According to director Pete Docter, each emotion is based on a shape: Joy is based on a star, Sadness is a teardrop, Anger is a fire brick, Fear is a raw nerve, and Disgust is broccoli. He noted that he likes broccoli very much, however.
The writers considered up to 27 different emotions, but settled on five (Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear, and Anger) to make it less complicated. Some of the major emotions that ended up being cut included Surprise, Pride, and Trust.
Psychologists and other experts were consulted so the writers could make the way Riley's mind works scientifically accurate. For example, it is believed that short-term memories made during the day are converted into long-term memories during sleep, which is what happens in Riley's mind.
When Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera pitched the film to Mindy Kaling, she was moved to tears and said, "I think it's great that you guys are making a film that shows it's difficult to grow up and that it's okay to be sad about it." According to Pete Docter, they exclaimed, "Quick! Write that down!"
Originally Joy would be teamed with Fear rather than Sadness. The creators thought they would be the funnier pairing. They ended up going with Sadness instead when Pete Docter was on a Sunday walk and then had a bad train of thought. He feared he'd get fired and lose his friends. Because of this he realized Joy needed to realize it was okay for Sadness to be at the controls once in a while.
As Kaitlyn Dias was 11 years old when cast as the voice of Riley, she went through puberty and her voice deepened considerably. She had to adjust her voice to make it sound younger later on in production.
When Pete Docter first pitched the idea for this film to Pixar head John Lasseter, he said, "Imagine the fun we're gonna have when it comes to casting. We could get people like Lewis Black as Anger!" In the end, they did end up casting Lewis Black as Anger.
According to Lewis Black (who plays Anger), when Pixar pitched this film to him, he received a box of previous Pixar films and a letter that suggested, "... that I may not know who Pixar is. Which meant that they were crazy or they thought I was just some sort of recluse."
One of the various aspects of Riley's mind that was cut from the film was a department called "Faces & Names." This was the department in charge of pairing up names of people Riley has met with their respective faces, but the leaders of either department dislike each other and do not speak (which explains the lapse in memory people get when they cannot remember someone's name).
The cards used that create the house of cards are actually portraits of Riley's mom and dad. They each represent the king and queen respectively. Riley is represented as the Jack but with an "R" instead of a "J."
For the voice of toddler-age Riley, the producers simply recycled old dialogue of Mary Gibbs, who provided the voice of Boo in Monsters, Inc. (2001). She is even listed in the credits under additional voices. Coincidentally, toddler-age Riley's hair is styled the same way as Boo's.
The bubbly texture of the emotions was originally supposed to be just on Joy, but then due to the difficulty of animating this unique design, after eight months, the animators decided to scrap it altogether because it became unaffordable. However, when Pixar Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter saw it, he said, "That's great. Put it on all the characters." Commenting on this incident, production designer Ralph Eggleston said, "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."
Early titles for the movie included; Joy, State of Mind, Mind, Joyless, Trouble in Mind, Life of Riley, Out of our Mind, Down in the Dumps, HQ!, and HeadQuarters. Pixar animator Matt Jones even jokingly suggested the name "Joy Story".
Because of Jurassic World (2015)'s highly successful release, Inside Out is the first Pixar movie to debut at number two at the North American box office during its opening weekend. However, it was nonetheless Pixar's second largest opening weekend after Toy Story 3 (2010). Inside Out later reached number one in its third week, however, during the Fourth of July weekend.
Asked about being offered the role of Disgust, Mindy Kaling said, "I'm not asked to do that many things. I think I am sort of very specific, the way I look and talk and what I am interested in. So I sort of resigned myself to writing my own work. When I was asked to do this, the script was amazing. I went up to Pixar and I cried. I was just in a meeting with these guys and they showed me the story and I started weeping."
Kaitlyn Dias (Riley) revealed in an interview that while recording the scenes where Riley is crying, she was also crying as well in the recording studio. She would imagine her cat May dying to trigger an authentic emotional response.
Pete Docter has said that this film was "one of the most challenging I've ever had to put together," because it has to tell what is going on with the girl and what is going on in her mind at the same time.
