Inside Out (2015)


Inside Out (2015)

Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it's no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions - Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley's mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley's main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.
IMDb   8.1 /10
Metacritic   94 %
TheMovieDb    7.9 /10
RottenTomatoes  98 %
FilmAffinity   7.8 /10
Release Date2015-06-17
Runtime1h 35mins
GenreAnimation, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy
Content RatingPG (PG)
AwardsTop Rated Movies #159 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 99 wins & 116 nominations.
CompanyPixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures
LanguageEnglish, Portuguese
Joy (voice)
Sadness (voice)
Bing Bong (voice)
Fear (voice)
Anger (voice)
Disgust (voice)
Riley (voice)
Mom (voice)
Forgetter Paula (voice)
Forgetter Bobby (voice)
Dream Director / Mom's Anger / Additional Voices (voice)
Subconscious Guard Frank (voice)
Subconscious Guard Dave (voice)
Jangles (voice)

Inside Out (2015 film)

Inside Out is a 2015 American computer-animated film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Directed by Pete Docter and co-directed by Ronnie del Carmen, with a screenplay written by Docter, Meg LeFauve, and Josh Cooley, adapted from a story by Docter and del Carmen, it stars the voices of Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Lewis Black, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling, Kaitlyn Dias, Diane Lane, and Kyle MacLachlan. The film is set in the mind of a young girl named Riley, where five personified emotions—Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust—try to lead her through life as she and her parents adjust to their new surroundings after moving from Minnesota to San Francisco.

Docter began developing the project in 2009 after noticing changes in his daughter's personality as she grew older. The film was first announced in 2011, and del Carmen subsequently became co-director after working on the animated film Up (2009). The emotions were first incorporated in the film after Docter and del Carmen remembered past experiences and histories. The filmmakers consulted some psychologists, including Paul Ekman and Dacher Keltner, and researched the mind in preparation for building its more precise story. Throughout the production, the film underwent changes due to its complication. The film's official title was revealed in 2013, with Poehler, Black, Kaling, Hader, and Smith were subsequently announced as the cast that same year. Development of the film lasted for five and a half years, with three of its duration for the production.

Inside Out premiered in Cannes on May 18, 2015, and was theatrically released in the United States on June 19. Considered one of the best films of the 2010s and one of the best animated films of all time, Inside Out received praise for its craftsmanship, screenplay, subject matter, plot, and vocal performances (particularly those of Poehler and Smith). Organizations like the National Board of Review and American Film Institute named Inside Out as one of the top 10 films of 2015. The film grossed $858.8 million worldwide, making it the seventh highest-grossing film of 2015. The film received numerous awards and nominations, including a BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, Critics' Choice Award, Annie Award, Satellite Award, and Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.


Within the mind of a girl named Riley are the basic emotions that control her actions—Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger. Her experiences become memories, stored as colored orbs, which are sent into long-term memory each night. Her five most important "core memories" power aspects of her personality which take the form of floating islands. Joy acts as the leader, and she and the rest of the emotions try to limit Sadness's influence.

At the age of 11, Riley moves from Minnesota to San Francisco for her father's new job. She at first has poor experiences; the new house is cramped and old, her father hardly has any time for her, a local pizza parlor only serves pizza topped with broccoli (which Riley dislikes), and the moving van with their belongings ends up in Texas and will not arrive for weeks. On Riley's first day at her new school, Sadness retroactively turns joyous memories sad, which causes Riley to cry in front of her class and creates a sad core memory. Joy tries to dispose of it by using a vacuum tube but accidentally knocks the other core memories loose during a struggle with Sadness, disabling the personality islands. Joy, Sadness, and the core memories are sucked out of the Headquarters.

In Joy and Sadness's absence, Anger, Fear, and Disgust are left in control, with disastrous results, distancing Riley from her parents, friends, and hobbies. Because of this, her personality islands gradually crumble and fall into the "Memory Dump", where memories are forgotten. Finally, Anger inserts an idea into the console, prompting Riley to run away to Minnesota, believing it will restore her happiness.

