“Inside Out,” one of Pixar’s beloved films, could have been drastically different in its emotional journey. Instead of the iconic pairing of Joy with Sadness, Joy was initially envisioned to be partnered with Fear on her adventure within Riley’s mind.
The film, released in 2015, has cemented itself as a cherished part of Pixar’s filmography, known for its emotionally resonant storytelling. Pixar films are known for their meticulous craftsmanship, and it’s common for them to undergo significant changes during development.
“Inside Out” was no exception, experiencing a transformation before becoming the beloved movie audiences know today. The film’s core premise revolves around the emotions within Riley’s mind, but the original concept had a distinct narrative direction. In the early stages, Riley was preparing for middle school, and Joy’s role was to cling to Riley’s childhood, making it difficult for her to grow up. When Riley embarrasses herself on her first day of school, it is attributed to Joy’s interference. In this version, it was Joy and Fear who embarked on the central journey.
The character of Sadness did not play a prominent role in the film until a crucial “brain trust” meeting. Pixar’s creative process involves years of storyboarding and revisions before animation begins. During preparations for the “brain trust” meeting, director Peter Docter and editor Kevin Nolting recognized that the story needed a significant adjustment. It was during a walk that Docter had a breakthrough moment, realizing that elevating the role of Sadness would provide the emotional depth the film required.
This decision proved to be pivotal, as Sadness became a central character who conveyed a profound message. “Inside Out” communicates the idea that embracing sad moments is as crucial to a fulfilling life as embracing happy ones. It teaches Joy, and the audience, that expecting constant happiness is unrealistic, and that challenges are an integral part of life, giving depth and meaning to moments of joy.
Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle