For most Pixar films, the Blu-Ray and DVD extras give the audience great insight into the film making process at the famed animation studio. Where “Inside Out” truly stands out, is in some of the more personal and heartfelt features that they put on this film. While I wrote an article a few weeks ago about why Pete Docter should get nominated for Best Director, the features here shift the attention away from Docter, and instead to the incredible team behind the movie.
First, the Blu-Ray of the film comes with two shorts: “Lava” and “Riley’s First Date?” Anyone who saw the film in theaters has already seen the Lava short, an excellent mix of musical storytelling and incredible animation. The short has already garnered praise, and will likely continue Pixar’s streak of receiving a Best Animated Short nomination at the Oscars.
“Riley’s First Date?” was an incredibly enjoyable visit to the world of the Inside Out after the events of the film. The emotions in Riley’s parents head are as enjoyable as they were the first time, and take a much larger role in the story this time around. While we still see our favorite emotions, the humor here between Mom and Dad are enjoyable and really hit. Just like the Toy Story shorts, this felt like a worthy return to the characters.
Like one would expect, the audio and visual transfer from the big screen to your living room is flawless. One of the more impressive things about watching the movie from home is the incredible detail put into ambient noises that became a big part of the final film. The various sounds range from memories clanking into each other, whisking away, or even the pressing of buttons all sound important and maintain the quality of the film.
Speaking of sound, one of my favorite featurettes on the Blu-Ray was “Into the Unknown: The Sound of Inside Out.” The featurette introduces us to the incredible arts of sound editing and sound mixing. The team discusses how they choose to create sounds, often layering several sounds to create highly unique noises. One that I thought was incredibly well done was the way in which they created memories versus core memories. It was a subtle difference, but definitely contributes to the film. Even if you don’t have the Blu-Ray, you can watch this featurette here.
The “Mapping the Mind” featurette also discusses the difficulties in creating the world of Inside Out. Docter stresses that they didn’t want to put the film in the “brain” per se, but still wanted to incorporate some biology into the designs. It’s really incredible to see the small touches that got to the characters and set design just right. “The Misunderstood Art of Animation Film Editing” also delves into the struggle to create a scene or interaction in animation, and the process that leads to scene cuts or restructuring. An interesting piece to anyone interested in that side of the film.
The best featurette in my opinion was the “Paths to Pixar: The Women of Inside Out.” The featurette asks various crew members how they got to the positions they are within the company, including interviews with actresses Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, and Mindy Kaling. While the actresses were each extremely thankful their opportunity, the spotlight on the animators and producers, such as Kim White and Meg LeFauvre, was even more interesting. Really, if you or any children in your family want to become an animator, this might be the most inspiring featurette to watch. It was enlightening, and really put the crew center stage when they are usually left in the background.
The deleted scenes each have intros from Docter explaining why they weren’t in the film. Like most deleted scenes, the scenes that were deleted would have definitely changed the mood of the film. It is still interesting to see how the crew struggled to tell this very cerebral story, and while the finished product is of high quality, there were obvious missteps that helped the crew learn.
More of this is explored in the “Mixed Emotions” and “Story of the Story” featurettes, which give different takes on the story on how the film was created from the various people involved. My big take aways were the (lack) of use of shadows with Joy, whose own light actually casts a pseudo-shadow onto her other characters, and how after meeting with Amy Poehler they essentially re-wrote the whole movie in one day. Hearing how the story is cracked is always fun, and this does not disappoint.
The final bonus feature of note is “Our Dads The Filmmakers.” Another really unique bonus feature, the segment serves as a pseudo-documentary for the film as it was in production from the points-of-view of Elie Docter and Gracie Giacchino. The girls parents, Oscar winners Pete Docter and composer Michael Giacchino, gave the girls access to the creative process as it occurs. In fact, one scene even sparks the origin of the incredible score that Giacchino created for the film. Considering that Docter has stated on several occasions that Elie was the inspiration for the movie, seeing the production of the film from the POV of the children was really interesting.
The bonus features also include segments of the score, an animated hodgepodge of “Mind Candy,” and trailers from around the world. It’s a very complete Blu-ray and is a must own for anyone looking to peak behind the curtain at Pixar.
Pixar’s Inside Out is now available on Blu-Ray or DVD. It is directed by Pete Docter and stars Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Richard Kind, Kaitlyn Dias, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan, Flea, John Ratzenberg, Paula Poundstone, Paula Pell, Dave Goelz, Frank Oz, Josh Cooley, and Bobby Moynihan.