Do you ever look at someone and wonder what is going on inside their head?
Disney•Pixar’s original new film “Inside Out” ventures inside the mind to find out.
Based in Headquarters, the control center inside 11-year-old Riley’s mind, five Emotions are hard at work, led by lighthearted optimist Joy, whose mission is to make sure Riley stays happy. Fear heads up safety, Anger ensures all is fair and Disgust prevents Riley from getting poisoned—both physically and socially. Sadness isn’t exactly sure what her role is, and frankly, neither is anyone else.
“The Emotions are kind of like the voices in our heads,” says director Pete Docter. “When we were just getting started on this film, we looked around—at our kids, friends, co-workers—and we realized that everybody has a default temperament. We all go through periods of being happy or sad, but certain people are just happy or angry or what have you. Riley is one of those happy kids. So Joy had to be the first Emotion to show up, and she has a very special bond with Riley.”
“Joy has 33 beautiful seconds of being the only one there,” says Amy Poehler, who lends her voice to Joy. “Then Riley starts to cry and Sadness shows up. Joy realizes that she’s going to have to share Riley with all the other feelings and emotions.”
When Riley's family relocates to a scary new city, the Emotions are on the job, eager to help guide her through the difficult transition. But when Joy and Sadness are inadvertently swept into the far reaches of Riley’s mind—taking some of her core memories with them—Fear, Anger and Disgust are left reluctantly in charge. “Think about that,” says executive producer John Lasseter. “An 11-year-old is left without Joy and Sadness—only Anger, Fear and Disgust. Does that sound like any 11-year-olds you know?”
Joy and Sadness must venture through unfamiliar places—Long Term Memory, Imagination Land, Abstract Thought and Dream Productions—in a desperate effort to get back to Headquarters, and Riley. Along the way, they meet some colorful characters—from the Forgetters, who are Mind Workers in charge of sorting Riley’s memories, to Riley’s imaginary friend named Bing Bong, who is searching for a way to make Riley remember him. “He was a favorite when Riley was a little kid with an active imagination,” says Docter. “But these days, he’s like an out-of-work actor who’s desperately trying to make his comeback.”
Loaded with Pixar’s signature charm, “Inside Out” features a mind full of memorable characters, poignant moments and humor. “Our goal, right off the top, was to make it fun,” says producer Jonas Rivera. “My kids have seen it and all they talk about is Anger. They think he’s really funny. And the journey that Joy and Sadness take is one big, cool adventure.
“I think adults—parents—will see it in a completely different way,” continues Rivera. “It’ll still be fun, but there’s something deeper in it for them. That’s something Walt Disney always wanted to do.”
“I just love the crazy amount of heart that’s in this film,” adds Poehler. “In minutes you go from crying to laughing. And it just looks so incredibly beautiful. It is like a world that feels very familiar and really magical at the same time.”
Helping to bring the characters to life is a creative and comedic ensemble voice cast, including Poehler (“Parks and Recreation”) as Joy, Bill Hader (“Saturday Night Live”) as Fear, Mindy Kaling (“The Mindy Project”) as Disgust, Lewis Black (“The Rant is Due: Part Deux” tour) as Anger and Phyllis Smith (“The Office”) as Sadness. Riley is voiced by Kaitlyn Dias (“The Shifting”), and providing the voices of Mom and Dad are Diane Lane (“The Mystery of Love and Sex” play) and Kyle MacLachlan (“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”). “We have a dream cast,” says Docter. “We could bring in material, describe what we want out of a scene, and then workshop with them about how they might say it. They would give us what we wrote, plus plenty of improvised alternate lines. It’s been fun.”
“Inside Out” was directed by Docter (“Up,” “Monsters, Inc.”), produced by Rivera (“Up”), co-directed by Ronnie Del Carmen (“Dug’s Special Mission”) and executive produced by Lasseter (“Toy Story,” “Cars”) and Andrew Stanton (“Finding Nemo,” “WALL•E”). The screenplay was penned by Docter, Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley from an original story by Docter and Del Carmen. Academy Award®–winning composer Michael Giacchino (“The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “Up”) was called on to provide the score.
Rated U, Disney•Pixar’s original movie “Inside Out” opens in cinemas July 24, 2015.
THE BEGINNING OF JOY
Oscar®-winning Director Pete Docter Finds Inspiration at Home
What is she thinking?
It’s a question that has gone through the minds of parents worldwide who are attempting to raise teenagers—and it’s one that occurred to Oscar®-winning director Pete Docter as he witnessed his own daughter Elie growing up.
“My daughter did the voice of young Ellie in ‘Up’—that spirited, spunky kid with hair out to there—and she was a lot like the character at the time,” says Docter. “But by the time we started ‘Inside Out,’ Elie was older—about 11—and she’d become quiet and withdrawn. It made me think, ‘What’s going on in her head and why is she changing?’”
But then Docter recalled that era in his own life. “It’s a big deal,” he says. “The innocent bubble of childhood bursts and you feel like you’re thrust into an adult world where you’re judged and expected to behave in a certain way. You want to be cool, but you’re not really sure what that means.”
Cue the emotions.
From the beginning, Docter loved the idea of going inside the mind, challenging the imaginations of many of the same filmmakers who took audiences to Monstropolis and later to South America in a house flown by balloons. “I thought it would be fun,” says the director. “I wanted to explore the abstract version—not the brain, but the mind. I thought it was perfect for animation. And if this was going to be a story about emotions and it’s done by the same team that did ‘Up,’ it had to be emotional.”
Ultimately, this idea of emotions as characters sparked the story of “Inside Out”—with daughter Elie as the inspiration for Riley, an 11-year-old, hockey-loving Midwesterner whose life is mostly happy until her family relocates to the big and unfamiliar city of San Francisco. Her Emotions—led by energetic Joy—are on the job, eager to help guide Riley through this difficult transition. But while Riley’s life is what gives her Emotions purpose, filmmakers say that “Inside Out” isn’t really Riley’s story.
“It’s a very personal story about what it means to be a parent,” says producer Jonas
Rivera. “As a parent, there are so many perfect moments when I wish I could make time stand still forever. But that’s not right. That’s not our job. Our job is to be their guides.”
“As our kids grow older, we tend to miss those days when they were little and would sit on our laps and hug us,” adds Docter. “And while all parents want their kids to go out into the world—I’m happy for my kids and want nothing more than where they are right now—it’s bittersweet and a little sad when childhood passes by. That’s a key element to
So filmmakers called on Joy—who bounces and glows (literally), overflowing with optimism—to tackle the ever-complicated task of raising Riley—metaphorically—along with the other Emotions who contribute their own unique perspectives. “Joy has been there the longest—Riley was born happy,” says Rivera. “But the cross-country move is really upsetting and Joy finds that she’s getting less and less time at the wheel, so to speak. She just can’t let Sadness mess up all the hard work she’s done over the years.”
The journey Joy takes with Sadness is eye-opening. “Joy realizes that Sadness may have a purpose in Riley’s life after all,” says Docter.
According to Docter, the key to happiness—in the movie and beyond—is likely in how you define it. “Joy is able to learn and grow and reconsider what she thinks happiness is,” he says. “In the beginning, it’s all about laughter and ice cream—and there’s nothing wrong with that. But life shows us that it’s so much deeper.
“As I was making the film, I realized that family and close friends are what make me happy,” he continues. “Sure, those are the people who I share fun times with, but they’re also the people who I’ve been angry at, scared for and sad with. It’s really the depth and complexity of all these emotions that bring a real connection between people.”
DOING THEIR HOMEWORK
Pixar filmmakers are known for the research they do—whether it’s becoming an expert in automotive design for “Cars” or trekking to Scotland to inform the breathtaking backdrop in “Brave.” The artists and storytellers behind “Inside Out” wanted to immerse themselves in the mind, studying memories, human emotions and how they evolve during adolescence.
They worked with scientists, neurologists, psychologists and other experts to better understand how the mind works. Dr. Dacher Keltner, co-director of the Greater Good Science Center, is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, where he directs the Berkeley Social Interaction Lab. “I’ve spent 25 years of my career studying human emotion,” he says. “I’m interested in how we express emotions in our faces, voices and in touch.”
Among other things, Keltner’s expertise helped filmmakers choose the Emotions to feature. “Researchers have different ideas of how many emotions we have—there are anywhere from four to 27, depending on who you ask,” says Docter. “Dr. Keltner’s work suggests that there are 21, with emotions like boredom, contempt and embarrassment. There were so many possibilities in terms of character. It was fun to explore. We ultimately landed on five Emotions that pretty much make all of the researchers’ lists.”
Keltner also helped to define the Mind World in terms of how the Emotions worked together to help Riley cope with the changes in her life. “I just saw the movie and I was blown away,” he says. “I think it’s extremely hard to put into words how the emotions inside your mind affect how you behave in the world and how you see the world. The film achieved that remarkably well. I loved the dynamic tension between what’s happening inside the psyche and what’s going on outside in the world.”
Filmmakers studied adolescence and how a pre-teen might deal with traumatic events. So it was no accident that Joy and Sadness were the two Emotions that went missing.
“It all lines up with being an adolescent,” says co-director Ronnie Del Carmen. “Riley changes and no longer feels happy—then she can’t express empathy. She becomes your typical sullen teen.”
Says Keltner, who’s a father of two daughters who’ve survived their pre-teen years, “Part of adolescence—part of growing up—is loss. Loss of friends, loss of childhood— it’s necessary to human development. The way that ‘Inside Out’ really grapples with Riley’s feelings of loss and how her family ultimately surrounds her in that experience is really powerful.”
According to Keltner, acceptance is an important takeaway from both the movie and a host of scientific studies of emotions. “I believe that our emotions oscillate,” he says.
“There will be a time when your mind is filled with fear—a second or two—before shifting to anger. The movie portrays that struggle over the control panel that I feel to be true scientifically. But one of the key lessons is that you have to embrace all of your emotions. You have to realize that they’re all part of your normal, everyday mind and that’s OK.”
WHO’S WHO IN “INSIDE OUT”
Emotional Tale Told Through the Eyes of Five Emotions
“Inside Out” features a team of Emotions who helps guide 11-year-old Riley through an unsettling change in her life. But as the story was being developed, filmmakers weren’t sure which emotions should make the cut. “Some psychologists claim there are as many as 27 Emotions,” says director Pete Docter. “We toyed with adding Pride. Or Schadenfreude, who delighted in the pain of others. But it started getting crowded in there. We ultimately settled on five.”
