘what animation can do.’ We shouldn’t expect anything less from Pixar.

Inside Out comes to theatres June 19, 2015, so we have a long ways to wait for this one. Still, it sounds pretty exciting to me. What do you think?