While navigating the vast long-term memory area, Joy and Sadness encounter Bing Bong, Riley's childhood imaginary friend, who suggests riding the "train of thought" back to Headquarters. The three, after extreme inconvenience caused by the islands' dissolution, eventually catch the train but it halts when Riley falls asleep, then derails entirely with the collapse of another island. In desperation, Joy abandons Sadness and tries to ride a "recall tube" back to the Headquarters but the ground below the tube collapses, breaking and sending Joy and Bing Bong plunging into the Memory Dump. A crestfallen Joy discovers a sad memory that turned happy when Riley's parents and friends comforted her. Joy finally understands Sadness's purpose: alerting others when Riley is emotionally overwhelmed and needs help. Joy and Bing Bong try to use Bing Bong's old wagon rocket, which gets energy when the rider sings, to escape the Memory Dump, but are unable to fly high enough due to their combined weight. On their last attempt, Bing Bong jumps out to allow Joy to escape as he fades away.

Joy reunites with Sadness and they return to the Headquarters, but arrive too late as Anger's idea has disabled the console, rendering Riley apathetic. To the surprise of the others, Joy hands control of the console to Sadness, who is able to reactivate it and prompt Riley to return to her new home. As Sadness reinstalls the core memories, transforming them from happy to sad, Riley tearfully confesses to her parents that she misses her old life. Her parents comfort her and admit they also miss Minnesota. Joy and Sadness work the console together, creating a new core memory consisting of happiness and sadness; a new island forms, representing Riley's acceptance of her new life in San Francisco.

A year later, Riley has adapted to her new home, made new friends, and returned to her old hobbies while acquiring a few new ones. Inside the Headquarters, her emotions admire Riley's new personality islands, and all work together on a newly expanded console with room for them all.

Voice cast

  • Amy Poehler as Joy
  • Phyllis Smith as Sadness
  • Richard Kind as Bing Bong
  • Lewis Black as Anger
  • Bill Hader as Fear
  • Mindy Kaling as Disgust
  • Kaitlyn Dias as Riley
  • Diane Lane as Riley's Mother
  • Kyle MacLachlan as Riley's Father
  • Paula Poundstone as Forgetter Paula
  • Bobby Moynihan as Forgetter Bobby
  • Paula Pell as the dream director
  • Dave Goelz as Subconscious Guard Frank
  • Frank Oz as Subconscious Guard Dave
  • Josh Cooley as Jangles
  • Flea as Mind Worker Cop Jake
  • John Ratzenberger as Fritz
  • Carlos Alazraqui as a helicopter pilot
  • Peter Sagal as Clown's Joy
  • Rashida Jones as Cool Girl's emotions

Themes and analysis

A major aspect of Inside Out is the way emotions and memories are portrayed in the film. The core memories in the film allow Riley to recall previous experiences which control her emotions, and can allow "mental time travel". In the film, memories are shown as translucent globes that encapsulate its events, with a different hue depending on the mood of each memory. Natasha Moore of the Australian ABC News detailed that "as Riley's carefree life gets more complicated, Joy's attempts to deliver uninterrupted happiness become increasingly neurotic."

Another theme was forgetfulness, representing a "common but unsupported theory." The memories became "less colorful and more dim" which turn "dark and gray" due to the progressive age length and can not be recovered. Those were sent to "Memory Dump" turn to dust and disappear, which was corresponded to a "decay theory of forgetting," leading to a "permanent loss of information." Antonia Peacocke and Jackson Kernion of Vox mentioned that forgetfulness had records did not "vanish into thin air at the bottom of your subconscious", and referring the theme sometimes as a "matter of letting a memory record fall into disuse, so much so that the neural pathway to that record gets lost." Emily Yoshida of The Verge described the character Bing Bong a "logical successor" to "forgotten, unloved toys" of the Toy Story franchise.



As a child, director Pete Docter and his family relocated to Denmark, where his father studied Carl Nielsen's music. As his sisters had an easy time adjusting to the new surroundings and the other kids were interested in sports, Docter respectively felt he was judged constantly by peers and sat alone drawing, a hobby that eventually led him to animation. His social anxiety ended by high school.

