Pete Docter has an incredible resume, having contributed to the story for Toy Story, Toy Story 2, and WALL-E, in addition to having directed Monsters, Inc. and Up, two of Pixar’s critically-acclaimed films. Although you may wonder why he did not direct Monsters University, the prequel to his first directorial effort at the studio, the reasoning is that he was working on an ambitious original project called Inside Out. The film, which takes place inside the mind of an 11-year-old girl, is a fascinating concept but difficult to describe. After the break, find what Docter had to say about what is making the development process challenging as well!
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter ahead of the annual Siggraph conference, a show highlighting computer graphics, Docter said that the film is “one of the most challenging stories I’ve ever had to put together.” He explains that while the young girl is what the story revolves around, it is actually her emotions that are the main characters, including anger, disgust, joy, and sadness. The story of what is happening to this girl on the outside has to match up with what is going on inside her mind, which is why Docter says that the film’s story has been so difficult to develop. Echoing Pixar’s emphasis on working hard at making a story as strong as possible, Docter states that, “One story is hard enough…This is two stories that need to talk to each other.” The two stories’ presence, inside the mind and outside of it, is likely where the title Inside Out came from.
Further, the animation process sounds like it will not be any easier to perfect, at least not from the description that Docter provides – “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.” I cannot begin to imagine what that looks like. From the film’s announcement at the D23 Expo in 2011, I knew this was a bold concept, but the more I hear about it, the more excited I get about how unique this film can turn out to be. On top of that, the film is in great hands – I am biased because Docter is my favorite director at the studio – and it has the potential to be the most ambitious project yet at Pixar. We should hear more about the film at this summer’s D23 Expo in August.
Inside Out is scheduled to debut in theaters on June 19, 2015.