Saturday, July 04, 2015

Interviewing Pixar's Inside Out creators

Last month, I had the intense pleasure of a phone interview for Oakland Magazine with Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera, the director and producer of Pixar's Inside Out (they both have Oakland/Piedmont ties). I found the movie to be an extraordinary, moving film far deeper than what children might be able to garner from it. Its target audience basically is parents, a thesis which Docter and Rivera agreed to. Yet don't let that stop you from bringing your kids; there's enough there to entertain and amuse as young as five years old.

Due to the article wordcount I wasn't able to include all the great things they told me. I'll add one here. Jonas Rivera said that his favorite part of the movie is a short scene where Joy doesn't want Riley to go to sleep and they put on their favorite song and "she skates along with her. It's an impossible relationship; it's the only time they're on screen together." Riley doesn't even know Joy's a poignant thought that the single most important aspect of her young personality is unknown to her.

I watched a special media showing before the official release date with friend and fellow historical novelist Erin McCabe, and boy, were we both sniffling, as was the entire audience. Friends who cry together stay together, right? I watched again later with my family, and noticed more the second time. For instance, I had noted that Joy has blue hair, but it didn't really register until the second viewing. Joy must always be tinged with sadness, because the remembrance of joy is the remembrance of something we once experienced and can't ever again in the same way. Which reminds me, I really need to read Proust sometime.

My article begins, "Pixar’s magic: making the events on the big screen somehow related to our small, foible-filled lives. And this year’s offering Inside Out proves that enchanted formula works again, but this time to a degree that leaves audience members in tears of reflection." Read the full text at Oakland Magazine's website.

. . . .
P.S. I previously interviewed Brave's filmmakers and got to visit the much-vaunted Pixar campus in Emeryville, California. Read that post here.

P.P.S. One more tidbit. I felt the film may revolutionize how people think about thinking. For instance, if we have concrete ways of thinking about emotions, it might be easier to say, "I'll let Joy take the helm and push Anger aside." I asked Docter and Rivera if they intended that, as a bit of self-help for viewers, and they pshawed me. "No, we're just trying to entertain." Sure.:)

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