You may not realize it, but you know those two gentlemen in the center. That’s Peter Docter and Jonas Rivera, the director and producer of Disney•Pixar’s Inside Out. That’s not all though; they’ve also had a hand in a bunch of other Pixar films you are probably familiar with such as A Bug’s Life, Toy Story, Toy Story 2, WALL•E, Monsters INC, Cars, and Brave.
Both men have a long history with Pixar going back to 1990 when Docter came on board as the studio’s THIRD animator. In 1994, Rivera joined the Pixar team to work on Toy Story as the studios first intern! They’ve definitely come a long way in the last 20 years and have helped make some memorable films.
Disclosure: Disney, Pixar, and Disney Junior have sponsored my travel, accommodations, most meals, and activities during this event. All opinions (and fun) in this article here are mine unless noted otherwise.
As I told you last week, when Pixar makes a film they do their research. Whether that’s a trip to the midwest for horseback riding or rafting down a river or meeting with neuroscientists and psychologists to understand how the mind works, like they did when researching for INSIDE OUT.
When making the geography of the mind Pete and Jonas had a bit of fun. Some of the fun areas ended up in the film like Train of Thought, Long-Term Memory, and Dream Production but other ideas like Stream of Consciousness and Brainwashing didn’t make it too far into production. They also thought about how big or little the mind was so they actually mapped it around a 1959 framed photo of Disneyland!
We wondered if Rivera and Docter knew the film they were making would actually impact kids more than just providing entertainment. They just wanted to make a fun film so how could it help kids? We all have the same emotions. Whether you live in a big city, Scotland, remote tribe in Africa or even Papua New Guinea, we all have the same emotions so that’s how they went into making the film – being a universal idea that everyone could relate to. It wasn’t until Dr. Dacher Keltner, a professor of psychology at the University of California at Berkeley, first made the suggestion that the film could maybe kids handle their feelings. “I was like whoa, whoa, whoa, we’re just trying to make a funny film,” said Docter.
It wasn’t until Rivera and Docter started hearing from families around the world, especially those with kids that are autistic, that INSIDE OUT has helped them. Their kids are able to use the characters to express how they are feeling when before they could never really vocalize it. Rivera told us that even at home he experienced the film’s impact. One morning his young daughter came out of her room wearing 1 “Joy” sock and 1 “Fear” sock. He began to explain, “You know you have two…” to which she explained that she was wearing both socks because that’s how she was feeling that day. She made a conscious decision to wear 1 of each instead of wearing the matching pair. Docter added, “Yeah, and I was in Minnesota yesterday and they said they laid out all of the emotions. the kid would come in and pick up the ones he’s feeling as a way of expressing for the first time really, which is pretty powerful.” I personally like this book of mixed emotions. My 5-year-old will ask me to read her a book when she’s feeling that particular way.
The main goal Rivera and Docter had when they made INSIDE OUT was to make a good film. The fact that it has now connected parents and kids is, “a pretty cool reward” as Rivera put it. I’d say they made an AMAZING film, wouldn’t you?
The Big Question
I’m sure you want to know if there will be be an INSIDE OUT squal. Jonas told us! After spending 5 years of their lives on Inside Out they are very proud of all of the characters and the world that they built. Before that, Jonas and Pete worked on “Up” together and they were proud of that one too but what he said, “what wakes us up in the morning, kinda gets us fired up, is the idea of something new.” INSIDE OUT is definitely a fun world and it has some open endedness to the end but they are more leaning towards the NEW and EXCITING so while they “never say never”, right now, an Inside Out sequal is not on the horizon. The good thing is, they already have a few ideas up their sleeves for other films!
They filled us in on a big secret too, there are about 8 films in different stages of development right now! The most the studio has ever had at one time. The next one out is of course, The Good Dinosaur followed by Finding Dory. The others we’ll just have to wait and see!
Disney•Pixar’s Inside Out is out NOW on Digital HD & Disney Movies Anywhere! You can get the Blu-Ray Combo Pack – Tuesday, November 3, 2015