Pete Docter Talks Pixar's 'Inside Out'

Inside Out

After a few relatively lackluster years, it appears as though Pixar is getting back on track with an upcoming slate of intriguing-looking original features -- like Inside Out, the next effort from Monsters, Inc and Up director Pete Docter.

Docter teased footage from Inside Out during the D23 Expo in Anaheim last weekend, and later spoke with attendees at a panel alongside the movie's producer, Jonas Rivera. "What always excites me is finding a story that can only be done in animation," the Los Angeles Times quoted Docter as telling the audience. "It has to have an element of truth to it, though."

To that end, Inside Out takes a fairly universal story -- following "an outgoing 11-year-old girl named Riley whose family moves from Minnesota to San Francisco just as she's hitting the turbulent emotional waters of adolescence" -- and adds an only-in-the-'toons twist by splitting the action between Riley's external life and her internal one.

How, you ask? By giving life to Riley's emotions, a motley gang that includes Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Fear (Bill Hader), Joy (Amy Poehler), and Sadness (Office vet Phyllis Smith). It's a terrific, totally Docter-like approach to storytelling, and it represents such a breath of fresh air for Pixar of late that the Times wonders if execs as the studio (and its corporate parent Disney) are finding themselves well acquainted with Fear. Animation fans, on the other hand, should be jumping for Joy.

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Jeff is an entertainment writer and editor whose work currently appears at a variety of sites, including Rotten Tomatoes, Paste, American Songwriter, Popdose, Dadnabbit, Diffuser, and Ultimate Classic Rock.

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