First pitched the idea in 2009, Docter noticed his pre-teen daughter, Elie, exhibiting similar shyness. As her introversion progressed, Docter said that it "frankly" triggered his own "insecurities and fears". He imagined what happened in the human mind when emotions set in and felt that animation was the ideal form to portray "strong, opinionated, caricatured personalities". After working on the animated film Up, Docter invited Ronnie del Carmen to become a co-director, who asked him that "would like you to co-direct with me", and del Carmen was aware of being chosen by the director. Docter and del Carmen remembered their own past experiences and histories, allowing the emotions to appear in the film. Docter began researching information about the mind with del Carmen and producer Jonas Rivera, and they consulted psychologist Paul Ekman and the University of California, Berkeley professor of psychology Dacher Keltner, while Pixar animator Dan Holland and his team discussed some psychologists and specialists to build a more precise story for the film whose themes are comprehensive. The creativity of Holland and his team allowed to develop "the human consciousness" for it.

While Keltner focused on sadness that strengthens relationships, he and Ekman said that the emotions form social lives and interactions, which can be significantly moderated by them. Ekman identified seven core emotions with each one of them having "universal signals": anger, fear, sadness, disgust, happiness, contempt, and surprise. Docter mentioned surprise and fear to be too similar, which left the latter with five emotions to build characters around as contempt and surprise were subsequently eliminated by Pixar's filmmakers, with happiness being renamed to joy. Before reducing "to a more manageable number", a total of 26 emotions were considered for inclusion during the development, with 14 of those contended for the film. These are included in the process: irritation, envy, greed, gloom, despair, depression, love, schadenfreude, ennui, shame, embarrassment, and hope. It was eventually streamlined for concise storytelling and their traits were incorporated to the emotions used in the final film.

The film was first announced in August 2011 at the D23 Expo, after the successful release of Up encouraged Pixar by allowing Docter to create another film whose plot is "sophisticated". Inside Out is the first Pixar film without input from co-founder and former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who died in 2011. In addition, the film did not have as much input from the chief creative officer John Lasseter, who has focused on restructuring Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank at the time of its production. Executives at Disney and Pixar were positive at the proposal of making Inside Out, but acknowledged it was difficult to market. In April 2013, Pixar officially revealed the film's title as Inside Out. Lasted for three years on the film's production, Docter felt its development dealt "his own story obstacles" after spending five and a half years on it and remarked as "the most difficult thing I have ever done"; however, he eventually dismissed afterward. When the production was finished, Docter and Rivera visited Pixar with their reporters to discuss the film that is considered "time-consuming."


In 2010, as the story reels which began the writing process, Docter and the filmmakers have "questions to answer" of the aspects during the production meeting, which were the setting's design, the rules, and the reels acted as an "extended version" of itself. Following this, the story team start working on the film's aspects, who was recruited by Docter to help develop its plotline. For an attempt to have more diverse input, he referred the story crew having women in their half of its population, as the animation industry being mostly worked by men. The choice to focus the film on a girl came from research that shown females age 11 to 17 are more attuned to expressions and emotions than others. The idea to have Riley play hockey came from del Carmen, who observed that the sport is very popular in Minnesota. Initial ideas for the film saw the main character, Riley, falling into a deep depression, and Docter later felt they were inappropriate and scrapped them, although in the final film Riley does sink into a depression. During the conversation with the Pixar filmmakers, changing the storyboard for the film had their intent on modifying the schedule of its production.

The film was first storyboarded over a period of two to three years, all the while undergoing screenings for Pixar's "Brain Trust", a small group of creative leaders at Pixar who oversee development on all films. After multiple screenings and suggestions from other filmmakers, the picture was put into production. It was again evaluated three months into that process. Kevin Nolting, the editor of the film, estimated there were seven versions of Inside Out created before it even went into production. While the filmmakers developed on the characters' personal traits and talents, they attempted to make an increased contrast for those as possible. For the character Joy, the filmmakers considered the character the most complex character to write for, as she illustrates a broad range of "happy feelings". Amy Poehler helped the filmmakers to write her character after their process faced difficulties. Considered Joy was "unapologetically positive", the filmmakers saw her vulnerable with LeFauve's help. Poehler felt her character "something intangible". The earliest idea present in the final film is that Joy holds onto youth too long, setting about a "social storm" for Riley. It was not until several screenings later that they came upon the concept of moving to a new place, which created an external conflict that made the story easier to write. Initially, this crisis was to be set at a Thanksgiving Day pageant, in which Riley was hoping to be cast as its lead role, the turkey. Docter later deemed this idea too "bizarre" and it was replaced. In October 2011, Diane Disney Miller said Docter that the film will reduce the number of distractions and have a greater focus to its story.