Filmmakers then went about defining each Emotion, assigning them a purpose in Riley’s mind, and tackling the difficult process of finding the right look for each. “The look and design of the Emotions had to remind people that they are personifications of feelings,” says Docter. “They’re not little people. They’re Emotions. They’re made of energy—they’re made up of thousands of particles, which kind of looks like energy. We wanted to capture what emotions feel like—the shapes, the colors—as well as their personalities.”
But finding the look of the Emotions wasn’t easy. Says character supervisor Sajan
Skaria, “It's probably the hardest thing we've had to figure out in the character department. When we started out, it wasn’t clear where we were going. Pete [Docter] said, ‘Make something my mom has never seen before.’ That’s it. That’s all we had to go on in the beginning.
“As we began to land on some really cool and fun designs,” continues Skaria, “we had to figure out how to make them happen. We had to make sure we had the technology in place to render what we created.”
When it came to Joy and the rest of the Emotions, the production team was committed to getting it right, committing resources, technology, imagination and research. “It’s all about the Emotions—they’re running the show,” says Docter. “We can control how we act, but we don’t get to choose how we feel.”
“We love the idea that they come to work every day,” says producer Jonas Rivera. “This is a job and they’re going to do their very best because they love this kid. The key, of course, is that they each have a different job—and each job is equally important.”
“One of my favorite aspects of animation is how expressive it is,” says Docter. “You can make a character move in ways that are physically impossible, but really show the way you feel. We were able to push movement in this film in ways that we’ve never done in other films.”
Tony Fucile, whose credits include Disney’s “The Lion King” and “Aladdin,” served as an animation sketch artist for the film. He was tasked with bringing the best of hand-drawn animation to the CG film. Fucile attended animation dailies and often provided his notes as actual draw-overs that could be captured and provided to the animator. “I worked with the animation team to juice up the poses a little bit,” says Fucile. “I like to push the poses or expressions a little further—rarely will I ever suggest to pull it back.”
“All of the Emotions are the most cartoony, most stylized characters that we’ve ever attempted in a feature film here at Pixar,” says supervising animator Victor Navone. “They are the kind of characters that might actually be easier to draw on paper—but they’re really hard to do in three dimensions. These characters are so special, so unique—we just wanted to hit a home run.”
JOY’s goal has always been to make sure Riley stays happy. “In the moment Riley is born, Joy appears—she’s the first one there,” says Docter. “She has a very special connection to Riley and she treasures that bond.”
According to Docter, they picked Joy as Riley’s main Emotion because they felt Riley was the kind of person who was naturally happy—minus a few bumps along the way. They also felt it mirrored that one true desire every parent has for their children. “We want our kids to be happy, enjoy life, embrace everything,” he says. “Life doesn’t always work out that way and we have to adjust—which is a lesson for all of us, including Joy.” With a sunny hue, Joy is lighthearted, optimistic and determined to find the fun in every situation. She sees challenges in Riley’s life as opportunities, and the less-happy moments as hiccups on the way back to something great. As long as Riley is happy, so is Joy.
Amy Poehler was called on to help bring Joy to life. “She’s like the motor of the film: arms open, eyes open, face toward what’s next,” says Poehler of her character. “She’s just so beautiful and takes a journey—literally and emotionally. She experiences a real change, which was an exciting and cool challenge as an actor.”
According to supervising animator Shawn Krause, the introduction of Poehler as the voice of Joy helped the animation team land the character. “Pete [Docter] wanted Joy to feel grounded, athletic—a bit of a tomboy. We didn’t want Joy to be saccharine or like a cheerleader. Amy’s acting choices really informed the animator’s performance.
Krause continues, “Joy’s high-energy, fun-loving, over-caffeinated. She bounces off the walls; she’s a trickster, but she’s not mean-spirited. She inspires happiness. She’s infectious—a big ball of energy. Once we had Amy cast, we knew how to push the animation with Joy.”
Albert Lozano, character art director, was inspired by production designer Ralph
Eggleston’s early efforts. “The way that the chalk spattered on Ralph’s pastels, it reminded me of bubbles. Joy is effervescent. Opening a champagne bottle in celebration felt like Joy to me. I do a lot of collage work, so I took the image of a sparkler, added a face, legs and arms, and that felt like Joy to me, too. I knew she had to emit joy.”
“Joy is very bouncy—almost like a star,” says producer Jonas Rivera. “She’s full of life and energy, which led us to the physical makeup of the Emotions. We decided they should all be made up of energy.”
Filmmakers called on effects supervisor Gary Bruins and his team to figure out how to showcase that energy. “Pete wanted Joy to have particles that radiate and shoot off her skin throughout the entire film,” says Bruins. “That meant creating an effect that would appear in hundreds and hundreds of shots. It had never been done before.”
As the story’s star character, Joy not only has a lot of scenes, her activities in each runs the gamut—walking, running, gesturing broadly and enthusiastically. The effects team had to develop a solution that would work well in each situation. “I had my hand on the red flag, ready to raise it,” says Bruins. “But each shot we tried worked so well, we realized we were on to something.”
The rig they developed, which uses changing color and opacity to represent the movement of particles, surpassed their expectations. “It really supported the idea that she’s so joyful that her energy cannot really be contained,” says Bruins. “Then we came in and on top of that, we ejected airborne particles that break her silhouette and leave a trail as she walks or makes a quick movement.”
Joy, whose eyes have at least twice as many controls as any Pixar character before her, also serves as a light source, casting a yellow-blue glow around her. According to global technology pro Bill Reeves, a whole system needed to be built to achieve the look filmmakers wanted. “We tried dozens of ways of creating Joy’s glow and ended up with a volumetric solution. But since she’s in so many scenes, we needed to configure the software to be able to compute it.”
FEAR’s main job is to protect Riley and keep her safe. He is constantly on the lookout for potential disasters, and spends time evaluating the possible dangers, pitfalls and risk involved in Riley’s everyday activities. There are very few activities and events that Fear does not find to be dangerous and possibly fatal.
According to storyman Josh Cooley, filmmakers instantly connected to Fear. “He was one of the easiest characters to write because everybody is driven by Fear at some point in the day,” Cooley says. “We had no trouble imagining how Fear might react to a given situation: He overreacts.”
Filmmakers found a lot of physical comedy in Fear’s wiry, purple build. Character artist Chris Sasaki started the look with a very simple idea. “Early on, I just asked, ‘What if he's just like a line and two eyes?’ he says. “It was as extreme as we could go and it snowballed from there.”
Ultimately, Fear evolved to allow for more performance, but his shape didn’t change much. “He’s like one frazzled, frenetic, kinked-up nerve,” says Docter.
Adds Navone, “He has a nice noodley silhouette with his long, skinny spine that we could squash and stretch and bend and bow. His personality allowed for broad performances. He gets flattened and crumpled. He’s a scaredy-cat, yet he has a bit of a swagger. He’s the comic relief.
“Fear has a curlicue hair that can hit a million different poses to match whatever attitude he’s giving,” Navone continues. “We can treat it like a dog’s tail: If he’s sad, it droops; if he’s in pain, it behaves like a lightning bolt.”
“To me, he’ll always be a weird purple guy in a bow tie,” says Bill Hader, who lends his voice to Fear. “I imagine him as a very put-upon middle-management kind of guy who’s desperate to be eight steps ahead of everything. He has to over-assess every situation in order to protect Riley.
“What’s so brilliant about the movie,” continues Hader, “is that the dialogue we have as the Emotions is very much like the conversations you have in your head.”
ANGER feels very passionately about making sure things are fair for Riley. He has a fiery spirit and tends to explode (literally) when things don’t go as planned. He is quick to overreact and has little patience for life’s imperfections. “From the beginning, I could just picture Anger, both in writing and design,” says Docter. “We knew what we could do with him and how he could be funny.”
“Red just seemed right,” says executive producer John Lasseter. “He explodes with anger all the time, so we decided it would be fun to have flames come out of his head when he gets really mad.”
“Anger worked right out of the gate,” says Navone. “Once we had that rectangular shape and those angry brows and eyes, we just knew who he was. He has stubby arms and stubby legs and he can’t really turn his head because he doesn’t really have a neck. So we give him constant energy by having him shake and grumble. He does a lot of stomping around—very Lewis Black. And the fact that they cast Lewis Black really took it to the next level.”
Early film pitches actually named the comedian to illustrate how an iconic voice like Black’s could bring a character like Anger to life. “I used him as an example for the fun we could have with casting,” says Docter.
Black, who’s a fan of all things Pixar, calls the opportunity a career-defining role. “I knew from the very beginning that this was going to be special,” he says. “I’ll be remembered as this little red guy who yells and his head goes on fire.”
The look of that fire, says Bruins, came after early tests revealed what wasn’t going to work. “We started with a traditional, very realistic-looking fire coming off Anger’s head. But the character is so stylized—he’s made out of particles. He lives in Headquarters, which is also very stylized and colorful. The realistic fire was really jarring. So we decided to take it in a different direction.”
In a nod to the particles that make up the Emotions, the effects team added particles to
Anger’s fire, blending the color of the character with the color of the fire. “The fire itself is very stylized,” says Bruins. “It doesn’t have the traditional details that you might see in a live-action film.”
DISGUST is highly opinionated, extremely honest and prevents Riley from getting poisoned— both physically and socially. She keeps a careful eye on the people, places and things that Riley comes into contact with— whether that’s broccoli or last year’s fashion trend. “She wants to make sure that people won’t taint Riley with their toxic behavior or bad clothing advice, as well as steering clear of untested food combinations,” says co-director Ronnie Del Carmen.
Disgust always has the best of intentions and refuses to lower her standards. “She’s very opinionated and not afraid to share it,” adds Del Carmen.
Filmmakers decided that green was the perfect color for Disgust, which wasn’t their only nod to the vegetable that was top of mind in her creation. “She’s shaped a bit like broccoli,” says Docter, who summoned his team of emotion experts to nail down Disgust’s personality. “She emanates from bitterness,” he adds. “When you feed bitter food to babies, they make a face and stick their tongues out to spitout the food. That is the root of Disgust.”
Mindy Kaling says she was instantly game to play the part. “I think it’s true of most actors: If you get a call from Pixar, you’re already excited. The movies that Pixar makes are just incredibly well made, so I was really excited. What surprises me about the movie is how funny it is, given that at its core, it’s a very poignant movie.”
