Try not to get too emotional about this, but how can you not anticipate the next Disney-Pixar film, “Inside Out”? It”s a Pixar product, after all, and we”ve come to expect artistic distinction when that name is attached to computer-animated movies. This studio is the creative spirit behind the “Toy Story,” “Cars” and “Finding Nemo” franchises.
“Inside Out” was screened in a non-competitive setting at the Cannes Film Festival, and critics already have begun praising the film, which is due out in theaters on June 19.
The movie’s official description states, “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 her everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to her 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.”
Variety.com praised “Inside Out” for its staying power. “In terms of its ambitious underlying concept, however, “Inside Out” blows the others away, going beyond the screen to become something audiences will carry around for the rest of their days – not as tie-in merchandise or spinoff theme parks (although there will inevitably be plenty of both), but as an elegant and iconic visual metaphor for understanding their own emotions, and empathizing with others,” wrote Peter Debruge, Variety’s chief international film critic.
He goes on to explain, “While the initial idea was directly suggested by Disney’s 1943 “Reason and Emotion” short a wartime one-reeler that characterized the eponymous disciplines forever dueling for control ” the Pixar team has rethought the model, giving it the most intuitive and indelible form, with the result that viewers can’t help but imagine a similar dynamic operating in their own heads.”
The Associated Press recounts a conversation when directors Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen introduced “Inside Out” at a screening last month at CinemaCon.
Docter told the audience that the story was inspired by watching his own daughter grow up. She actually voiced young Ellie in the 2009 Pixar film “Up,” and Docter called his daughter “very spirited and spunky,” much like the film character. But then she turned 11, and her outlook and attitude changed, he said.
“In ‘Inside Out,’ amid the confusion of adolescence and the stress of the move, Joy and Sadness get sucked out of the control center, leaving only Anger, Fear and Disgust to run the ship,” according to the AP. “As Joy and Sadness struggle to find a way back to headquarters, Riley’s life, personality and childhood innocence melts down as the remaining emotions try to do their best to emulate Joy.”
“This leads to sassy tones where there weren’t meant to be, mood swings, and irrationality — moments that parents of pre-teens, and former pre-teens, know all too well,” the news service points out.
After all, none of us want to believe our little darlings have turned into monsters. It’s far more palatable to blame adolescent changes on struggling emotions.
Beginning May 30 – that’s Saturday – Walt Disney World guests can view a special preview of “Inside Out” at the Imagination Pavilion theater at Epcot. The short sneak peek repeats every 15 to 20 minutes and is included in regular admission.