Docter estimated it took four years of development for the film to achieve success in marrying the architecture of Riley's mind and her personal troubles. The concept of "personality islands" helped develop the film's emotional stakes, as they directly affect events inside her mind and in her life. In one draft, the characters fell into "Idea Fields", where they had "cultivated new ideas". The character of Bing Bong—a discarded old imaginary friend—came about in one draft of the film as part of a refugee camp inside Riley's mind. It was difficult to achieve the correct tone for the film; for example, viewers could not be distracted by Joy's nature or feel negative about the mess she helps steer Riley into. Rivera credited the casting of Poehler, in addition to the idea of moving, with helping the film get the right tone.

An early version of the film focused on Joy and Fear getting lost together, as it seemed to be the most humorous choice. By July 2012, the project was set for an evaluation screening with other Pixar filmmakers. Docter gradually began to feel that the story was not working, which made him think that he might get fired. He took a long walk one Sunday, where he began to consider himself a failure, and that he should resign from the film. Docter's wrestle on that idea influenced his stroll in 2013, in which he was unaware of where Joy had learned from Fear, who helped her to develop her characterization. While pondering what he would miss about Pixar, he concluded that he missed his co-workers and friends most of all. He soon reached a breakthrough: that emotions are meant to connect people together, and that relationships are the most important things in life. Docter's epiphany forced the film's storyboard process to be rewritten, causing it to start over again and undo. Because of this, Sadness had a "much juicier" role, and he decided to replace Fear with Sadness, considering that was crucial to renewal. He met with Rivera and del Carmen that night to inform his change of plans, and to his surprise, they reacted positively to it. At the screening, he informed his superiors that new plans for the film were in order. Although it was a "scary moment", the film remained in production.

Screenwriter Michael Arndt initially worked for a year on the film's script, calling it "brilliantly creative" but "incredibly challenging". Arndt received an "Additional Story Material" credit after he left the project in early 2011, with his final script had a "single word" not remained. During the course of the film's storyboard process, it had 27 sequences and 178,128 outlines, with 127,781 of those were incorporated in the film. In early 2013, seven to eight opening scenes for the film had made by the filmmakers, which were differentiated. Josh Cooley and Meg LeFauve were credited as co-writers of the screenplay following their contributions during the rewrite. Docter, Cooley, and LeFauve included experiences with raising their own children into the screenplay, as Cooley said that the screenwriters "treated the emotions" similar to Riley's parents, which have this same aspect as the screenwriters, and the characters were created as a result of their experiences. Simon Rich also acted as a writer on the film. Within the film, some scenes of the human brain were removed.


The film's voice cast of emotions, Amy Poehler, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, and Phyllis Smith, were first announced in August 2013. With the release of the film's first trailer in December 2014, it was revealed that Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan were cast in the film as Riley's parents.

Hader was cast to voice Fear, a role that he felt he "weaseled" his way into by being a "huge fan" of Pixar's filmography. Hader toured the studio over a week, and also "helped out" in the story room. He was invited to play Fear by the end of his stay, but asked to contact fellow Saturday Night Live (SNL) veteran Amy Poehler, whom the team viewed as perfect for the character of Joy. He phoned Poehler and told the story to her whose role was the driving force in the film. When the story was pitched to Kaling, she broke down in tears, said that it sounded "really beautiful" and agreed to join the cast.

Rivera chose Smith after watching a lunch scene in Bad Teacher (2011), in which Docter, as Rivera called him, remarked, "I think we found our Sadness." As the film contains several veterans of SNL, the film's team spent a week at that program for research on a live television sequence. Richard Kind was cast to voice Bing Bong, who tried to convey the same "sort of innocence" of his previous Pixar roles, and wound up not taking part in pre-release promotion as the producers decided to keep the character a secret.