It is standard now for major-studio animated features to have certain parts be localized and adjusted based on the region the movie is played in. In the North American release of the film, Riley's father's emotions are watching hockey during the dinner sequence. For the international release of the film, they are watching football (or soccer). A recurring motif in the film is Riley's disliking of broccoli. In the Japanese release of the film, the broccoli is replaced with green peppers, as they are more unpopular with Japanese children as opposed to broccoli. In the Hebrew version, when Bing-Bong points to the letters of the "DANGER" sign outside of Abstract Thought, he reads and points to the letters from right-to-left, since Hebrew is written and spelled this way.
When asked about the genders of the emotions, Pete Docter said, "It was intuitive. It felt to me like Anger's very masculine, I don't know why...Sadness felt a little more feminine and Mindy Kaling as Disgust felt right...with Mom and Dad, we skewed them all male and all female for a quick read, because you have to understand where we are, which is a little phony but hopefully people don't mind!"
Kaitlyn Dias (Riley) was originally just a scratch voice, meaning her voice was only to be used to narrate the storyboard cinematic during development to see if scenes were working or not. However the producers liked her so much, they decided to keep her as the voice of Riley in the finished film.
There is a scene in Dream Productions where a camera filter called the "reality distortion filter" is added. This is a direct reference to former Pixar CEO Steve Jobs, where he would convince people of the viability of what they thought was impossible: they called it Steve's "reality distortion field."
The producers were so impressed with Lewis Black's performance as Anger during the film, that they decided to incorporate elements of his stand-up routines into the film. For example, Anger is often seen reading a newspaper, a reference to his stand-up where he will mention looking at a newspaper and reacting unfavorably to the news on it. Anger's outfit of a red tie and a dress shirt is a reference to his stand-up as well, where he will often wear a red tie and a dress shirt with a black sports jacket.
Commenting on the unique character design, Pete Docter has said, "The characters are created with this energy because we are trying to represent what emotions would look like. They are made up of particles that actually move. Instead of skin and solid, it is a massive collection of energy."
According to director Pete Docter, he mentioned that the imaginary boyfriend design (excluding Canadian roots) inside Riley's mind was inspired from British boy band One Direction since he admits that his daughter Elie (whom Riley is modeled after) is a fan of theirs.
The scene with the two guards discussing whose hat belongs to whom while guarding the Subconscious is a nod to the hat-swapping scene between Vladimir and Estragon from Samuel Beckett's play "Waiting for Godot".
The first names of Riley's parents are never mentioned, and the credits note the characters' names simply as "Mom" and "Dad". According to the book "Inside Out: The Essential Guide," their names are Jill and Bill Andersen. However, on Riley's mother's credit card, her name is listed as "K. Ann Andersen" instead.
A very early concept of the movie features an 8-year-old girl who was playing in the woods and was knocked out by a branch and suffered short term memory loss. The movie would have focused on the emotions trying to get the memories back. This concept was discarded very early on as well due to the darker nature of the story. Bill Hader, who provided the voice of Fear, stated that he disliked this treatment of the story. He also went on to say that, as a father, he would be mortified to see a child in such extreme danger as the girl would have been in the film.
When traveling through Imagination Land, two board games can be seen; one is that of a clownfish named "Find Me," a reference to Pixar movie Finding Nemo (2003), and another game, named "Dinosaur World," is a nod to Pixar movie "The Good Dinosaur (2015)", released in November 2015.
The headquarters used by Riley's mother's emotions is the exact same setting as Riley's, except with orange curtains added. According to the animators, the curtains were included so they could re-use Riley's headquarters instead of having to animate a whole new setting. The curtains were also added to invoke the feeling of a talk show, with all the emotions sitting together and communicating.
Inside Mom's head although Sadness makes all of the decisions, it's actually Joy who runs the console. When Sadness decides what they're going to do, she gives an order to Joy who then puts her hands on the console and, for example, signals Dad across the dinner table.
Riley's classroom is No. A113., sharing the same number as the room at the California Institute of Arts where many animators, including John Lasseter and Brad Bird, graduated from. A113 is a common Easter egg in Pixar's films.
