Inside Out Nearly Had A Lot More Emotions As Characters

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Inside Out’s refreshing look at the human psyche focused on the personification of 5 main emotions: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust. But the movie began with quite a few extra emotions running around in Riley’s brain—26 of them, in fact.


In a special feature included as part of the film’s Blu-ray release, co-director Pete Docter said that when the team began plotting out the basics of Inside Out, there were plans to include up to 26 different emotions that delved into some more obscure or abstract concepts. Suggestions that were ultimately cut included Schadenfreude, Hope, Pride, and even Ennui—unfortunately “Sad, force optimism” or “Hazy Political Self-Righteousness” were presumably never included.

In the same featurette, Docter also explains that the emotions were originally going to have names that weren’t just the emotion they embodied—something he discussed with us last month when we visited Pixar:

The audience had to work a little harder to find out who they were,” says Docter. The combination of the increasing number of emotions as characters grew older, plus the different names for the emotions, led to the movie “tipping over into complexity, and things being unclear.”

So in the end, “we named them as to what their job was, and we cut out any others, to get the clarity of those five.

It makes a lot of sense, really—Inside Out already had a lot to balance on its plate. Adding in so many extra, abstract emotions may have just made the whole thing come apart... as much as we’d love to have seen Pixar’s anthropomorphic take on Schadenfreude.

Inside Out will be available on Blu-Ray tomorrow, November 3rd.

[Via The Mary Sue]




I’m quite tired of people saying “There should be more emotions in Inside Out!” Every time they come up with some emotion, it’s either not an emotion (like “reason”) or just a mixture of other emotions.

To used the examples provided, Schadenfreude is a mixture of anger and happiness. Hope is happiness, sadness, and fear. Pride is happiness and disgust. Ennui is sadness and disgust. “Sad forced optimism” explains itself. And “hazy political self-righteousness” is disgust and anger, with maybe a smear of happiness. Conventional psychological science has the number of identifiable core emotions (not counting mixtures and degrees) at between four and six: Happiness, Sadness, Anger/Disgust, and Fear/Surprise.

Hey, guess how many Emotion characters there are in Inside Out? You know why? Because that’s all you need.

I totally respect their creative license to have as many characters as they want, but the right choice, creatively and scientifically, was the one they put on screen.

Edit: oops, sans_fi did this already with much less vitriol. But I have a link!