How do memories work? This questions as old as Philosophy itself, but the time it is asked by a turn of the millennium animation studio.
Last night the YouTube Space NY in Chelsea opened its doors to an interesting crowd for a preview of the new Pixar/Disney film Inside Out. As with any Disney/Pixar collaboration, the film has as much to say to kids as it does to the adults who bring them to the film. This film, in particular, is about the mystery of emotions. John Lasseter, the Pixar genius, according to the director and the producer of the film who conducted the informal talk, demands a lot of research to go into making these works. There was also an exhibition after the talk of the artwork that made the film, which is on display at the YouTube offices.
The talk given by producer Jonas Rivera and director Pete Docter veered around emotions, memory, childhood, the history of animation, the magic of Disney World, Pixar's history, and how they got so many big names to do the voiceovers. There was also a brilliant 6-minute clip of the movie that made me very, very excited to take my nephews and niece when the film comes out on June 19th. Further: Amy Poehler, who plays the emotion "Joy" is utterly and completely amazing as a "voiceover." I have a feeling Poehler is finally, deservedly, going to become a bona fide movie star this summer. There is also -- as always -- a touch of sadness (this time an actual character in the film) that gives Pixar films a patina of a beautiful bittersweetness that I always slightly associate with Schoolhouse Rock of Saturday mornings in the 1970s.
It occurred to me during the talk that the evergreen quality of the films and their continued relevance to kids as they grow up and view Pixar movies as formative life experiences/influences is because of this ability to speak simultaneously to the child and adult in us all. Doctor and Rivera repeatedly talked about how Disney films were a transformative experience for both of them and how they hope that these new Pixar films speak to the child in all of us.
Also among the crowd: Brandon Santoro, Alex E. Kang, David Barish, Yuki Nakamura, Jess Rudder and Ash Reid.