Kaling quickly understood her character’s motivation. “Disgust just wants to protect Riley,” she says. “She wants to keep her from being in any situation that’s unsafe or uncool.”
Filmmakers were inspired by Kaling’s interpretation of the character. Says Krause, “Disgust is fastidious and a little hands-off in her movements. She’s the last to join in. She’s strong and sure of herself. If she was in high school, she’d be the popular cheerleader.”
Adds Navone, “Her movements are dainty. Her gait is tighter with a lot of hip swing. Of all the characters, Disgust is the one who went to finishing school. She’s walked around with a stack of books on her head.”
None of the other Emotions really understand what SADNESS’s role is. “Sadness actually questions her own role,” says Del Carmen. “What is she good for? She’s an insecure character who wants to help, but is faced with the notion that she might actually be bad for Riley.”
Adds Rivera, “She doesn’t want to see Riley unhappy, but Sadness has good instincts. She senses when she should step in, even if she’s the only one who realizes it.”
Filmmakers had an affinity for the Emotion, even if she is often blue. “Sadness is indecisive and tentative, but so sweet and loving,” says Docter. “She loves Riley and wants nothing but the best for her.”
Phyllis Smith was called on to provide the voice of Sadness. “I’ve never done an animated film before, so at first I just tried to be sad,” says Smith. “But by the end of the first session, I found her voice. It just came naturally. She’s not very energetic. Joy literally has to drag her around.”
Sadness has a childlike quality to her, and according to Krause, the animation team slowed the pace when it came to the character. “She’s definitely more restrained, lethargic—not particularly motivated. Less is more with Sadness.”
Her blue hue and upside-down-teardrop shape are quite befitting. And while Sadness would love to be more optimistic and helpful in keeping Riley happy, she finds it so hard to be positive. Sometimes it seems like the best thing to do is just lie on the floor and have a good cry.
BING BONG is Riley’s imaginary friend. (You gotta remember, when Riley was 3 animals were all the rage.) Unfortunately, he’s been out of work since Riley turned 4, and he’s desperate to not be left behind as Riley grows up.
Richard Kind was tapped as the voice of Bing Bong. “Before their minds are fully developed, a lot of kids make up friends who they can talk to when they’re lonely or scared,” says Kind. “And these feel real—they’re truly friends. Is there any rationale to them? Absolutely not, but an imaginary friend can be calming and is always there when you need him.”
Bing Bong has been wandering around Riley’s mind for a while when Joy and Sadness meet him. “He’s a bit of a hobo these days,” says Kind. “So he’s more than happy to show them around.”
Like all good imaginary friends, this one is certainly creative. “Bing Bong is made out of cotton candy,” says Docter. “He has a nougat-y center, which we never really see, and shape-wise he’s part cat, part elephant and—according to him—part dolphin, which is a little sketchy. He’s basically an amalgam of all the things we loved as kids.”
Artists were initially inspired by the director’s own childhood imaginary friend, which was at least part elephant, says Sasaki. “When I was a kid, I loved animal crackers. You could take one head and mix it with another body. There's something nice about that. That evolved to ‘Why can't it have cat whiskers?’ and ‘Let’s give him dog ears and a raccoon’s tail.”
“We all wanted to work on Bing Bong,” says Navone. “He’s just such a fun, broad, kind of vaudevillian character. He’s just someone we all want to play with. The idea was to maintain his childlike appeal.”
The animation team used references from Oliver Hardy, Jackie Gleason and John
Candy to help drive home the character. “The trick with Bing Bong technically was figuring out his mouth,” says Navone. “His mouth has to get really big and his lips go all the way around it like a piece of licorice—it’s a little like Art in ‘Monsters University.’ It was a challenge in terms of rigging to keep it simple—then add in Bing Bong’s trunk and it was that much harder.”
The team actually borrowed an early version of some technology that’s being built for an octopus in “Finding Dory” to deal with Bing Bong’s trunk.
RILEY Andersen is an eternally happy kid, at least until she turns 11 and her dad gets a job across the country, forcing the family to relocate to San Francisco. As she struggles to navigate a new home and school, Riley experiences an unfamiliar mix of Emotions.
“If you look at your own kids, friends, family—it seems that everyone has a default temperament,” says Docter. “Some people are sad or angry at their core—but Riley is happy. So this big change at the age she is turns out to be a very big deal.”
According to Lozano, Riley’s look was very much inspired by her place in her life. “She's at that age where she's starting to grow up,” he says. “So she doesn't quite fit into her body yet. She’s lanky and sort of gangly, a little bit awkward.”
Kaitlyn Dias is the voice of Riley. Initially hired to record a temporary track, Dias’ performance proved so touching, filmmakers decided to cast her in the part. “She really was perfect for the role,” says Rivera. “Her voice has this heartbreaking honesty to it. She’s so good.”
MOM would do anything for her family, so when they relocate to San Francisco, she puts her best foot forward to help them adjust to this odd new world.
Lozano says that artists wanted to infuse a little spark into Mom’s look. “We knew she was the kind of person who could either fall for a Brazilian helicopter pilot or the nerdy square-pants guy. We wanted to imply that although she settled down, she still retained some of her free spirit.”
Audiences get a glimpse inside Mom’s mind, where her Emotions each don her red glasses. Filmmakers also designed a unique set for Mom’s Headquarters.
Diane Lane lends her voice to Mom. “As a mom, I get it. Invariably when you’re raising your children, you actually sort of relive these stages of your own childhood. Your own memories come into play as your children struggle. Riley’s an only child, as is my experience as a mom and my experience as a child, so I could relate on many levels.”
DAD is a fan of family, hockey and new adventures. So when opportunity knocks, he’s game—even if it means moving across the country. Admittedly, he can’t always figure out what the women in his life are thinking, but he loves them with all his heart.
Inside Dad’s mind, his Emotions are—like Dad—prone to distraction, particularly if there’s a hockey game on. They also all sport his signature mustache.
The mustache started as a goatee, but filmmakers wanted to emphasize that Dad doesn’t exactly fit into his new city. “We wanted to make them stand out as a conservative kind of family that just got dropped into San Francisco,” says Sasaki, who adds that the San Francisco crowds characters are pretty stylish. “You’d be able to pick our Minnesota family out of a crowd for sure.”
Dad is voiced by Kyle MacLachlan, who is Dad to a 6-year-old son. “I’m not there yet as a parent, I’ve got a little bit of time before he hits those pre-teen years,” says MacLachlan. “But it’s going to be interesting to maneuver through it, to try to support him, to maybe even have a little bit of influence in how he handles it all. As a parent, you really want them to find their way, but you want to be there to support them, too.”
The FORGETTERS are in charge of—well—forgetting. Mind Workers in Long-Term Memory, they sort through Riley’s memories and eliminate those they deem unimportant—like most of the U.S. Presidents she memorized in grade school or much of what she learned on the piano (except “Heart and Soul” and “Chopsticks”).
Paula Poundstone and Bobby Moynihan were tapped to voice the Forgetters.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Filmmakers Venture Inside the Imagination to Create Complex New World
It was both a blessing and a curse that the world of “Inside Out” was like nothing anyone had ever seen. “Narrowing our choices on how to visualize this world, how to visualize these Emotions, was really fun,” says executive producer John Lasseter. “But it was so challenging.”
While the possibilities were endless, filmmakers were able to narrow things down fairly quickly. “The film takes place in the mind, not the brain,” says director Pete Docter. “We were very specific from the get-go. We didn’t want blood vessels and dendrites. The mind is metaphorical. We imagined our thought processes, memories, feelings.”
But according to Daniel Holland, sets art director, the team used the physiology as reference. “We were inspired by shapes—the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, cells under a microscope,” he says. “Everything was heavily caricatured, but we wanted to start from somewhere that made sense.”
Filmmakers actually had two worlds to contend with—the real world, in which Riley is experiencing major life changes, and the world inside her mind, where her Emotions reside. “It was like making two films,” says production designer Ralph Eggleston. “One little change in the real world affects everything in the Mind World, and vice versa.”
The Mind World features bright, saturated color. “We looked at it as a Broadway musical from the ’50s,” says Docter. “There’s a great sense of caricature. The human world is more real: Wood looks like wood, cement looks like cement. And color-wise, it’s desaturated.”
Filmmakers actually made separate rules for each world when it came to the camera plan. “It was important to create two distinct styles for the cameras inside the mind and in the real world so that the audience can instantly tell the difference,” says Patrick Lin, director of photography – camera. “In the Mind World, everything is more perfect. Our lenses have less distortion, and the camera movement is reminiscent of the 1940s studio-style camera with track and boom. It’s more mechanical. In the human world, we wanted it to feel a bit more real, so our lenses have more distortion and the cameras are more of a handheld or Steadicam look.”
The team employed camera capture technology for the human world to achieve a more photo-real look. The technology was best showcased in Pixar’s short “The Blue Umbrella.” Says Lin, “We always approach the cinematography with the story in mind.”
Docter says the team of designers and artists presented hundreds of different directions via thousands of drawings to develop the locations within Riley’s mind and beyond. “Our choices in the end were based less on anything scientific and more on our guts. We went with what felt right—what felt truthful.”
MAPPING IT OUT
HEADQUARTERS is the control center in Riley’s mind where all five Emotions live and work, monitoring Riley’s day-to-day experiences and guiding her along the way.
“The idea of Headquarters came pretty early on in the process,” says Docter. “We knew it would be a workroom and that there would be a console, but we went down a few paths in determining exactly what the console controls. In the end, we decided to keep it very simple so that it’s clear that Riley is still in control of her behavior.”
Adds Eggleston, “The shapes within Headquarters are based on the hypothalamus, which is the cognitive center of the mind, theoretically.”
Bert Berry, shading art director, and his team were tasked with making sure
Headquarters felt homey. “Ralph [Eggleston] and Pete [Docter] really wanted
Headquarters to be soft and inviting,” says Berry. “So there’s not a lot of reflective or harsh surfaces. There’s carpeting, cloth and translucent materials. Some of the walls are made out of a sort of neoprene material.”
The shading team did add some shiny and reflective elements to shake things up a bit. “If we made it all soft and matte, then there’s nothing for light to catch,” says Berry. “We needed to have some variation for it to look dynamic.”
Located within Headquarters are shelves that hold Riley’s memories from the day. The memories themselves are delicate spheres that can replay memories. Says Eggleston,
“Originally, I was looking at dewdrops. I envisioned Long-Term Memory as spiderwebs and the memories as dewdrops on the webs. Then they became spherical—like the leading tip of a synapse flash. And we placed imagery inside each of them to represent a memory—like a great day on the ice with Mom and Dad.”
Each memory carries the color of the Emotion assigned to it. The great day on the ice, for example, would be yellow for Joy, who prefers a wall of yellow memories at the end of the day.
LONG TERM MEMORY is a vast floor-to-very-high-ceiling storage facility that houses millions of Riley’s memories. Long-Term Memory is staffed by Mind Workers, including the Forgetters, who evaluate the usefulness of each memory and eliminate those that no longer seem relevant.
“During the day,” says Lasseter, “all of your memories are collected in short-term memory, but at night, as you sleep, your short-term memory literally gets dumped and only those memories that are imbued with an emotion get saved. Everything else just gets dumped into the Memory Dump. That’s what we learned from the scientists.”
To get the look of Long-Term Memory, filmmakers researched manufacturing facilities.
“We had millions of memories and weren’t sure how to store them and move them around,” says producer Jonas Rivera. “We wanted it to feel legit and believable with weight and movement and structure, so we visited the Jelly Belly candy factory and spent some time at an egg processing plant.”
Holland says the tour of the Jelly Belly factory was more than just your average tour.
“We got to suit up and go down on the floor and see a lot of stuff,” he says. “They have interesting automated packaging machinery, and I really liked watching the way the colors would move through tubes. It was inspiring.”
Holland says that the egg processing plant provided reference for transporting the memory balls from one location to another. “The eggs are delicate, yet could be easily moved with the right system.”
Built and staffed like a full-fledged Hollywood studio, DREAM PRODUCTIONS is where Riley’s dreams (and nightmares) are created. The writers here are not afraid to take risks and often dance on the edge of logic when it comes to Riley’s dreams.
“It’s a giant soundstage with sets and props,” says Docter, who was invited by Bill Hader to spend a week observing “Saturday Night Live” behind the scenes. “Dream Productions can produce anything the writers come up with. Nothing’s too crazy or out there—it’s a little like ‘SNL’ mixed with the magic of Hollywood.”
It’s all about fun in IMAGINATION LAND. Says Lasseter, “Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera are two of the biggest Disneyland fanatics that ever walked the Earth. So it looks a lot like a theme park.”
Anything goes: Love French fries so much that you wish you could build a whole forest made of them? Done. Wish you could use couch cushions to navigate a lava-filled living room? Welcome to Lavaland.
“Imagination Land is where all of Riley’s flights of fancy and daydreams are built full-size and come to life,” says Docter. “It’s a place where you go to play.”
And like all good theme parks, some attractions last a lifetime, while others get replaced: Preschool princess fantasies make way for imaginary boyfriend generators. “From the beginning,” says Docter, “we wanted to show this idea of growing up. So as she outgrows certain fantasies, areas in Imagination Land get torn down.”
Locked inside the SUBCONSCIOUS are all of Riley’s darkest fears. According to Kim White, director of photography – lighting, the lighting in Subconscious actually tips its hat to horror films. “It's dark and we use a lot of bright colors,” says White. “It's overly theatrical—we push it till it feels a little spooky. It’s the kind of sequence that people will remember.”
One of the most unique and bold locations in Riley’s mind, ABSTRACT THOUGHT is an area that turns ideas, Emotions and imaginary friends into two-dimensional shapes and lines. According to Docter, this is likely a newer area in Riley’s mind. “Abstract thought develops around age 10.”
While still under construction, Abstract Thought showcases Riley’s transformation from a child into a young adult who can see beyond what’s right in front of her.
TRAIN OF THOUGHT is an all-terrain choo-choo with a self-generating track that delivers daydreams, ideas and other thoughts to Headquarters. It’s also used to transfer memories to different regions of Riley’s mind. But take note: When Riley sleeps, so do the operators.
Designers went to a train museum to develop the look. They also consulted lifelong train enthusiast Lasseter and his personal collections.
Riley’s ISLANDS OF PERSONALITY are powered by core memories, which are memories of extremely significant times in Riley’s life. Says Docter, “The Islands physically represent Riley’s personality, which is what’s at stake for Joy in the film. Core Memories are those things that you’ll think about or remember on your deathbed. They are those big moments we all have that led us to be who we are.”
Each Island defines a different aspect of Riley’s personality:
• Hockey Island
• Friendship Island
• Family Island
• Goofball Island
• Honesty Island
According to Eggleston, the islands are located an average of 7.3 miles away from
Headquarters. “Each island has a handful of iconic structures on it that had to read clearly to the audience,” he says. “They couldn’t be too close or they would appear too large. And they couldn’t be too far, or they wouldn’t read. We had very little time to sell something visually.”
Deep and spacious, the MEMORY DUMP is a vast wasteland of faded and forgotten memories. Can’t remember your locker combination to save your life? That’s probably where it is.
MINNESOTA is home to Riley—at least before she and her family moves across the country. That’s where she fell in love with hockey and where all of her friends live.
Docter, who grew up in Minnesota, felt it would be a good representation of childhood. “Even now when I go back, I’m surprised to be able to stand somewhere and see nothing on the horizon—no mountains or buildings cropping up. Yet weirdly, I get a feeling of being under a dome—it feels protected and safe.”
The big move called for a series of detailed sets designed to transport Riley—and the audience—to a very different place. Says sets supervisor Robert Moyer, “When they leave Minnesota, we see sunflowers, wheat fields, and an intersection shot, followed by shots of the mountains, the desert and Marin County. We show the Golden Gate Bridge, the Embarcadero, and one or two shots of Lombard Street. As they get close to their new home, we see Hyde Street – it’s basically a 13-shot montage featuring a series of completely unique locations.”
To Riley—and therefore to her Emotions—SAN FRANCISCO represents the unknown, which triggers big reactions in Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness—while Joy scrambles to keep everyone at ease.
Filmmakers chose the city for its unique qualities. “Instead of making it ‘Anytown U.S.A., we wanted to be specific,” says Docter. “San Francisco is so picturesque.”
But they were keen to portray the city—at least in part—from Riley’s point of view. “San Francisco is not home to Riley,” says Berry. “It feels like a little bit dirty and run-down. We didn’t want it to feel like overly decrepit, but we did want to give the city a sense of lived-in history through the dirt and grunge.”
Eggleston wanted to capture the rough, overlapping painting style of Disney’s animated feature “101 Dalmatians” with textures in San Francisco. “We didn’t want to replicate the film,” he says. “But we utilized it to find a simplified way to replicate what we really see in the city—bricked-over windows, painted-over graffiti and muted, receding color that could be enhanced with the hazy, foggy light we were planning to implement.”
HOW DO YOU LIGHT A LIGHTBULB?
Lighting Team Makes Joy Pop, and Helps Define Two Worlds
Filmmakers couldn’t wait to take moviegoers inside the mind of 11-year-old Riley— building a whole new world never before imagined. But the Mind World would be presented alongside the outside “real” world, which presented a bit of a challenge. “We had to figure out how to help viewers know when they’re in each world,” says Kim White, director of photography – lighting. “Outside the mind, we used high key, low saturation and low contrast, while the look inside the mind is more theatrical. It’s very saturated with tons of contrast. That makes it possible to recognize in an instant—as the film cuts back and forth—which world we’re in.”
But to support the story, White and her team played with the general rule. For example, from the very beginning of the film, Riley is happy. Filmmakers opted to make the human world more saturated for those sequences—almost aligned with the Mind World.
“Then she moves to San Francisco and things change,” says White. “Things are no longer quite right for Riley. Her world becomes less saturated, while the Mind World stays really saturated. So there’s an intentional disconnect.”
According to White, the team makes adjustments to the lighting in the Mind as Riley’s world starts to fall apart. The Mind World begins to take on the lighting and colors of a gathering storm. The brooding, ominous feel to the lighting underscores the storyline, showcasing just how dire the situation has become. “Of course we want our sets, our characters, our worlds to look appealing,” says White. “But our number-one goal for every show is helping to support the story in a way that the audience feels, but probably never realizes.”
SHE REALLY LIGHTS UP A ROOM
Perhaps the biggest challenge, however, when it came to lighting for “Inside Out” was the optimist herself, Joy. Filmmakers felt that an Emotion that represents happiness should light up a room—literally. So Joy—who appears in nearly every sequence set in the Mind World—is actually a light source. “The problem is that if you take a picture of a lightbulb,” says White, “it’s just a flat bright thing. There’s no definition. We wanted Joy’s face to be round and appealing.”
Angelique Reisch, who served as one of the lighting team’s lead technical artists, was brought on early in the production to tackle the challenge. Reisch took her lead from production designer Ralph Eggleston and the art department. “There was one pastel Ralph did early on that’s absolutely stunning,” she says. “He created an inner glow that’s really bright—brighter than her outer glow—and colored one side pink and one side white. It was beautiful.”
The pastel inspired the team’s use of hue versus value to achieve the desired shaping of Joy’s features. The use of color—lightest yellows to richer oranges and even red— does for Joy what adjustments in value traditionally do for a character.
Joy as a light source presented some challenges that called for new technology. “Inside Out” became the first film to employ the use of a geometry light. Says Reisch, “Instead of using an erect light or a series of spheres, we actually took a piece of geometry and turned it into a light source. So in this case Joy is an actual light. And then we get really natural lighting: If she touches the paper it’ll be bright where she makes contact.”
Interestingly, Joy does not cast a shadow. Says Reisch, “We came up with a different approach for her. The other Emotions receive light like any normal character would— master lighting from the set, plus some special lights for their glow and their volumes. But Joy has her own special rig, so she’s emanating light onto them. And she doesn’t receive light—like from the screen in Headquarters. Other sources of light don’t affect her because she is the brightest source.
“But what I really like is when she’s having a moment with another character like Sadness,” continues Reisch. “We can push her glow onto Sadness to say something about that relationship.”
Like a good glass of champagne, Joy is also effervescent. Beneath the volume—those particles that make up the Emotions—is a body surface. “We blended her surface shading to give her that effervescent look,” says Reisch. “We also came up with tools and lighting so the lighters could work with the hard-surface version of Joy versus the volume version. That made her faster to light.”
Joy isn’t the only Emotion who glows.
• Sadness has her own blue glow—that may not be as bright as Joy’s, says Reisch, but it’s equally special.
• Disgust and Fear also glow, but to a lesser extent. And Fear’s single hair actually called for its own light.
• Anger lacks glow, but lights up with fire when he’s really mad.
