Last week, Pixar released their first teaser trailer for Inside Out, their next film coming Summer 2015. You’ll notice that this teaser holds very little in actual footage of their new film. Instead, we see an emotional roller coaster of a montage revealing some of the most memorable moments from Pixar’s catalog of films. The only one that I counted missing was a moment from Carl and Ellie’s heart wrenching story, otherwise the range of emotions experienced in such a short clip is quite large and varied.
This is clearly intentional considering the focus of their next film. Inside Out tells the story of a young girl, Reilly (Kaitlyn Dias), who moves across country leaving her friends behind and forced to start life a new in San Francisco. However, instead of getting the perspective of Reilly, we actually get an inside look into her mind and her emotions. Each one asserting their personality, this film looks to take a very personal look into the inner thoughts of a child. Her emotions are made up of Joy (Amy Poehler), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Fear (Bill Hader), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), and Anger (Lewis Black).
1. This brings us to reason number one, the actors/actresses they have gathered to portray Reilly’s emotions could not be better. Some of the funniest people in film today will be coming together to bring these emotions to life. If you haven’t heard of these wonderful people, let me enlighten you. Amy Poehler whom you might recognize from Saturday Night Live or more recently her role as the bright, happy, and motivated Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation. Mindy Kaling has her own show, The Mindy Project which she started after her time on The Office. Bill Hader is another Saturday Night Alum who has slowly started to expand into more mainstream film. Phyllis Smith is most recognizable from her part on The Office but she has made an appearance in some smaller films since then. Lewis Black is most famous from his time on The Daily Show and has recently gathered quite a number of parts in the animated industry. The point is, all of these actors are comedy veterans who have also had experience with dramatic roles. They will be able to bring us as high as possible and then bring us crashing down.
2. Pete Docter is the writer and the director who has been with Pixar since the beginning. He has had a direct hand in some of the most memorable Pixar films (Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., Wall-E, and Up) whether it be directing or writing. He is no stranger to pulling on the heart strings of the audience. With this cast at his control, he will have an unprecedented amount of potential to mess with the emotions of the audience.
3. Pixar is stepping outside of its comfort zone. The only possible criticism I could think to give Pixar is that they keep to a pretty standard story telling style. Here, instead of having a protagonist or two to follow around we will be going inside the protagonist themselves. My hope is that this will turn the protagonist into the antagonist as well, after all we are our own worst enemies. While difficult to pull off, this idea could pay off in a mind-bendingly big way. Just imagine a time in your life when you were conflicted about something and how you felt on the inside. Now imagine those forces personified and reacting to your current situation.
4. Pixar’s specialty is playing off of your emotions. They will build you up before bringing you down. So, it only makes sense that they now that they tell the story of those emotions. I can already see it now, when Reilly is at a low point, Happiness is going to be trying to keep things balanced but it won’t work. I would even go as far to say that at some point during the lowest point in the film, we will see Happiness die, or whatever the equivalent is for an emotion. They will be giving a literal visual representation of a hopeless situation. This would basically be like the opening montage in Up and have a balloon that slowly deflates around him has the situation gets worse. Honestly, depending on how dark Pixar want’s to go, this film has the potential to be the most emotionally gutting yet. Despite this possibility, I am excited beyond belief and a small part hopes that they will push the limits of the genre like they have in the past.