A few were skeptical earlier this year leading up to Pixar’s newest release Inside Out. But those doubts quickly faded into the pit of lost memories as the film become one of the best reviewed and most beloved films of the year. On top of that, Inside Out earned the “favorite Pixar movie” award by many fans. After all of that, the long wait for the Inside Out Blu-ray is over.
The Film ✮✮✮✮1/2
Inside Out tells the story of an 11-year-old girl, Riley, whose picturesque life is uprooted when her father takes a job in San Francisco. This transition turns out to be rougher than she thought as she has a hard time adjusting to her new home and school, while still missing her old friends. At the same time, inside her mind, five emotions are running the show in headquarters: Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear, and Anger. Together, they have been able to help Riley grow up happy, healthy and safe. But the move disrupts life in headquarters as Joy and Sadness get sucked up by one of the tubes that sends memories away to long-term memory. These two rivals must learn to work together to help Riley achieve emotional balance before it’s too late.
Inside Out is not only a great movie; it’s one of those rare great movies that cause people to think and discuss the film’s ideas, concepts, and themes after leaving the theater. For weeks after its release, people would come up to me wanting to talk about how they felt about the film. It was fantastic and a true testament to how universal this film was. It was a home run for Pixar.
As far as the Blu-ray is concerned, the HD looks great (as is expected). Another thing that often doesn’t get mentioned is the menu screens: I simply love the Inside Out menu screens. They aren’t in your fave loud and play a noticeable loop that drives you insane after a few rounds. Instead it’s the various circles of the five main emotions’ dominant colors floating calmly across the screen.
Bonus Features ✮✮✮✮✮
There are so many bonus features on the Inside Out Blu-ray that they have to be put on two discs! Any Pixar fan will be completely satisfied with this haul of interesting and well-done bonus features. We get tons of interviews from a variety of people involved in production from the directors to the animators. Bonus features include:
- Commentary – My number one must-have for bonus features are commentaries. And, as usual, Pixar delivers with a commentary by directors Pete Docter and Ronnie del Carmen, and producer Jonas Rivera.
- Riley’s First Date? (In-Home Exclusive Animated Short Film) – Probably one of the most looked forward to bonus features, Riley’s First Date? takes us inside the heads of the three Andersons when a boy shows up on their steps. It’s short, it’s funny, and it’s a blast going back into the minds of our favorite transplant San Franciscans.
- LAVA – This adorable short film played before Inside Out in theaters and shows how the love of two volcanoes grew over the thousands of centuries.
- Story of the Story – This featurette gives a fascinating view into the evolution of creating the Inside Out story from a spark of an idea to a full-fledged story. They discuss the characters’ journeys, what worked, what didn’t work, and how it ultimately all came together.
- Paths to Pixar: The Women of Inside Out – This a fun little bonus feature that gives us a glimpse into a variety of female Pixarians as they discuss their different life paths, how they got to Pixar, how they chose their careers (or how their careers chose them), and the lessons they’ve learned along the way.
- Mixed Emotions – In this brief featurette, the filmmakers break down each of the emotions and talk about how they narrowed the wide list of possible emotions down to just five basic elements. We hear about different challenges they faced, particularly how hard it was to come up with a Disgust’s design (should she be digesting or disgusted?).
- Mapping the Mind – In Inside Out, the filmmakers made a clear distinction that the film was about the mind and not the brain. In this featurette, we not only see the science and facts that they used to create the world, but also the creative and artistic liberties they took.
- Our Dads, the Filmmakers – Elie Docter (Pete Docter’s daughter) and Grace Giacchino (Michael Giacchino’s daughter) were given a the chance to make a documentary about the lives of their dads. Since it’s shot from their perspective, we get to see some other aspects of the Pixar studio and Michael’s home office, which will make any Pixar fan geek out.
- Into the Unknown: The Sound of Inside Out – In most live action films, the majority of the sounds are recorded in the moment. However, with animated films, they need to be recorded in post-production. Even further, Inside Out goes into an new, imaginative world. This featurette shows the process that the sound designer Ren Klyce’s took in creating the sounds.
- Into the Unknown: The Sound of Inside Out – In most live action films, the majority of the sounds are recorded in the moment. However, with animated films, they need to be recorded in post-production. Even further, Inside Out goes into an new, imaginative world. This featurette shows the process that the sound designers took in creating sounds to evoke emotional responses in the film.
- The Misunderstood Art of Animation Film Editing – To me, this was my favorite bonus feature because it showed the fascinating world of film editing for an animated film. Upon watching this bonus feature, you’ll leave with such an appreciation and admiration for what animation film editors do.
- Mind Candy – If you had kept up with all of the promotional material leading up to the release of Inside Out, then this bonus feature won’t be of much interest to you. It’s mostly a wordless montage of all the Inside Out character acting silly, angry, happy, disgusted, fearful, and sad, but is nice to have them encapsulated in one place.
- Inside Out Trailers – A collection of domestic and international trailers made for Inside Out.
- Deleted Scenes – Another must-have bonus feature. These deleted scenes are full animatics, showing us what could have been.
- Riley Grows Up – In this scene from a version of the film where the primary relationship was between Joy and Fear (then named Freddie), the emotions begin to notice a change in Riley.
- Joy’s Decline – Joy’s struggles to make sense of the limitations on Riley’s behavior that seem to be springing up at every turn.
- Misdirection – Joy and Freddie encounter a group of Riley’s “retired” imaginary friends, including an early version of Big Bong.
- Construction – Joy is guided through Riley’s mind by a radical non-conformist, Bing Bong, outraged by the demolition of older areas like Imagination Park.
Despite not having “Diamond Editions” for their Blu-ray releases, Pixar always brings its A-game. The Inside Out Blu-ray gives you just about everything you could want in a release: the movie in glorious HD that you can watch over and over again and more bonus features than you can handle. Get ready to have this one playing on repeat in houses all across America!
Edited by: Kelly Conley