Riley's birthday is on 22 January, according to her username in the video-chat program she uses to talk to Meg. Her username is "Riley0122", meaning January 22. She also shares a birthday with Elie Docter, daughter of director Pete Docter, and whom the character of Riley is based off of.
This is the 2nd time Pixar Legend John Ratzenberger has voiced a Construction Worker. The first time being Up (2009). Construction Foreman Tom from Up (2009) only appeared at the start of the film, whilst his character in Inside Out (2015) Fritz only appeared at the end of the film.
Inside Dream Productions, three Posters are visible next to each other showing previous dream productions: "I'm Falling for a Very Long Time Into a Pit," "I Can Fly" and "Something is Chasing Me!" "I'm Falling..." is based on the original poster for the Alfred Hitchcock movie Vertigo.
The long-running British children's comic The Beano has, since the sixties, featured a strip called The Numskulls, which revolves around little people living inside a "real life" person, and being responsible for all his functions, both emotional and mechanical. After the release of Inside Out, The Beano issued a tongue-in-cheek reaction in which the Numskulls (inside their "host") watch the film and criticise it.
After seeing the broccoli pizza in San Francisco, Anger comments on how both the Hawaiians and San Francisco ruined pizza. Interestingly enough, Hawaiian pizza has nothing to do with Hawaii at all, and was in fact, a Canadian invention.
Riley wears the widest varieties of clothing out of all the other characters in a Disney/Pixar film. Counting the outfits Riley is seen wearing as an infant and a toddler as well, she wears a total of 23 outfits or variations of different outfits through the course of the film.
The scene with the two subconscious guards arguing about the hat is a reference to the absurdist play Waiting For Godot. As a further nod to the absurdist nature of the scene, the guard Dave is played by Frank Oz, while the guard Frank is played by Dave Goelz (reversing the names.) Oz & Goelz are both original Muppet performers.
Aside from the five standard colors of the memory orbs based on their corresponding emotion, there are also grey memory orbs, which contain general, non emotional based information such as phone numbers, names of U.S. Presidents, and piano lessons. When a memory is old and faded, it darkens to a sepia-black color and the "video" of the memory in the orb becomes faded and blurry and with muffled sound.
All of the emotions of the different animals shown in the credit sequences all wear the same type of clothing depending on the emotion. Sadness wears glasses, disgust has a purple neckerchief, Anger has a red tie, and Fear has a bow tie.
In North America, the movie's poster (as well as various promotional material) features all the characters inside the silhouette of a generic, genderless human head. This was to make the movie appeal to the younger male demographic, as Pixar was worried having several strong lead female characters (Joy, Sadness, Riley) would alienate the younger male audience. However in foreign releases of the film, such as Europe or South America, the posters and promotional material feature the emotions in a silhouette of a young girl's head.
The Pizza Planet truck can be seen in one of Riley's memories. In trying to run away from Joy for the first time, Bing Bong knocks a few memories off the shelves. These memories roll by in the foreground. One of them, a yellow one, clearly shows the Pizza Planet truck.
This is the first Pixar feature where the camera department has begun to model real lens sets to use as virtual tools; in this case the Cooke S4 and the Arri/Zeiss Ultra Primes. They shot lens distortion charts with each set, and imported that data into the virtual tool system. The Cookes were used to shoot the Real world, the Ultra Primes for the Mind.
Anger's outfit consists of a white dress shirt and a loose-fitting red tie. This is a reference to the trademark outfit of his voice actor, Lewis Black, who almost always wears a white dress shirt and a loose-fitting red tie with a black sports jacket while doing his stand-up routines.
When Bing-Bong empties his bag for Joy to hold the Core Memories, he unloads dozens of memories balls and various other items, including an old boot, an anchor and a sink. This is a reference to the idiom "everything but the kitchen sink". They're implying Bing-Bong's imaginary bag literally has everything, including the kitchen sink.
In the German version the character of Anger is dubbed by Hans-Joachim Heist. Heist appears regularly on late-night satirical show Heute Show (2009) as a character based on Lewis Black - who voices Anger in the original English version.