The film's art design is intended to reflect 1950s Broadway musicals. Docter imagined that with emotions for characters, they could "push the level of caricature" to both design and "style of movement" to degrees. To this end, they emulated the styles of animators Tex Avery and Chuck Jones. Docter informed supervising animators Shawn Krause and Victor Navone to push the graphic caricature of each character rather than sticking to the rigid behavior of each RenderMan model. This required an artist to draw over characters in the film during dailies, using a Wacom Cintiq. One of the first scenes the team worked on was the dinnertime scene, in which viewers rapidly switch between the real world and Headquarters inside the family's minds. The film's animation team consisted of Krause and Navone, directing animator Jamie Roe, 35 lighting artists led by Kim White, 48 animators, and 10 layout artists. Two other animation teams were produced in the film: one was separate to create an abstract sequence made via 2D animation, and another was crowded to maintain the process of their characters.

The characters in real world and design of the film resembled those and the "stylized ones" in Pixar films Toy Story 3 (2010) and Up, respectively. Navone described it "very naturalistic to provide contrast with the mind characters", and felt "boring and unappealing" nonetheless. He decided them to loosen that. Meanwhile, The characters inside the mind acted as sketches were the most of the filmmakers, as Docter had the intention of those breaking the rules within "realism and physical boundaries". Within the mind, the layout and cinematography took inspiration in Casablanca (1942). Pixar researched films within the Hollywood's golden age for set constructions. They do "moving master shots", combining them to one scene, the longest of which were 48 seconds or 1,200 frames.

Through the simulation department, the motion of the characters' hair and their garments were added. In envisaging how the mind's interior would be depicted, the filmmakers concentrated on the word "electrochemical" as production designer Ralph Eggleston described this word was meant for considering various options as either "energy or energy-based". Eggleston's production design arrived to it, which moved forward for "new aesthetic places" that included their original "inspiration for lighting Joy." His diagram made of pastels shaped her, considering that she "was too bright to have the typical value range." Each emotion had the "effervescent and sparkly" aspects that were made out of energy and particles instead of "skin and solid". Pixar co-founder Edwin Catmull believed their characteristics have a lesser extent of humanoid forms as well as "brightly colored and oddly shaped" of those due to the "force fields of little dots". For the character Joy to be lighten up, which took "special care" to her, the RenderMan team planned to turn a real light from a "geometry" version of itself, which tested it that would be happened. They worked for eight months on Joy's aura, but encountered difficulties related to time and budget; however, Lasseter requested that it be applied for each emotion as Eggleston recalled, "You could hear the core technical staff just hitting the ground, the budget falling through the roof". The rendering process took 33 hours. The majority of the film's aspects were all unified to a single image.

To accommodate international audiences, two scenes in the film were changed in numerous countries, as Docter stated that the technology can allow transition of scenes' aspects to become easier. A Japanese version showed Riley being disgusted by green bell peppers, rather than broccoli, to reflect the fact that broccoli is generally less undesirable to Japanese children. Many countries showed a soccer game instead of hockey, as soccer has wider global popularity. Within the film, 28 graphic changes over 45 individual shots were made for all versions. The animation process lasted for one and a half year.


Inside Out: Original Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
Michael Giacchino
ReleasedJune 16, 2015
LabelWalt Disney
Pixar soundtrack chronology
Monsters University
Inside Out: Original Soundtrack
The Good Dinosaur
Michael Giacchino chronology
Jurassic World: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Inside Out

In May 2014, Michael Giacchino was announced to compose the film's score. In late 2014, Docter felt its score "bittersweet" and "nostalgic" while in the music session after he "grew up playing the violin and bass". The producers first met with Giacchino to discuss the film's concept and screen it for him. In response, he composed an eight-minute suite of music, unconnected to the film, based on his emotions viewing it. Rivera remarked that as both Giacchino and Docter were musicians, and they discussed the film in terms of story and character. Docter took a four-year discussion where his piano sessions "might fade from memory", and a chewing gum advertising jingle was "annoyed" and "linger." Walt Disney Records released the soundtrack on June 16, 2015.


