It’s Inside Out week! The highly anticipated flick opens nationwide this Friday, June 19th. This writer has seen it twice, and to echo much of the praise it has received, it’s a masterpiece. An all access screening was held yesterday three days ahead of the film’s release in theaters all over the country. We hope our incredible readers were also in the audience! This all access screening included a behind-the-scenes visit at Pixar as well as a Twitter Q&A session with Pete Docter and Amy Poehler (Joy), who are currently in Australia as part of the film’s press tour. Those in attendance received a free poster as well as a lanyard and Inside Out badge which grants access to more goodies online at Disney Movie Rewards!
The tour of Pixar, with Pete and producer Jonas Rivera as hosts, was awesome. There was lots of Inside Out artwork and storyboards, as well as Docter and Rivera sharing their labor of love and all the time and research that went into it. The two of them always bring warmth and camaraderie, and the same was true here. I can’t think of any other people who would be more qualified to give a tour of Pixar! (Besides John Lasseter of course).
In the Story Corner, which is a wall papered with numerous story sketches from various Pixar films, is a tribute to the late, great story artist, Joe Ranft. Regarded as the soul of Pixar, and a hero to many in the animation world, his influence is still deeply felt at Pixar. His sketches of what happens in a story meeting is framed on the wall, and it was such an enjoyable and sweet addition to the tour.
Highlights from the video included “running” into some favorite Pixarians, such as Ronnie del Carmen, Inside Out‘s co-director, who Pete praised. He let the audience know how great del Carmen’s contributions were, and that if we loved the movie it was thanks to him, and if we hated it, it was thanks to him! (Definitely only the former).
We also got to drop in on Andrew Stanton and his Finding Dory team in editorial, which included co-director Angus McLane, and producer Lindsey Collins. While the visit was brief and there was no footage of the upcoming film, Andrew did joke a little bit about the grueling process in cutting down the story until you get it right. “You know what that feels like,” he said to Pete. “We don’t!”
Afterwards we dropped in on Pete Sohn and The Good Dinosaur team! He informed us that 1/8 of the crew was present, and we got to see one shot of animation being finaled. Sohn gestured to the animators in the room, listing the beloved Pixar characters they’ve animated and brought to life. There will be so much more to see of this movie ahead of its November release and we can’t wait. The Good Dinosaur‘s original director Bob Peterson even made a cameo, informing Pete that his Roz voice was his regular voice. The audience loved it, as well as his Dug impression. It was especially wonderful to see Peterson and we can only hope he’ll be sitting in the director’s chair again soon. (You can even spot his name in the credits to Inside Out).
We got to see John Lasseter’s famous office, a toy collector’s dream. The big man himself wasn’t in his office, but Jonas and Pete found him in the story room for Toy Story 4, with some help from that movie’s co-director, Josh Cooley. John very funnily hid the room from the camera, and did his best to “shoo” us away. The development on this film is highly secretive, but John promised we would know more in time. He also got to show off his Inside Out Hawaiian shirt!
This video, which ran just under twenty minutes, was an excellent preview before seeing Inside Out. Heading into Pixar via cameras is often the only way to get inside, and all that positivity, humor, and cheerfulness never disappoint. We also get to see just how collaborative things are over there. It’s always a team effort when making a Pixar film, and the whole team is lauded for their contributions.
Following the film was the Q&A with Pete Docter and Amy Poehler via satellite. They were both exuberant and definitely not short on praises for the other. Amy mentioned the collaborative spirit at Pixar and got a lot of laughs at our screening. When asked which emotions guided her as a young girl, she said that she was carefree and joyful like Riley, but with some anger as well, owing to her Boston roots. That inspired some cheers from us fellow Bostonians! It’s obvious why she was chosen to play Joy, but Pete explained that Joy was a tough character to write. At preview screenings, audiences loved the movie but hated Joy or found her annoying. Luckily, Amy’s performance saved the day; Joy is flawed but still lovable. She took cues from Tom Hanks’ performance as Woody to help her with the character, and it pays off. For those who have seen the film, the parallels between Joy and Woody are certainly there.
Check back here for our review of Inside Out, as well as the short film, “Lava”!