Pete Docter, the brilliant mind behind Monsters, Inc., Up, and the upcoming, Inside Out participated in a live question and answer session on Twitter this afternoon following the release of the first Inside Out full-length trailer. Pete answered questions ranging from the emotions in Inside Out to general questions about Pixar’s studios and working with some amazing vocal talent. Be sure to read below for our summary of the 45-minute session.
Question (Q) Inside Out is all about emotions personified. Which emotion did you have the most fun bringing to life?
Pete Docter’s Response (PD) – Anger. Wait, what does that say about me? Actually, it’s likely because Lewis Black was so great for the role.
(Q) How did you come up with the main character Riley, and all the emotions in her head?
(PD) We did lots of research & talked to psychologists to find what emotions science has identified. (Actually, there are more than 5, but we wanted to keep it simple for the film.) For Riley, we looked at our daughters & their friends. People think we make this stuff up. Most are real life!
(Q) Joy is Riley’s main emotion. Which emotion is the most significant in your mind?
(PD) It’s impossible to pick one — each is important at different times. We don’t choose emotions, they choose us. But joy seems the most important to me – also the least logical. It’s the hardest to define, but basically, joy is the reason we take risks and try new things.
(Q) What is your biggest challenge when directing an animated film?
(PD) For this one, this world is completely new and made up — It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. To go in the mind, we couldn’t look to toy stores or universities or Scotland to make sure we got it right.
(Q) What movie inspired you to choose filmmaking as a career?
(PD) Dumbo. Cinderella. Ichabod Crane. Classic Disney Features & the Warner Brothers shorts. Can’t beat ’em.
(Q) @drawntothemagic: We’ve heard Riley’s parents minds look different inside. What’s yours look like?
(PD) Mine are better looking than I look on the outside.
(Q) @UncleScout86: Matching voices 2 characters must be difficult but these characters are embodiments of emotion. Was this fun casting process?
(PD) All of our actors are so perfect. We looked for actors that embodied each character and we found them!
(Q) @SebaPixar: Who will be the protagonist Joy or Riley?
(PD) Joy is our lead. But the film has 2 stories that interrelate, and each affects the other (another challenge).
(Q) @MicheleDNC: How did you come up with the design for the emotions physical characters?
(PD) Each is based on a shape. Sadness: teardrop Joy: star Fear: raw nerve Anger: fire brick Disgust: broccoli. I actually love broccoli, BTW
(Q) @FutureMrsKawacz: Being a big WDW fan was any part of this movie inspired by Cranium Command?
(PD) Our film takes place in the mind, not the brain (no body functions). Fun fact: I animated on Cranium Command! You can see my head in the preshow. Sad fact: Cranium Command is now closed.
(Q) @ArtisticTeaBag: What’s your favourite character’s design in Inside Out?
(PD) There are some awesome characters in Subconscious and Dream Production you haven’t seen yet… just wait!
(Q) @ruarrbiyasa: How chocolate and sweets affect Riley’s emotion? Or your emotion? *sings AKB48’s Sugar Rush*
(PD) Crucial to our process! Cookies every day. True fact.
(Q) @bets_johnson: Did you base a lot of the story of this movie on your personal experiences moving from Minnesota to California?
(PD) More growing up generally. In the film, moving is a metaphor for growing up.
(Q) @ColetonBryan: What is your favorite part about working in animation?
(PD) Nothing you see on screen is real, yet (when done well) people laugh and cry in response. Animation is amazing!
(Q) @DrewTailored: Was it a conscious decision, after making a movie as far out as UP, to make something as internal as INSIDE OUT?
(PD) It was more about finding another new place that people have never been before. It was amazing to travel to South America, but learning about the human mind is even more incredible. Here we got to take people somewhere that everyone has been before, but no one has ever actually seen.
(Q) Alexlikesfun: After the film releases, are you hoping that this will benefit Kids and Adults to understand others emotions better?
(PD) Being aware of how people think and interact gives you a deeper understanding of life.
What are your thoughts on the discussion with Pete? Leave a comment below – we really enjoyed when he discussed his prior work on Cranium Command at Walt Disney World!
Additionally, we’re going to host a Live Google On Air Hangout this evening (December 10) at 10:00 PM EST / 7:00 PM PST to chat about the trailer as well as Pete’s Twitter Q&A. Be sure to join us on Google+, YouTube or watch the streaming video below when the show starts.