While Pixar’s “Inside Out” may not be the emotional powerhouse that its predecessors “Toy Story” and “Up” were, its animation is unlike anything you’ve seen before.
That’s because the animation studio blew through its budget to do so.
The movie follows 11-year-old Riley, spirited and goofy, as her dad’s new job in San Francisco uproots the family from the Midwest. Helping to navigate Riley through this change are her emotions: Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The anthropomorphic emotions live in Headquarters, the control center of Riley’s mind, where they work together to advise her through everyday life.
Even in a technicolor dreamscape like the set of “Inside Out,” the emotions manage to shine brightest. If you look at Joy, her clothes, teeth, and hair appear plain, however, her skin appears to shed twinkling particles of energy. She also appears to be glowing.
When Anger is particularly angry, his skin prickles even more. This technique informs the viewer how the emotions are feeling.
The movie’s co-director Ronnie del Carmen (“Up,” “Ratatouille”) told Business Insider in a recent interview at Pixar’s Emeryville, California, campus that this bold style wasn’t easy to produce.
“Having a character that is made of little particles that actually move around and lift up and disappear and not be distracting” was a tall order, he said. But, “these characters are uniquely their own. They’re not toys, they’re not made out of plastic or wood, they’re emotions. So that’s why they have that effervescent quality to them.”
Ralph Egerton, the film’s production designer, said the look didn’t come cheap either. While the movie’s production budget is unknown, similar Pixar films like “Up” and “Brave” cost $US175 million and $US185 million, respectively. Egerton told Cinemablend’s Nick Romano:
“We worked on the idea of her [Joy] being effervescent or sparkly for champagne bubbles, for about eight months. And it got to the point where we couldn’t afford to do it. There was just no way. … None of the other characters had it, because we just couldn’t afford it. When John [Lasseter] saw it on Joy he said, ‘That’s great. Put it on all the characters.’ You could hear the core technical staff just hitting the ground, the budget falling through the roof. But it was all good. They found a way to make it work.”
They certainly made it work. See for yourself when “Inside Out” arrives in theatres June 19.
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