The marketing campaign for Inside Out began on October 2, 2014, when the teaser trailer for the film was released alongside the first theatrical release poster. Angie Han of /Film said that Inside Out's teaser trailer was a "nice reminder of how unique and inventive Pixar can be when it's at its best", in which the film earned a spot on the website's 2015 list of "must-see" films, and Joanna Robinson of Vanity Fair described it as "Herman's Head with Amy Poehler".

On December 8, 2014, the first trailer of Inside Out was released. Germain Lussier of /Film acted Inside Out's first trailer as "the opposite", with Phil De Semlyen of Empire called it as "the high-concept conceit" while surrounding a full sequence to "help us wrap our minds", which avoided its plot that was "darting around". The second trailer for Inside Out was debuted on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on March 10, 2015. While Han wrote that Inside Out's second trailer allowed the crier viewer to "bring tissues" to the film, Anthony Domanico of CNET mentioned it had a concurrent way of being "incredibly cute and powerful".

Television advertisements of Inside Out began airing on January 17, 2015. While Inside Out was ranked fourth on the "Top Movie Commercials by Weekly TV Spend", $22.8 million were spent on 58 versions of commercials aired 1,261 times on 34 networks overall as of June 17, mostly aired on Disney Channel and Disney XD, and most of the money going to NBC and ABC. With its following week to June 23 being its last time as one of the top five projects with the highest commercial spending, Inside Out topped at second place, and 73 commercials aired a total of 1,417 times on 35 networks, bringing the film's overall television advertisement spending to $28.9 million.



Inside Out premiered and screened out-of-competition at the 68th Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 2015. In the United States, Inside Out had its world premiere at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles on June 8, and was released on June 19, in 3D; which accompanied the short animated film, Lava (2014). Inside Out (under the working title The Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside The Mind) was originally scheduled to be released in the United States on May 30, 2014; in April 2012, however, it was pushed back to the June 19, 2015, date as Pixar scheduled The Good Dinosaur (2015) for the original date instead.

Inside Out was the first animated film to be released in Dolby Vision format in Dolby Cinema and the second for Disney following Tomorrowland (2015). Before Inside Out's release, the film underwent a test screening for children, since executives were concerned that it was too complicated for younger viewers.

Home media

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released Inside Out through video on demand on October 13, 2015, and on Blu-ray and DVD the following November. Physical copies contain behind-the-scenes featurettes, audio commentary, deleted scenes, and two shorts, Lava and Riley's First Date? (2015).

In its first week, Inside Out sold 802,344 DVDs and 1.2 million Blu-rays as the most sold film on both formats in the United States. That same week, Inside Out topped the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks overall disc sales, as well as the dedicated Blu-ray sales chart with 57% of unit sales coming from Blu-ray. Overall, Inside Out sold 2.9 million DVDs and 2.6 million Blu-rays, adding them up to get a total of 5.5 million copies, and made $121.1 million through home media releases.


Box office

Inside Out grossed $356.9 million in the United States and Canada and $501.9 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $858.8 million, making it the seventh highest-grossing film of 2015. Deadline Hollywood calculated the net profit of the film to be $279.51 million, accounting for production budgets, P&A, talent participations, and other costs, with box office grosses, and ancillary revenues from home media, placing it sixth on their list of 2015's "Most Valuable Blockbusters".

Released alongside Dope on June 19, 2015, in 3,946 theaters, with 3,100 of those in 3D, Inside Out made $34.3 million on its first day, including $3.7 million from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $90.4 million, making it the first Pixar film not to debut at first, and the biggest opening weekend that did not debut at first and for an original film. The film's successful opening has been attributed to its Cannes premiere, CinemaCon press screening, its critical reception (particularly the 98% Rotten Tomatoes score), good word-of-mouth, Father's Day weekend, and a successful Tuesday night Fathom Events screening. In its second and third weekends, the film made $52.1 million and $29.8 million, respectively; the latter placed first at the box office, before falling within and below the top ten list for the rest of its theatrical release. In July 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic closing most theaters worldwide and limiting what films played, Inside Out returned to 442 theaters (mostly drive-ins) and grossed $340,000, the third-highest for the weekend behind The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Black Panther's (2018) re-releases.