TURNING MUSIC “INSIDE OUT”
Michael Giacchino Creates Intimate Score
“Inside Out” needed a soundtrack that captured the emotional spirit of the story, and director Pete Docter knew just the guy who could pull it off. “Michael Giacchino has such talent and range—plus, he’s a wonderfully collaborative guy,” says Docter.
Giacchino worked with Docter on “Up” (garnering an Academy Award® for best original score) and also counts Disney•Pixar’s films “Cars 2,” “Ratatouille” and “The Incredibles” among his credits. But, says the composer, “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.”
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.”
Giacchino, who—like Docter—is Dad to a teenage daughter, prepared a 12-minute suite that captured that intimacy. Within the 12 minutes is a simple but timeless melody that the composer relates most to Joy. For Sadness, he employs instruments like a bass clarinet or a tuba—or piano for particularly emotional moments. “She’s not relegated to one instrument,” says Giacchino. “None of the Emotions are. Feelings aren’t a one-note thing—there’s dimension and depth.”
The score was recorded with a 70-piece orchestra with an organ and a rhythm section that consisted of guitars and a drummer. “It was a bit quirky, orchestration-wise, but it all fits like a glove,” says Giacchino.
The director and composer first discussed the film’s score at a construction site where Docter was building a house. “There were all these pieces of metal there at the site and my son asked if we could take them home,” says Giacchino. “We started hitting them with different things and found that they had a nice sound, so we used them in the score. The guys in the percussion section played them with little metal tongs. You can hear it in the first cue—right after the memory ball comes down.”
Giacchino also toyed with giant cast iron molds used to make planters. “When you hit them, they have this wonderful resonance to them. We recorded that and then reversed it, which just feels like memories coming to you. We tried a lot of fun things behind the scenes to add texture to the music.
“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.”
ABOUT THE VOICE CAST
AMY POEHLER (voice of Joy) is one of Hollywood’s most versatile and sought-after talents. She is perhaps best known for her starring role on the Emmy®-nominated NBC comedy series “Parks and Recreation,” which began its seventh and final season in February 2015. Her portrayal of Leslie Knope earned her a 2014 Golden Globe® Award for best actress in a TV series, musical or comedy; the award for best actress in a TV comedy at the 2014 American Comedy Awards; and a 2013 Gracie Award. For her work on the show, Poehler also received five consecutive Emmy nominations, two additional Golden Globe nominations and two Screen Actors Guild Awards® nominations.
Poehler returned for a third and final time as co-host of the 72nd Golden Globe® Awards, a role that was met with much critical acclaim. Additionally, she produces and hosts the award-winning online series “Smart Girls at the Party,” which showcases real girls who are “changing the world by being themselves.” Her first book, “Yes Please,” was released in October 2014 and debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times best-sellers list.
Poehler will co-star alongside Tina Fey in the upcoming Universal comedy “Sisters.”
Poehler’s latest film, “They Came Together,” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2014. In 2013, she appeared opposite Adam Scott in “A.C.O.D.,” was the voice of Jenny in the animated comedy “Free Birds,” and was seen opposite Owen Wilson and Zach Galifianakis in “Are You Here.” Her film credits include “Baby Mama,” “Blades of Glory,” “Mean Girls” and “Wet Hot American Summer,” the latter of which will return as a series on Netflix this summer. Her voice has also been heard in “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel,” “Monsters vs. Aliens,” “Horton Hears a Who!” and the smash hit “Shrek the Third.”
Poehler’s work extends beyond her roles in front of the camera. She serves as executive producer of the scripted Comedy Central hit “Broad City,” a series based on the web show of the same name that follows two friends as they navigate their way through life in New York City. Poehler also recently signed a three-year producing deal with Universal Television, under which “Difficult People,” a comedy centered on best friends living in New York City, is in production. The series will air on Hulu.
Poehler teamed up with her brother, Greg Poehler, to form production company Syskon, which aims to develop and produce international television comedy and programming. Their first series, “Welcome to Sweden,” premiered on NBC in July 2014 and debuted on Sweden’s TV4 network as its first English-language comedy. The series returns for a second season later this year.
After her much-buzzed-about portrayal of Senator Hillary Clinton during the 2008 presidential election, Poehler completed her eighth and final season of “Saturday Night
Live” (and her fifth as the co-anchor of “Weekend Update”). Poehler boasted an impressive arsenal of outrageous characters, from the hyperactive Caitlin and onelegged reality-show contestant Amber to a manic host of “Good Morning Meth.” Poehler also contributed memorable impressions of Kelly Ripa, Avril Lavigne, Sharon Osbourne, Paula Abdul, Sharon Stone and Michael Jackson. In 2007, she received her first Emmy® nomination for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series. Due to a change in eligibility, this was an unprecedented nomination, making her the first performer in “SNL” history to land a spot in this category. She went on to receive a second nomination in this category for her work on her final season the following year.
Prior to joining the “SNL” cast, Poehler co-founded the Upright Citizens Brigade, a sketch/improv troupe that relocated to New York, where they had a sketch show on Comedy Central for three seasons with Poehler as both a writer and performer. In addition, they opened theaters that are regarded as the premier sketch/improv comedy venues in New York City and Los Angeles. Poehler and the U.C.B. were featured in
“A.S.S.S.S.C.A.T.: Improv,” an improvised comedy special on Bravo.
Poehler has made memorable television appearances, ranging from “Arrested
Development” and “Wonder Showzen” to “Undeclared.” She also was a voice on
“O’Grady” and “The Simpsons.”
Poehler splits her time between New York and Los Angeles.
PHYLLIS SMITH (voice of Sadness) is a native St. Louisan and longtime ensemble cast member in NBC’s hit series “The Office.”
Smith got her start in the entertainment industry working for casting agencies with clients such as “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Arrested Development,” “Spin City,” and NBC's pilot of “The Office.”
She appeared in “Bad Teacher,” “Butter” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks 3:
Chipwrecked.” Additional acting credits include “Arrested Development,” the box-office hit “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and the independent film “I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With.”
Smith, a former St. Louis Cardinals cheerleader, received full scholarships in dance from Kansas University and Tulsa University, and she holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Missouri, St. Louis. She was also a ballet dancer with the St. Louis Civic Ballet and the St. Louis Dance Theater, as well as a professional jazz dancer under Raoul Appel. Smith attended Cleveland High School.
RICHARD KIND (voice of Bing Bong), Drama Desk Award winner and Tony® nominee for the Broadway hit “The Big Knife,” is an accomplished stage, screen and television actor who continues to redefine the term “character actor.”
Kind appeared in the 2013 Academy Award®-winning best picture “Argo,” as well as “Obvious Child” and Neil LaBute’s segment of “10x10.” He had a starring role in “The Hereafter,” directed by Clint Eastwood. Kind’s role as Uncle Arthur in “A Serious Man” was critically lauded worldwide. Additional film credits include “The Visitor” and “The Station Agent,” among many others, as well as voicing characters in Disney•Pixar’s “A Bug’s Life” and Disney•Pixar’s “Cars.”
In television, besides his infamous roles on “Spin City” and “Mad About You,” Kind starred in the acclaimed HBO series “Luck,” and has guest starred on “Harry’s Law,” “Leverage,” “Burn Notice,” “Glee,” “The Middle,” “The Good Wife,” “Scrubs,” “Still
Standing,” “The Division” and “Miss Match.” He also had a recurring role on “Curb Your
Enthusiasm,” and is currently on “Gotham.”
On stage, Kind starred in the smash hit Broadway musical “The Producers,” plus “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife,” “Candide” and “Bounce,” among others. Early in his career, he was a member of Chicago’s improv theater troupe, The Second City.
Actor, writer, comedian and producer BILL HADER (voice of Fear) has become one of the most sought-after comedy minds in Hollywood. In 2013, Hader finished production of his eighth and final season as a regular cast member on NBC’s venerable comedy institution “Saturday Night Live.” Originally from Tulsa, Okla., Hader made an early splash on “SNL” in 2005 with his uncanny impressions, including Al Pacino and Vincent Price. Heralded by New York magazine as “SNL’s new secret weapon, Hader boasted impersonations and sarcasm delivered with eviscerating deftness.” In 2012, Hader received an Emmy® nomination for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series for his work on the show. In 2013 he was nominated for an Emmy in the same category.
Hader had a full slate of film work in the summer of 2007 that began with a role in Judd
Apatow’s critically acclaimed box-office hit “Knocked Up,” which grossed more than $219 million worldwide. Hader followed with a performance in another Apatow release, appearing opposite Seth Rogen as a wayward policeman in Columbia Pictures’ “Superbad,” which grossed more than $169 million worldwide.
Hader found great success in 2008 with his role as Jason Segel’s compassionate and hilarious stepbrother in the surprise box-office hit “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” Hader made a memorable cameo role in the summer action/comedy “Pineapple Express.” Later that year, he appeared in the summer blockbuster comedy “Tropic Thunder” as the insecure studio executive Rob Slolom who has to contend with the antics of Tom Cruise’s crazed studio head character, Les Grossman. Nominated best comedy for the BFCA Critics’ Choice Awards, the film was directed and written by Ben Stiller, who also starred in the film. It opened No. 1 at the box office and earned more than $188 million worldwide. Hader, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr., Jay Baruchel, Brandon T. Jackson and Matthew McConaughey earned best ensemble cast by the 2008 Boston Society of Film Critics Awards.
In 2009, Hader reunited with Ben Stiller for “Night at the Museum: Battle of the
Smithsonian,” which generated more than $413 million worldwide. He also appeared in Miramax’s “Adventureland,” reuniting with “Superbad” director Greg Mottola and “SNL” cast mate Kristen Wiig. Hader won an Emmy® Award in 2009 for his work as a producer on Comedy Central’s “South Park.”
Hader appeared alongside Jane Lynch, Simon Pegg, Sigourney Weaver, Jason
Bateman, Kristen Wiig and Seth Rogen in 2011’s “Paul,” another Mottola-directed film.
In 2012, Hader co-starred with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in Sony Pictures’ “Men in Black 3,” which grossed more than $624 million worldwide.
Hader has voiced several animated characters, including Flint Lockwood in “Cloudy
With a Chance of Meatballs,” which earned best animated feature nominations for the
Golden Globes®, the Annie Awards, the Broadcast Film Critics Association and Satellite
Awards. In 2013, Hader returned as Lockwood for “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2,” which has grossed more than $274 million worldwide. Other voiceover credits include “Turbo,” “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs,” “Doogal” and “Hoodwinked Too!
Hood vs. Evil.” Additional film credits include “You, Me and Dupree,” “Hot Rod” and “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby.”
In 2013, Hader was seen in the CBS Films comedy “The To Do List,” written and directed by his wife, Maggie Carey, and co-starring Andy Samberg, Rachel Bilson and Aubrey Plaza. Hader was also seen opposite Larry David, Jon Hamm, Danny McBride, Eva Mendes, Kate Hudson and Michael Keaton in “Clear History” on HBO.
Hader can be seen in cinemas opposite Kristen Wiig and Ty Burrell in “The Skeleton Twins,” which was purchased by Lionsgate at the Sundance Film Festival and currently boasts 87 percent on RottenTomatoes.com. Hader earned a Gotham Independent Film Award nomination for best actor for his performance.
Hader co-stars with Amy Schumer in Universal Pictures’ Judd Apatow-directed comedy “Trainwreck,” which opened to rave reviews at the 2015 South by Southwest Film
Festival. It opens in cinemas on July 24. Hader will be heard in Sony Picture’s “Angry
Birds,” the animated adaption of the hit mobile video game. He also signed on to star in Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s classic “The BFG.” Both films will be released in 2016.
A Second City Los Angeles alum, Hader lives in Los Angeles with his wife, filmmaker Maggie Carey, and their three daughters.
Known as the king of the rant, LEWIS BLACK (voice of Anger) uses his trademark style of comedic yelling and animated finger-pointing to skewer anything and anyone that gets under his skin. His comedic brilliance lies in his ability to make people laugh at the absurdities of life, with topics that include current events, social media, politics and anything else that exposes the hypocrisy and madness he sees in the world.
Receiving critical acclaim as a stand-up, actor and author, Black has performed for audiences throughout Europe, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. In 2012, he performed eight sellout shows at Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway.
Born in Washington D.C. on Aug. 30, 1948, Black was raised in Silver Spring, Md. Colicky as a baby, he was destined to be angry and easily irritated. His mother, a teacher, and his father, a mechanical engineer, instilled the importance of education and the necessity to question authority—lessons that influenced Black throughout his life. He fell in love with the theater at age 12, after seeing his first play, which led to pursuing a career in drama. Degrees followed from the University of North Carolina and Yale Drama School, with a stint in Colorado owning a theater with a group of friends in the interim. During his tenure at UNC, Black ventured into stand-up, performing at Cat’s Cradle in Chapel Hill. Stand-up was a steady presence as he pursued his career in theater.
Black eventually settled in New York City and became the playwright-in-residence at the
West Bank Café’s Downstairs Theatre Bar. He oversaw the development of more than 1,000 plays, including works by “West Wing” creator Aaron Sorkin, “American Beauty” writer Alan Ball, as well as his own original works. In addition to overseeing the works on stage, Black emceed every show. As the West Bank grew, so did Black’s stand-up skills. He left the West Bank in the late 1980s to pursue stand-up full time.
In 1996, his friend Lizz Winstead tapped him to create a weekly segment for Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” The segment, a three-minute rant about whatever was bothering him at the moment, evolved into “Back in Black,” becoming one of the most popular and longest-running segments on the show. Since then, Black has taped four specials for the “Comedy Central Presents” series, co-created “Last Laugh With Lewis Black” and presided over “Lewis Black’s The Root of All Evil.” His popular appearances on Comedy Central helped to win him Best Male Stand-Up at the American Comedy Awards in 2001.
Increased exposure from “The Daily Show” generated a record deal with Stand Up!
Records. His first CD, “The White Album,” was released in 2000 to critical acclaim. Black followed with eight more—six under the Comedy Central Records label. He has received five Grammy® nominations and two wins for his work. The first nomination came in 2006 for “Luther Burbank Performing Arts Center Blues,” the second in 2009 for “Anticipation.” In 2007 he won the Grammy for best comedy album for “The Carnegie Hall Performance,” and again in 2011 for “Stark Raving Black.” His 2012 release, “In God We Rust” (Comedy Central Records) was also nominated for a Grammy.
Black has filmed two specials for HBO, including “Black On Broadway” and “Red, White and Screwed.” The latter was nominated for an Emmy® in 2007. He had a regular feature for two seasons on “Inside the NFL” (for which he earned a Sports Emmy) and in 2006, he was asked to participate in Comic Relief.
In 2009 Lewis filmed his first feature-length concert film, “Stark Raving Black,” at the
Fillmore Theatre in Detroit. The film had a limited run in theaters across the U.S. and
Canada in the summer of 2010. At the end of the theater run, premium movie channel EpixHD picked up the film for its channel, along with the accompanying documentary, “Basic Black.” Both are aired regularly and can be found in the EpixHD on-demand queue. In 2011, he produced his second full-length concert, “In God We Rust,” which also airs on EpixHD. In August 2013, Black recorded his ninth stand-up special “Old Yeller: Live at The Borgata.”
Black has appeared on “Larry King Live,” “Piers Morgan Tonight,” “Late Night with
Jimmy Fallon,” “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brian” and “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.” Black has also had numerous appearances on CNN and MSNBC and has occasionally done the weather with Al Roker.
In the midst of a rigorous touring schedule, regular TV appearances and movie roles,
Black has written three best-selling books: “Nothing’s Sacred” (Simon & Schuster,
2005), “Me of Little Faith” (Riverhead Books, 2008) and “I’m Dreaming of a Black Christmas” (Riverhead Books, 2010). All garnered critical praise as well as commercial success and spent numerous weeks on the New York Times best-sellers list.
Black has penned more than 40 plays, many of which have been produced around the country. “The Deal,” a dark comedy about business, was made into a short film in 1998 and picked up by the Sundance Channel. In 2011, his play “One Slight Hitch” was produced at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and then again in 2012 at both the ACT Theatre in Seattle and The George Street Theatre in New Brunswick.
In 2006, Black had a breakout year as an actor, co-starring with Robin Williams in Barry Levinson’s “Man of the Year” (Universal Pictures). He also appeared as “the fake dean of a fake college” in Steve Pink’s “Accepted” (Universal Pictures) and as the harried airport manager in Paul Feig’s “Unaccompanied Minors” (Warner Bros.). He lent his voice to Jimmy in Bob Saget’s parody “Farce of the Penguins” (Thinkfilm).
As a longtime mentor with the 52nd Street Project, Black was roasted in Charred Black
2007, which drew the largest fundraising numbers in the Project’s history. He’s a member of their advisory board, is co-chair of their capital campaign, and in 2000, the Ron Black Memorial Scholarship Fund was created in memory of his late brother. Black is also committed to raising funds for the Rusty Magee Clinic for Families and Health. He’s a strong supporter of both the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Autism Speaks and was honored by The Brady Center for his commitment to ending gun violence. In 2012, he was honored by the ACLU of Georgia with their National Civil Liberties Award. At the Williamstown Theatre Festival, he established the William Foeller Fellowship, having taught and performed at the festival for more than a decade. Black also supports our military personnel and has performed in three tours with the USO, visiting several Middle Eastern and European military bases with Robin Williams, Lance Armstrong, Kid Rock, Miss America Rachel Smith and Kellie Pickler.
Black resides in both Manhattan and Chapel Hill, N.C. Still loyal to his alma mater, he’s worked with UNC students to create the Carolina Comedy Festival, a yearly festival on the UNC campus that highlights performances and provides workshops and lectures for budding comics, writers and performers. With his involvement at UNC, Black continues a lifelong commitment to education and the arts. He continues to tour heavily, playing countless dates each year and providing a cathartic release of anger and disillusionment for his audience. In his leisure time, Black likes to play golf, even though golf hates him.
MINDY KALING (voice of Disgust) is an actor, writer, producer, and director. She currently stars in the Fox comedy series “The Mindy Project," which she also writes and executive produces. The show centers on Dr. Mindy Lahiri, a successful OB/GYN whose love of romantic comedies is wreaking havoc on her personal life. In 2013, “The Mindy Project” was nominated for a Writers Guild Award for New Series. In 2014, Kaling and the show earned nominations from the Television Critics Association for individual achievement in comedy and outstanding achievement in comedy, respectively. Kaling also earned an NAACP Image Award nomination for her performance on the show in 2014.
Before "The Mindy Project," Kaling was best known for her work on the critically acclaimed, Emmy® Award–winning NBC show “The Office.” In addition to directing, producing, and portraying celebrity-obsessed Kelly Kapoor, Kaling wrote 18 episodes of the series, including the Emmy-nominated episode “Niagra.”
Kaling made her film debut as the object of Paul Rudd's unwanted affections in Judd
Apatow’s “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.” She was last seen on the big screen alongside
Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher in “No Strings Attached” and Jason Segel and Emily Blunt in “The Five-Year Engagement.” She also lent her voice to the blockbuster animated comedies “Despicable Me” and “Wreck-It Ralph.” Kaling was most recently seen in “This Is the End” alongside James Franco and Seth Rogen.
Aside from her work in film and television, Kaling is the author of the comedic memoir “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and Other Concerns),” which continues to be featured on the New York Times and USA Today best-seller lists. Kaling is working on her second memoir “Why Not Me?”—scheduled to be released in the fall of 2015.
KAITLYN DIAS (voice of Riley) is a versatile actress on both stage and screen. At age 5, she began singing and acting in school and church productions. That was when she discovered that performing was indeed her passion. It’s continued ever since.
Born and raised in Northern California, Dias signed with a local talent agent and began working in commercials, voiceovers and independent films.
During her down time, Dias enjoys music, singing, reading and spending time with family and friends.
Having garnered Screen Actors Guild Award®, Golden Globe®, and Oscar® nominations for her work, DIANE LANE (voice of Mom) is currently starring in Lincoln Center’s production of Bathsheba Doran’s new play “The Mystery of Love and Sex,” directed by Sam Gold. Lane recently wrapped filming Jay Roach’s new film “Trumbo” opposite Bryan Cranston, and is reprising her role as Martha Kent in Zack Snyder’s Superman sequel “Batman v Superman: The Dawn of Justice.” In 2012, Lane earned rave reviews for her performance in Tennessee Williams’ “Sweet Bird of Youth” at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. Previously she received Emmy®, Golden Globe® and
SAG Award® nominations for her leading role in HBO’s well-reviewed and prestigious film “Cinema Verite,” co-starring James Gandolfini and Tim Robbins. Lane also starred opposite John Malkovich in Disney’s “Secretariat,” directed by Randall Wallace. Lane will be seen in the acclaimed documentarian Amy Berg’s narrative feature debut, “Every Secret Thing,” produced by Frances McDormand.
Lane was hailed as best actress in 2002 by the New York Film Critics and National Society of Film Critics and received an Academy Award® nomination for her turn as an adulterous wife in the critically-acclaimed Adrian Lyne film “Unfaithful.” Lane's lengthy filmography includes four films with Francis Ford Coppola, plus George C. Wolfe’s “Nights in Rodanthe” opposite Richard Gere, Allen Coulter's 1950s-era “Hollywoodland” with Ben Affleck and Adrien Brody, the comedy “Must Love Dogs” with John Cusack and Christopher Plummer, and the drama “A Walk on the Moon,” which landed Lane an Independent Spirit Award nomination. Her credits also include the Audrey Wells romantic comedy “Under the Tuscan Sun,” earning her a Golden Globe® nomination;
Wolfgang Petersen's action film “The Perfect Storm” opposite Mark Wahlberg and
George Clooney”; the highly successful adaptation of Willie Morris' childhood memoir
“My Dog Skip”; a portrayal of actress Paulette Goddard in “Chaplin” for director Sir
Richard Attenborough; and Zack Snyder’s Superman film “Man of Steel.”
On television, Lane has appeared in a wide range of roles, including “A Streetcar Named Desire” opposite Alec Baldwin and Jessica Lange, and her Emmy®-nominated role Lorena in the CBS series “Lonesome Dove,” opposite Robert Duvall. TV credits also include TNT's “The Virginian” with Bill Pullman, and the Hallmark Hall of Fame drama, “Grace & Glorie” opposite Gena Rowlands. Lane starred in the CBS epic miniseries “The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All” with Donald Sutherland and Cicely Tyson, sharing her character with the venerable Anne Bancroft. The miniseries was based on the best-selling novel by Allan Gurganus. Lane portrayed the title character from her early teens into her sixties.
The daughter of drama coach Burt Lane and singer Colleen Farrington, Lane answered a call for child actors at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club at age 6. She won a role in Andrei Serban's famously primal, Euripides’ Greek version of “Medea” and subsequently appeared over the next five years in his productions of “Electra,” “The Trojan Women,” “The Good Woman of Szechuan” and “As You Like It,” both in New York and touring theater festivals around the world with La MaMa ETC. After performing in Joseph Papp's productions of “The Cherry Orchard” and “Agamemnon” at Lincoln Center in 1976-77, Lane starred at The Public Theater in “Runaways,” and made her film debut opposite Sir Laurence Olivier in George Roy Hill's “A Little Romance” in 1978.
Lane’s philanthropic focus has lately included Heifer International, Oceana, and Half the Sky Movement.
KYLE MACLACHLAN (voice of Dad) is an actor who has brought indelible charm and a quirky sophistication to some of film and television’s most memorable roles.
MacLachlan was most recently seen in the sixth season of “The Good Wife.” He reprises his role as oddball attorney Josh Perotti who once caught Ms. Tascioni’s eye. He can currently be seen on ABC in season two of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” On a recent episode, he was revealed to be the character Calvin Zabo, otherwise known as supervillain Mr. Hyde.
MacLachlan appeared in the NBC drama “Believe,” produced by J.J. Abrams. The show focuses on an unlikely relationship between a gifted young girl and a man sprung from prison who has been tasked with protecting her. MacLachlan played Skouras, a mysterious billionaire with an unknown agenda.
MacLachlan reprised his guest-starring role as The Captain on “How I Met Your
Mother.” His character originally appeared in season six with a memorable threeepisode arc. The Captain is the husband of Ted’s (Josh Radnor) love interest, Zooey (played by Jennifer Morrison). The role was loosely based on some of MacLachlans’s early sitcom heroes, such as Thurston Howell III and Jethro Bodine.
MacLachlan starred as the gregarious and enthusiastic Mayor of Portland in the cult-hitcomedy “Portlandia,” working alongside Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein.
In 2013, he starred in Drake Doremus’ independent film “Breathe In” opposite Guy Pearce, Felicity Jones and Amy Ryan. The film follows a high school teacher (Pearce) who’s tempted to cheat on his wife (Ryan) with one of his students (Jones). MacLachlan plays a supporting role in the film.
MacLachlan starred as Dr. Orson Hodge on ABC’s beloved Emmy®-nominated television series “Desperate Housewives.” He joined the cast in 2006 and appeared regularly on the show.
In 2012, MacLachlan appeared in IFC’s Film’s “Peace, Love and Misunderstanding,” directed by Bruce Beresford and starring Jane Fonda, Elizabeth Olden and Catherine Keener. In 2010, MacLachlan appeared in “Mao’s Last Dancer,” a film based on the true story of ballet dancer Li Cunxin. MacLachlan played the immigration attorney responsible for keeping Li from being removed from the U.S. by the Chinese government. Directed by Bruce Beresford, it was and released by Samuel Goldwyn Films and ATO Pictures.
MacLachlan received two Emmy® nominations and a Golden Globe® Award for his performance as FBI Agent Dale Cooper in David Lynch’s groundbreaking series “Twin Peaks.” MacLachlan also starred for two seasons on HBO’s “Sex and The City” as Charlotte’s husband. He has also appeared in a recurring guest-starring role in “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.”
MacLachlan’s television credits include ABC’s “In Justice” (2006), TNT’s “The Librarian: Quest for the Spear” (2004), HBO’s award-winning film “Against the Wall” (1994), and Showtime’s original film “Roswell” (1994).
MacLachlan made his feature film debut in 1984 in the futuristic drama “Dune,” directed by David Lynch. He reteamed with Lynch in 1986 in the uniquely disturbing film “Blue Velvet,” opposite Isabella Rossellini and Dennis Hopper. MacLachlan’s film credits include “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2” (2008), “Touch of Pink” (2004), “Hamlet” (2000), “Timecode” (2000), “One Nigh Stand” (1997), “The Trigger Effect”
(1996), “Showgirls” (1995), “The Flintstones” (1994), “The Trial” (1993), “Rich in Love”
(1992) and Oliver Stone’s 1990 film “The Doors.”
MacLachlan made his directorial debut in 1993 with an episode of the darkly comic HBO hit series “Tales from the Crypt.”
In 2003, MacLachlan made his Broadway debut as Aston in Harold Pinter’s “The Caretaker,” starring opposite Patrick Stewart and Aidan Gillen. The play, about two brothers and an elderly derelict in close quarters, was directed by David Jones for the Roundabout Theatre Company and was nominated for best rival of a play by the Outer Critics Circle. In 2002, MacLachlan made his London stage debut in the West End production of “On an Average Day,” opposite Woody Harrelson. The two-character piece by John Kolvenbach revolves around two troubled brothers who reunite with explosive consequences. Directed by John Crowley, the play returned MacLachlan to his theater roots after a 14-year absence.
MacLachlan has a passion for winemaking and together, with Eric Dunham of Dunham Cellars, they’ve created their own wine, Pursued by a Bear, a Cabernet blend crafted from grapes sourced in and around Washington, MacLachlan’s home state. He recently added a second wine to his arsenal called Baby Bear, a Syrah named in honor of his son Callum, who was born in 2008, the year of the first harvest.
MacLachlan divides his time between Los Angeles and New York with his wife Desiree and their son Callum.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
PETE DOCTER (Directed by/Original Story by/Screenplay by) is the Oscar®-winning director of “Monsters, Inc.” and “Up,” and vice president – creative, at Pixar Animation Studios.
Starting at Pixar in 1990 as the studio’s third animator, Docter collaborated with John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton in developing the story and characters for “Toy Story,” Pixar’s first full-length animated feature film, for which he also served as supervising animator. He served as a storyboard artist on “A Bug’s Life,” and wrote initial story treatments for both “Toy Story 2” and “WALL•E.” Docter also executive produced
“Brave” and “Monsters University.”
Docter’s interest in animation began at age 8 when he created his first flipbook. He studied character animation at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Valencia, Calif., where he produced a variety of short films—one of which won a Student Academy Award®. Those films have since been shown in animation festivals around the world and are featured on the “Pixar Short Films Collection Volume 2.” Upon joining Pixar, Docter animated and directed several commercials, and has been nominated for six Academy Awards, including best animated feature winner “Up” and nominee
“Monsters, Inc.,” and best original screenplay for “Up” and “WALL•E.”
RONNIE DEL CARMEN (Co-Directed by/Original Story by) joined Pixar Animation
Studios in 2000 and has been a member of the story team on a number of the studio’s feature films, including the Academy Award®-winning features “Finding Nemo,” “Ratatouille” and “Up” (for which he served as story supervisor).
In addition to his contributions to the feature films, Del Carmen served as production designer for the Academy Award®–nominated short film “One Man Band.” He made his directorial debut with the short film “Dug’s Special Mission,” released on the “Up” DVD and Blu-Ray. In addition to his work on feature and short films he contributed his artistic talents to illustrating the children's book “My Name Is Dug,” written by Kiki Thorpe.
Del Carmen fell in love with animation at an early age while growing up in the
Philippines and watched cartoons devoutly—especially Disney’s “Wonderful World of Color.” The Disney films “Fantasia” and “Dumbo” also fueled his early interest in animation, which led to a varied career in art and filmmaking. Del Carmen was influenced by Carl Barks comics; monster and sci-fi films, Alfred Hitchcock and David Lean films; and illustrators, graphic designers and artists like Bill Peet, Ollie Johnston and Mary Blair. He even landed a job at the young age of 15 as a painter on the set of
“Apocalypse Now,” filming on location in the Philippines.
Del Carmen attended the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines, where he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in advertising. He went on to work as an art director for print and television campaigns in the advertising industry, but knew his heart was in filmmaking. He moved to the United States in 1989 and worked as a storyboard artist for “Batman: The Animated Series” and for DreamWorks as a story supervisor. Occasionally, he would dabble in comic book work for DC, Marvel and Dark Horse. He continues to self-publish his work.
JONAS RIVERA, p.g.a. (Produced by) joined Pixar Animation Studios in 1994 to work on “Toy Story” as the studio’s first and only intern at the time. He advanced roles in production on almost every subsequent Pixar feature film until becoming producer of the studio's 2009 Oscar®-winning film “Up.” Most recently, Rivera has reteamed with “Up” director Pete Docter for Pixar’s next original feature film “Inside Out,” set to release June 19, 2015.
