Michael Giacchino Hints ‘Inside Out’ Score is More Emotional Than ‘Up’

Michael Giacchino

Famed film composer Michael Giacchino recently sat down with Variety to discuss his trifecta of scores hitting theaters this summer – TomorrowlandJurassic World, and of course, Inside Out. Mirroring back to six years ago (2009), Giacchino again has three projects released within a four-week span. “There is literally no margin for error whatsoever.

The schedules fell like building blocks, right against each other.” Giacchino’s packed schedule was something that had to be deeply organized in order to ensure the films could be worked on in a timely manner – in fact, Michael noted,

“The second I finished one, I was on to the next. The great news is, all these directors know each other and they’re all friends,” he explains. “So it was not hard to say, ‘Hey, guys, can we structure this in a way where I won’t perish?’ ” The last time this happened to Giacchino was six years ago when Star TrekUp and Land of the Lost also opened within a four-week span.

The article also goes on to note that Michael first discussed Inside Out with Pete Docter (Director) about “four or five years ago” and Docter mentioned that “He was on the exact same page, emotionally”. What struck us the most was Giacchino’s self-assessment of his own work on the Inside Out score and notes that it may be more emotional than the Up score. That assessment definitely intrigues us as the Oscar-winning Up score was packed with emotion and wonderful character themes which on the surface would seem difficult to surpass.

Michael’s music has themes that are very personal, so once things start to go crazy, it makes it that much scarier.” Giacchino says he tries to make every score as individual as possible. He sees “Tomorrowland” as “a very optimistic score,” befitting its premise; and “Inside Out,” an even more emotional score than his “Up.”

Inside Out Soundtrack Cover

In addition to the details noted by Variety, a newly released Disney press statement noted a few extra insights from Giacchino regarding the soundtrack.

Inside Out was different. “Pete [Docter] wanted the music to feel as if it was coming from the inside—from internal thoughts,” says Giacchino. “We were going for something atmospheric. Something that wasn’t traditional film score.”

The atmospheric feel is something we have definitely noticed in the moments of the score we’ve heard to date. In fact, we even sample a few clips from the score (isolated from two of the teasers) on Episode 039 of the Pixar Post Podcast – be sure to give the clips a listen (they start at 9:34 into the episode).

According to the composer, the goal of the music mirrored the goal of the film. “It had to feel emotional,” says Giacchino. “I wasn’t sure how I wanted it to sound, but I knew how I wanted it to feel. This film is personal.”

The score was recorded with a 70-piece orchestra with an organ and a rhythm section that consisted of guitars and a drummer.

“I had a lot of fun writing the music,” continues Giacchino. “There’s a 1930s jazzy section we wrote for the Forgetters, and we channel classic horror in the Subconscious. The film really goes all over the map musically, but what I love most about it is that we never forgot that it’s an emotional story that’s being told.”


The full tracklisting can be found on this post, but please note that if you’re avoiding spoilers you won’t want to read the list at this point as the titles do reveal some plot points. With Michael’s declaration that the Inside Out soundtrack may be more emotional than his work on Up, there can be no doubt that this will be a soundtrack to sit back and really absorb.

UPDATED: Our review of the Inside Out soundtrack can be found here.

As a side note – we thought it was humorous that in 2009 Giacchino worked on a film with Dinosaurs (Land of the Lost) and 2015 finds him working on another dinosaur flick (Jurassic Park). Additionally, Star Trek in 2009 could be mirrored in some sci-fi comparisons to 2015’s Tomorrowland and of course two animated Pixar films with Up and Inside Out.

Leave a Reply

You May Also Like