Worldwide, Inside Out debuted in 37 markets, making $40.3 million in its first weekend; the top countries were China ($11.7 million), the United Kingdom ($11.4 million), Mexico ($8.6 million), Russia and the CIS ($7.6 million), Italy ($7.4 million), Germany ($7.1 million), and South Korea ($5.2 million). The film's top international markets were the United Kingdom ($59.4 million), Japan ($32.8 million), South Korea ($32.6 million), Germany ($31.6 million), and France ($30.1 million). It became the highest-grossing Disney animated or Pixar film of all time in Mexico (ahead of Frozen (2013)), the Philippines (ahead of Big Hero 6 (2014)), India, Ukraine, and Russia; where the film became the second-highest-grossing Disney or Pixar film and the first Pixar film to exceed one billion rubles.

Critical response

As of May 2021, the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 98% with an average score of 8.90/10 based on 374 reviews. Its critical consensus reads, "Inventive, gorgeously animated, and powerfully moving, Inside Out is another outstanding addition to the Pixar library of modern animated classics." As of May 2021, Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 94 out of 100 based on 55 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale. Before the film's release, there was concern among the general public that Pixar films were declining in quality, with an over-reliance on sequels. Likewise, DreamWorks Animation's competition with Pixar was disappointed within the latter's absence, leading to speculation that the "genre" of computer animation was "in a funk".

Several journalists praised Inside Out for its craftsmanship, which they saw as an exercise of Docter's expertise, as the film was considered a return of Pixar's form by numerous film critics. Peter Debruge of Variety was effusive, called it the studio's "greatest idea" and "a stunningly original concept", as the people thought that "change the way". Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter deemed it an "audacious concept" that stands among the most "conceptually trippy films" for family audiences. The Los Angeles Times's Kenneth Turan called the film as "the best of that cartoon colossus", which felt it was "sophisticated and simple", packed with engaging visuals and being responsible to emotions. From The New Yorker, Anthony Lane acknowledged the originality of the film was "hard to top this year", while Richard Brody described that as "sentimental", presenting solutions and "narrow" aspects of Riley's imagination.

Following an advance screening at CinemaCon on April 22, 2015, the film was well received by audiences. Praise was aimed for its smart storyline, although some wondered whether the concept was too complicated for young audiences and to attract family crowds. As the film was theatrically released, the scriptwriting, plot, and subject matter were sources of praise. Scott Mendelson, writing for Forbes, believed its qualities of narration provided a purpose, calling the film "a remarkably successful telling of an uncommonly complicated yarn." A. O. Scott of The New York Times deemed the film "an absolute delight", reserving particular praise for its "defense of sorrow, an argument for the necessity of melancholy dressed in the bright colors of entertainment". The Washington Post's Ann Hornaday described the film's role was transcended as "pure entertainment", becoming it as cathartic and therapeutic, while giving "a symbolic language" to children that managed "their unruliest emotions." Matt Zoller Seitz of emphasized the film's script, which had clear connections to its aspects, that Joy's comprehension should "what things mean, and what the other emotions ought to 'do' for Riley".

Reviews for the actors' performances were very positive in the media, often singling out Poehler and Smith for further praise, with their work described as "wonderful" and "excellent". Joy was viewed as a heartful character while Sadness was a superfluous disapproval to the "secret side" by Tim Grierson of Paste, whereas Vox's Alex Abad-Santos felt it because of the "excellent use of its strong voice ensemble". While Seitz took Sadness to have more value of her contribution, others, such as Jessica Kiang of IndieWire and The Dissolve's Tasha Robinson, cited character developement as one of its strengths.


Inside Out received fifteen Best Picture, twenty-one Best Original Screenplay, and forty Best Animated Feature nominations from over 50 different organizations and associations. It won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay at the 88th Academy Awards. It received fourteen nominations at the 43rd Annie Awards, winning ten awards including Outstanding Achievement in Directing in an Animated Feature Production for Docter, Outstanding Achievement in Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production for Smith, and Best Animated Feature. Inside Out was named one of the ten best films of 2015 by the National Board of Review, with Best Animated Film being won also, as well as one of the ten best films of 2015 by the American Film Institute.