Rivera's past roles at the studio include art department coordinator for “A Bug’s Life,” marketing and creative resources coordinator on “Toy Story 2,” art department manager on Docter's Oscar®-nominated “Monsters, Inc.,” and production manager on Pixar’s Golden Globe®-winning feature “Cars. ” For his work as producer of “Up,” Rivera was awarded producer of the year in animated features by the Producers Guild of America and nominated for a best picture Oscar by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Inspired at a very young age, Rivera has always loved films, particularly animated ones. His first childhood memories consist of the Tiki Room at Disneyland and going to the theater to see films like “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and “Star Wars.” Prior to Pixar, his diverse professional background includes working in music stores and toy stores and playing in hard rock bands – what he jokingly refers to as “the perfect training for working at Pixar.”
A Bay Area native, Rivera grew up in Castro Valley and graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in film production.
JOHN LASSETER (Executive Producer) creatively oversees all films and associated projects from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios and Disneytoon Studios, in addition to his involvement in a wide range of activities at Walt Disney Imagineering.
Lasseter made his feature directorial debut in 1995 with “Toy Story,” the first-ever feature-length computer-animated film, for which he received a Special Achievement Oscar® recognizing his inspired leadership of the “Toy Story” team. He and the rest of the screenwriting team earned an Academy Award® nomination for best original screenplay, marking the first time an animated feature had ever been recognized in that category. Lasseter also directed “A Bug’s Life” (1998), “Toy Story 2” (1999), “Cars” (2006) and “Cars 2” (2011).
Lasseter was executive producer for Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Oscar®-winning features “Big Hero 6” (2014) and “Frozen” (2013), which also won an Oscar for best original song (“Let It Go”). Since assuming creative oversight of both animation studios in 2006, Lasseter has served as executive producer on all Walt Disney Animation Studios features, including “Bolt” (2008), “The Princess and the Frog” (2009), “Tangled” (2010), “Winnie the Pooh” (2011) and “Wreck-It Ralph” (2012). He also serves as executive producer for Disneytoon Studios’ films, including “The Pirate Fairy,” “Planes: Fire & Rescue” and the “Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast.”
Lasseter has executive produced all Pixar features since “Monsters, Inc.” (2001), including the studio’s seven Academy Award® winners “Finding Nemo” (2003), “The Incredibles” (2004), “Ratatouille” (2007), “WALL•E” (2008) “Up” (2009), “Toy Story 3”
(2010) and “Brave” (2012), as well as the 2015 feature films “Inside Out” and “The Good Dinosaur.” To date, Pixar’s films have earned more than $8.5 billion in gross box-office receipts, with all 14 features opening at No. 1.
Lasseter wrote, directed and animated Pixar’s first short films, including “Luxo Jr.,”
“Red’s Dream,” “Tin Toy” and “Knick Knack.” “Luxo Jr.” was the first three-dimensional computer-animated film ever to be nominated for an Academy Award® when it was nominated for best animated short film in 1986; “Tin Toy” was the first three-dimensional computer-animated film ever to win an Academy Award when it was named best animated short film in 1988. Lasseter has executive-produced all of the studio’s subsequent shorts, including the Academy Award-winning shorts “Geri’s Game” (1997) and “For the Birds” (2000), plus “La Luna” (2011), “The Blue Umbrella” (2013) and Pixar’s new short “Lava,” which opens in front of “Inside Out,” and “Sanjay’s Super Team,” which opens in front of “The Good Dinosaur.” He also serves as executive producer for Walt Disney Animation Studios shorts, including the Oscar®-winning shorts “Feast” (2014) and “Paperman” (2012), as well as “Get A Horse!” (2013) and the new short “Frozen Fever.”
In his role as principal creative advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering, Lasseter was instrumental in bringing the beloved characters and settings of Radiator Springs to life for Disneyland Resort guests with the successful 2012 launch of Cars Land, a massive 12-acre expansion at Disney California Adventure Park.
In 2009, Lasseter was honored at the 66th Venice International Film Festival with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement. The following year, he became the first producer of animated films to receive the Producers Guild of America’s David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Motion Pictures. Lasseter’s other recognitions include the 2004 outstanding contribution to cinematic imagery award from the Art Directors Guild, an honorary degree from the American Film Institute, and the 2008 Winsor McCay Award from ASIFA-Hollywood for career achievement and contribution to the art of animation.
Prior to the formation of Pixar in 1986, Lasseter was a member of the computer division of Lucasfilm Ltd., where he designed and animated “The Adventures of André & Wally B.,” the first-ever piece of character-based three-dimensional computer animation, and the computer-generated Stained Glass Knight character in the 1985 Steven Spielberg– produced film “Young Sherlock Holmes.”
Lasseter was part of the inaugural class of the character animation program at California Institute of the Arts and received his B.F.A. in film in 1979. He is the only twotime winner of the Student Academy Award for Animation, for his CalArts student films
“Lady and the Lamp” (1979) and “Nitemare” (1980). His very first award came at the age of 5, when he won $15 from the Model Grocery Market in Whittier, Calif., for a crayon drawing of the Headless Horseman.
ANDREW STANTON (Executive Producer) has been a major creative force at Pixar Animation Studios since 1990, when he became the second animator and ninth employee to join the company’s elite group of computer animation pioneers. As vice president – creative, he currently leads the initiatives of and oversees all features and shorts development of the studio. Stanton wrote and directed the Academy Award®winning Disney•Pixar feature film “WALL•E,” for which he also received a best original screenplay Oscar®-nomination. Stanton is directing the upcoming Pixar feature film
“Finding Dory,” set to release in 2016.
Stanton made his directorial debut with the record-shattering “Finding Nemo,” an original story of his that he also co-wrote. The film garnered Stanton two Academy Award® nominations (best original screenplay and best animated film), and “Finding
Nemo” was awarded an Oscar® for best animated feature film of 2003, the first such honor Pixar Animation Studios received for a full-length feature film.
One of the four screenwriters to receive an Oscar® nomination in 1996 for his contribution to “Toy Story,” Stanton went on to receive credit as a screenwriter on every subsequent Pixar film, including “A Bug’s Life,” “Toy Story 2,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “Finding Nemo.” Additionally, he served as co-director on “A Bug’s Life,” and was the executive producer of “Monsters, Inc.” and “Monsters University,” and Academy Award®-winning films “Ratatouille” and “Brave.”
In addition to his multi-award-winning animation work, Stanton made his live-action writing and directorial debut with Disney’s “John Carter,” released in March 2012.
A native of Rockport, Mass., Stanton earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in character animation from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), where he completed two student films. In the 1980s, he launched his professional career in Los Angeles animating for Bill Kroyer’s Kroyer Films studio, and writing for Ralph Bakshi’s production of “Mighty Mouse, The New Adventures” (1987).
MEG LEFAUVE (Screenplay by) is working on several projects, including upcoming Pixar films, Marvel Studios’ “Captian Marvel” with Nicole Perlman, and is in development on an original TV series for A&E entitled “Girl in a Box.”
As a writer, LeFauve has written scripts for studios as well as independent films and participated in the Sundance Screenwriters Lab with John Morgan for their project “The Cavanaughs.”
LeFauve began her film career as a producer and president of Egg Pictures, Jodie Foster's film company. During that time, LeFauve produced films that were nominated for an Emmy® and a Golden Globe®; she was awarded a Peabody for Jane Anderson's Showtime film “The Baby Dance.”
LeFauve also produced “The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys” for Egg Pictures. Starring Kieran Culkin, Jodie Foster and Vincent D'Onofrio, the film opened to rave reviews and won the 2003 IFP Award for Best First Feature.
LeFauve is a consultant to Screen New South Wales, Screen Australia, and Film Victoria. She has also mentored at the Sundance Creative Producing Lab and is a board member and returning participant at CineStory Script Sessions. LeFauve served as co-chair of the Graduate Producers Program at UCLA's School of Film and Television and taught master-level story and development classes for more than seven years.
Raised in Warren, Ohio, LeFauve attended Syracuse University. She lives in Studio
JOSH COOLEY (Screenplay by/Story Supervisor) joined Pixar Animation Studios in May 2003 immediately after graduation, as an intern in the story department. He has since worked as a story artist on the Academy Award®-winning films “The Incredibles,”
“Ratatouille” and “Up,” as well as the Golden Globe®-winning film “Cars.”
Born in Berkeley, Calif., and raised in Livermore, CA, Cooley was influenced by Looney Tunes cartoons, Disney’s “Peter Pan” and artwork and jokes in Mad magazine.
He resides in Orinda, Calif., with his wife and kids.
MICHAEL GIACCHINO (Original Score Composed by) has credits that feature some of the most popular and acclaimed film projects in recent history, including “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol” and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.” Giacchino’s 2009 score for the Disney•Pixar’s hit “Up” earned him an Oscar®, a Golden Globe®, the BAFTA, the Broadcast Film Critics' Choice Award and two Grammy® Awards.
Giacchino began his filmmaking career at the age of 10 in his backyard in Edgewater Park, N.J., and eventually went on to study filmmaking at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. After college, he landed a marketing job at Disney and began studies in music composition, first at Juilliard and then at UCLA. From marketing, he became a producer in the fledgling Disney Interactive Division where he had the opportunity to write music for video games.
After moving to a producing job at the newly formed DreamWorks Interactive Division, he was asked to score the temp track for the video game adaptation of “The Lost World: Jurassic Park.” Subsequently, Steven Spielberg hired him as the composer and it became the first PlayStation game to have a live orchestral score. Giacchino continued writing for video games and became well known for his “Medal of Honor” scores.
Giacchino’s work in video games sparked the interest of J.J. Abrams, and thus began their long-standing relationship that would lead to scores for the hit television series
“Alias” and “Lost,” and the feature films “Mission Impossible III,” “Star Trek,” “Super 8” and “Star Trek Into Darkness.”
Additional projects include collaborations with Disney Imagineering on music for Space Mountain, Star Tours (with John Williams) and the Ratatouille ride in Disneyland Paris. Giacchino also was the musical director of the 81st Annual Academy Awards®.
Currently, his music can be heard in concert halls internationally with both “Star Trek” and “Star Trek Into Darkness” films being performed live-to-picture with a full orchestra.
This summer, Giacchino will have two other major films in Cinemas: Disney’s “Tomorrowland,” directed by Brad Bird, and Universal’s “Jurassic World,” directed by Colin Trevorrow.
Giacchino sits on the advisory board of Education Through Music Los Angeles.
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