‘Inside Out’ wasn’t always a sure-fire hit; now available online

October 16, 2015
(Courtesy of Disney/Pixar)

(Courtesy of Disney/Pixar)

By Brian Han

Pixar’s most recent release “Inside Out” became the studio’s third highest grossing film of all time generating $819 million in theaters worldwide.

Outside of the U.S. and the United Kingdom, which country contributed the most to that hefty sum?

The answer to that is South Korea.

“We were so pleased to see how well it did there, that it was able to hit a nerve,” the film’s producer Jonas Rivera told the Korea Times.

Pixar’s Chief Creative Officer, director of classics such as “Toy Story” and executive producer on the majority of films John Lasseter visited the country back in 2014 to thank the country for its unbridled support.

“John came back with so much warmth for Korea and said it’s such a welcoming place,” Rivera said.

“For Jonas and me, we were really hoping to visit South Korea for this film,” Director Pete Docter said. “We went to Jakarta, the Philippines, pretty much everywhere else in the world except there. Next time.”

The two have partnered up together in the past on film’s like “Up.” As complex as the work might be in making an animated feature film, part of their ability to work well together comes from a simple explanation.

“There’s something about having the same passions as a kid and bringing that into your professional adult life and act on that that makes it possible for us to partner on a high level,” Docter said.

It helps that their working relationship is similar to that of Mike and Sully from “Monsters Inc.” — another film on which they collaborated.

“I’m Mike,” said Rivera. ”Plus, I call my wife googly bear.”


Not everyone was so sure the film would be a hit

(Courtesy of Disney/Pixar)

(Courtesy of Disney/Pixar)

The movie is hitting the shelves for its home entertainment release — Oct. 13 for digital and Nov. 3 for DVD/Blu-ray.

The story revolves around an 11-year-old girl named Riley and the world inside her head.

There are a handful of main characters — some human, others embodiments of emotions — in two different worlds. It’s not a simple premise by any means and had a member of the cast wondering about the film’s success before it was released.

“It was a dicey premise,” actor Richard Kind who voiced the character Bing Bong said. “They set up a universe that isn’t easily described in a single sentence. In fact, it took six minutes.”

But Pixar prides itself most on storytelling, and the very favorable critical reception along with box office success proved that point.

Just like most other films from the studio, one particular scene put many viewers in tears. The culprit? Bing Bong.

“I love that a lot of people cried, I absolutely love it,” said Kind. “Honestly, I cry every day, and I do it in front of my children. They always laugh at me, look at me, point at me. If I hear violins in a telephone commercial, I’m done for.”

He admitted that watching some of his parts during production always made him a bit emotional. As it turns out he wasn’t the only one.

“The scene with the memory dump or when the parents reunite with Riley at the very end of the film, that hit me almost every time I saw it over the period of three, four years,” Associate Producer Mark Nielsen said.

“Watching the movie after it was finished, I just couldn’t help it,” Phyllis Smith (The Office) the voice of the character Sadness said.

“I just get sad whenever I see Bing Bong,” Co-Director Josh Cooley said half-jokingly. “I saw it not too long ago at a drive-in. The waterworks did come on.”


Riley’s First Date?

(Courtesy of Disney/Pixar)

(Courtesy of Disney/Pixar)

The home entertainment release always comes with a few goodies. The highlight this time around is a short film called “Riley’s First Date?”

Cooley pitched, wrote and directed the story, while Nielsen took the reigns as producer.

“We were super fortunate to be able to inherit the crew from “Inside Out” to tackle this,” Cooley said. “It was kind of like Dad gave us the keys to the Tesla.”

Nielsen reminisced on his most memorable first date from over 20 years ago, but that was because it was so terrible that he couldn’t forget it.

“I had a nightmare date that happened here in San Francisco where everything went wrong,” he said.

“It started to go wrong when I left my wallet on a payphone. I was calling to find the restaurant that I was taking her to, and I didn’t realize it until we had finished dinner. I had to apologize to the waiter, I had to call my father for a credit card number.”

He also lost their movie tickets, which were also in his wallet. As for his valet parking ticket? That was in there, too.

“To top it all off, I got her home much much later than her parents wanted because of everything that went wrong that night,” he said shaking his head.

As for Riley’s first date, it focuses more on the moments before she goes out. Her dad has his own suspicions about the boy coming to pick her up, only to find they might have something in common.