The film received the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards. It received three Critics' Choice Movie Award nominations including the win for Best Animated Feature. The New York Film Critics Circle awarded Inside Out for Best Animated Film. The film was runner-up for Best Animated Film at Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards and at San Diego Film Critics Society Awards. It received four nominations from Satellite Awards including Best Original Screenplay, Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature, and Best Original Score. It took the Satellite Award for Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature. The film won the award for Best Animated Film at the 69th British Academy Film Awards and was also nominated for Best Original Screenplay. The film also received a Robert Award for Best American Film nomination and a David di Donatello for Best Foreign Film nomination, the Danish and Italian equivalent of the Academy Awards, respectively.

In 2016, Inside Out was ranked at number 41 on BBC's 100 Greatest Films of the 21st Century list, a poll of 177 film critics from around the world. Inside Out was also named the "seventh-best film of the 21st century so far" in 2017 by The New York Times. Inside Out appeared on several lists of the best films of the 2010s in 2019, by outlets including: IndieWire, The A.V. Club, The Independent,, /Film, and Time Out London. Similarly, Inside Out has appeared on several lists of the best animated films, including: USA Today (2018), Rolling Stone (2019), Esquire (2020), and Complex (2021).

Cultural impact

An Internet meme reaction sparked AlDub's reference to Inside Out, using Joy and Disgust to emphasize "differing views". During the COVID-19 pandemic, it was one of the 35 films recommended people watch by The Independent.

Other media

With the new trailer of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) was released, a mashup trailer between Inside Out and The Force Awakens was released by Disney Movies Anywhere via YouTube in October 2015. Before The Force Awakens's December 18 release, CNET's Eric Mack felt the mashup trailer "worked up all over again just typing this", while Entertainment Weekly's Megan Daley wrote that the mashup trailer was "blown away" by others.

An Inside Out playset was made available for Disney Infinity 3.0 featuring all five emotions as playable characters, with each one of them has their own special ability that allows it to pass through obstacles. The playset is the follow-up to the film which shows the emotions go on a journey in a "platform adventure involving puzzles". The mobile Puzzle Bobble-style game, Inside Out: Thought Bubbles, was released on June 18, and the game is available on some app stores. Lasting for three levels, Google started a Made with Code event for the film that December, named "Inside HQ", with fans wishing to start a programming on the tutorial to recreate scenes using Blocky, a mini-game whose snippets used to resolve issues.

Emotions at Play with Pixar's Inside Out is an exhibit at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, that has been in operation since 2021. It features activities based on set pieces from the film.

Possible sequel

In June 2015, Pete Docter said that there are no plans for a possible sequel and added that he wanted to improve more of the studio's "original fare", which he teased, "Never say never". In January 2016, Docter stated that a sequel is possible, and that he and Pixar will explore ideas. In a July 2016 interview, Pixar president Jim Morris said that while demand for a sequel is high, the company has committed its resources to several original movie concepts and that no sequels to any of Pixar's other films, including Inside Out, were being contemplated at that time.


In June 2017, Denise Daniels, a child psychologist from Minnesota, filed a lawsuit against Disney and Pixar for breach of contract. Daniels had been working on a creative project, The Moodsters, with a theme very similar to Inside Out and had discussed prospects of a TV production with Disney and Pixar executives, including with the film's eventual director Pete Docter. Daniels said that she presented in detail her idea for "color-coded, anthropomorphic" characters represented different types of emotion, used as the children's learning tool for "better understand". The discussions were held between 2006 and 2009, and Daniels argued that they carried an implied contract for her to be compensated if the ideas were used by Disney. In January 2018, her suit was dismissed by judge Philip Gutierrez, who ruled that since Daniels had released materials related to the project publicly at the time of the conversations, there were no grounds for an implied contract between Disney and Daniels. Daniels appealed to the Ninth Circuit, who upheld the District Court's ruling in March 2020 that Pixar's film did not infringe on Daniels's characters. The decision stated that simply creating "color-coded" characters based on emotions was not enough to be copyrighted, but instead would have required these characters to carry similar characterization elements, as they had previously determined in DC Comics v. Towle in 2015.