Marks the second time a Pixar film had a female lead since Brave (2012). With the addition of Sadness paired alongside Joy, it also marks the first Pixar movie to have two female lead characters since the formula used in the studio's past work were mostly male leads with occasional female costars.
Its $90.4 million domestic opening weekend set the record for the highest weekend gross for an original film that is neither a sequel, remake nor a direct adaptation, surpassing the previous record of $77 million set by Avatar (2009).
When Riley and her mom were taking a picture in front of a dinosaur statue, it's shown how that dinosaur statue (including the one that the car crashed into), is going to be used for Disney and Pixar's newest movie, The Good Dinosaur (2015).
As of Summer 2015, it holds the distinction of owning the largest opening weekend gross without taking the #1 spot on the box office charts. It took in a respectable $90 million its first weekend of release, falling short of the $106 million grossed by Jurassic World (2015) which set a new U.S. record the previous weekend with over $208 million in tickets sales.
During the DVD commentary of the film, co-directors Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen call Bill Hader on the phone, and they chat with him about the movie. They later call composer Michael Giacchino to talk with him, but they get his answering machine. They leave a message and hang up.
This is the 4th Pixar movie to get a PG rating by the MPAA. The other 3 are: The Incredibles (2004), Up (2009), and Brave (2012). And it is also the first PG rated Pixar Film to not show any blood, which those 5 films had.
There is a noticeable Adobe Acrobat (Adobe Reader) logo. It looks like a triangle with rounded and looped vertexes. It's on a Long Term Memory shelf near pneumatic tube just before Joy has been sucked into that tube and has fallen into Memory Dump.
When Joy suggests to recall something funny, Sadness says, "Remember that funny movie where the dog dies?" This is a reference to a story-making tearjerker cliché of making a dog character die to force an emotional response without much effort.
Riley's last name, Andersen, is a reference to Pixar employee Darla K. Anderson, producer of Monsters, Inc. (2001), another film directed by Pete Docter. Although "Anderson" would have been the correct spelling, the film uses "Andersen" instead, possibly since "Anderson" had already been used as a last name in a previous Pixar film, for Bonnie from Toy Story 3 (2010), also produced by Anderson.
Pixar's 6th Film to use both Computer Animation and Traditional Animation, as seen during the Tunnel of Abstract Thought that Joy, Sadness and Bing Bong go through. The other previous 5 had been Monsters, Inc. (2001), The Incredibles (2004), WALL·E (2008), Brave (2012) and Monsters University (2013).
Two people Joy and Sadness meet around Riley's mind have the same voice actors as the sidekick to the rival of James P "Sulley" Sullivan and Mike Wazowski in Monsters, Inc. (2001) and it's prequel Monsters University (2013) respectively, being Subconsious Guard Dave (Frank Oz, who voiced Jeff Fungus) and Forgetter Bobby (Bobby Moynihan, who voiced Chet Alexander).
When Riley has a nightmare of a spooky house, some Easter eggs appear. 1. Remy from Ratatouille (2007) appears. 2. The bear carrying pizza is the bear from Brave (2012). And finally, 3. The pizza says "Eat me! I'm organic!". This phrase is a reference to Fillmore's line from Cars (2006), "It's Organic Man".
Every Pixar film directed by Pete Docter has grossed more money than the previous one. His first film, Monsters, Inc. (2001) (2001), grossed $525.4 million, (That total increased to $577.4 million when it was re-released in 2012) his second film, Up (2009), grossed $735.1 million, and this film grossed $857.6 million.
Earned a Metascore of 94, the fourth best for a Pixar film. The third/second best for a Pixar film is Toy Story (1995) and WALL·E (2008), which both have a 95, and the best is Ratatouille (2007), which has a 96.
There was a major public push to get this film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Film critic Richard Roeper even said "Inside Out is a bold, gorgeous, sweet, funny, sometimes heartbreakingly sad, candy-colored adventure that deserves an Academy Award nomination for best picture." When it didn't get a Best Picture nomination, it was widely considered a snub for the category.
The actors who portray both Sadness and Disgust are played by the same actors who worked together on The Office (2005), and portray very similar emotions and personalities as their Office personas, Kelly Kapur and Phyllis Vance.
