From the tepuis of South America to a monster-filled metropolis, Academy Award®-winning director Pete Docter has taken audiences to unique and imaginative places. In 2015, he will take us to the most extraordinary location of all – inside the mind of an 11-year-old named Riley.
Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.
(official movie synopsis via Pixar)
When I was a kid, an eternity ago way before the glorious age of Pixar, I often imagined that deep down inside me somewhere was a gigantic control centre full of tiny small people orchestrating everything I said and did.
I have no idea now why I even thought to conceive of my emotions and thoughts in that way other that I was a writer in the making, imaginative leaps and bounds came easily to me and I seemed to have an inbuilt desire to anthropomorphise just about anything given half a chance.
Why not my emotions, which let’s face it are already intrinsically human and a part of who I am anyway.
It all goes to explain why Pixar’s next feature film, Inside Out, their first since 2013’s Monsters University, is striking such a chord with me.
It’s like the director Pete Doctor dived deep into my head, took a good look around (not for the fainthearted I might add) and then proceeded to capture it all perfectly onscreen in what looks like one of the boldest, most imaginative and heartfelt films to come along since, well, Up.
It’s not surprising that he has managed to so perfectly capture what it feels like to be a person of any age, but especially a child, given John Lasseter, head of animation at Disney and founder of Pixar, had this to say to Bleeding Cool about Docter’s intentions for the film:
“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.”
If this was what he had in mind, pun most definitely intended, then mission accomplished in a thousand different ways.
The newly released trailer, which debuted on The Ellen Show last Tuesday when two of the film’s voice cast Amy Poehler and Bill Hader made an appearance, takes you even deeper into Riley’s mind than ever before as we navigate the complicate barrage of emotions she has to deal with when she moves to San Francisco from the midwest and has to adjust to a whole new, fundamentally different, well, everything.
As you would expect with a Pixar released, they go and above what you might conceive of for a film of this kind.
After Joy and Sadness are sucked into the farthest realms of Long Term Memory, represented by all manner of colourful balls arranged in what looks like endlessly colourful rows, they go on a remarkable journey through the farthest reaches of Riley’s consciousness, visiting Imagination Land, Dream Productions – where an hilariously starstruck Joy is thrilled to meet Rainbow Unicorn; “I loved you in Fairy Dream Adventure Part 7. OK, bye, I love you” – and coming across the deeply unsettling image of the Birthday Clown with his, um, celebratory mallet?
Quite possibly the most wonderful scene in the trailer is when a brain freeze races through Riley’s brain – it looks, sounds and feels exactly how I imagine it would, another win for Pixar’s animators and writers who can do no wrong.
Simply out Inside Out looks like one of the best movies of the year,as visually rich as it is clever and emotionally evocative.
I am SO excited it’s coming out soon! And sad I have to wait for it and angry it’s not out yet and …
Inside Out opens in USA on 19 June 2015 and in Australia on 25 June 2015.