When the story was pitched to Mindy Kaling, she broke down in tears, explaining "I just think it's really beautiful that you guys are making a story that tells kids that it's difficult to grow up and it's OK to be sad about it.
When Joy, Sadness, and Bing Bong are in the Abstract Thought room, Bing Bong falls apart and yells "I can't feel my legs". Maybe he heard this line from watching Frozen (2013) when Olaf was in the snow and he yelled "I can't feel my legs".
In the European Spanish version, Bing Bong is dubbed by voice actor Carlos Ysbert. Ysbert also provides the voice of Homer Simpson since in the European Spanish version of The Simpsons (1989) since season 12 .
When Joy runs through the cloud person in Cloud Town, the police officer starts to run after her and another officer says to him "Forget it, Jake. It's Cloud Town." This seems like a reference to the quote "Forget it Jake, its Chinatown." From the film Chinatown (1974).
While deleting piano lessons from Riley's memories, one of the Forgetters say "Save "Chopsticks" and "Heart and Soul", get rid of the rest"; those two tunes ("Heart and Soul" and "Chopsticks") are played by Josh and MacMillan on the big piano in Big (1988).
In the course of the film, Joy experiences all five of the basic emotions: joy being her overall demeanor, anger at Sadness' actions, disgust towards Riley's dream boyfriend, fear towards Jangles the Clown, and finally sadness in the Memory Dump.
Asked why Bing Bong was kept a secret during promotion, Pete Docter said "We wanted to make sure he was a surprise to the audience, because as a filmmaker, I hate when you go and watch those trailers and they give away everything. You're like 'Okay, well, I guess I don't have to watch the movie.'"
Riley jumps off the bus just as it is about to enter Bay Bridge in San Francisco. This is a symbolic point of no return, as Bay Bridge is a start of a very long east bound highway and apparently bus will not make any more stops for many miles.
When Riley is awake, the "sky" inside her mind is a bright blue. When Riley is asleep, it darkens to a night sky. When Riley's personality breaks down and she becomes depressed and apathetic, it becomes cloudy and stormy.
At the beginning of the movie memory balls just have one color (yellow, blue, red, green and purple). At the end, memory balls have colors mixed. This implies the maturity of Riley's feelings as she leaves childhood for adolescence.
Joy turning off the control console the first night in San Francisco when Riley dreams about her new house and city (as well as when Joy and Sadness wake Riley up with a nightmare to resume the Train of Thought) doesn't allow Riley to process her emotions and feelings, which often occur later subconsciously while dreaming during the REM cycle. This adds to Riley's emotional breakdown and accelerates her depression.
Headquarters, where Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust live, is located directly above the Memory Dump and is connected to the rest of the brain by thin hooks. This could imply that when a person is dying, headquarters will fall irredeemably to the Memory Dump, vanishing upon death.
Out of all the emotions, Joy is sometimes seen as the only positive emotion, with the other emotions being seen as negative. Of course, through watching the movie, we are shown that there are no negative or positive emotions.
The Transway bus line, which Riley takes when she runs away, is named after the Transbay Terminal, a transportation complex in downtown San Francisco that served local and national bus lines. The art deco Transway Terminal seen in Inside Out is based on two San Francisco buildings: the original 1939 Transbay Terminal, which was demolished in 2010, to be replaced by a new Transbay transit center; and an art deco building on South Van Ness & 14th Street, which was originally a bakery, but is now used as a BMW dealership.
When Joy and Sadness are walking by Long Term Memory, Joy meets the Forgetters, responsible for erasing old memories to send them to Memory Dump. Old memories are depicted as memory balls in gray, marking that the memories have lost this force.
The diverse Islands of Personality appear at the edge of the Memory Dump, between this and the Long Term Memory. This implies that they work using memory balls from Long Term Memory to create a single personality, throwing to the Memory Dump the less used or less important memory balls.
During the new console set up in the end of the film, JOY answers an inquiry and says that the button titled "puberty" may not be of any real importance, which kind of symbolises the fact that the initial phase of adolescence isn't much fun or exactly joyful, but rather confusing!