In the history of the Academy Awards, only three animated films have ever been nominated for Best Picture: Beauty and the Beast in 1991, Up in 2009, and Toy Story 3 in 2010. This year, forecasters have been buzzing about the potential for Pixar’s Inside Out to be the fourth title added to that list, but could it happen? I recently asked the cast and director of the film that very question.
Back in early October, I had the pleasure of flying up to San Francisco, CA – the setting of most of Inside Out - and had the great opportunity to sit down with not only stars Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Kyle MacLachlan and Kaitlyn Dias, but also director Pete Docter. During my time with each of them, I asked what they thought of the idea of the movie being nominated for Best Picture, and while I got a different response from everyone, they all essentially said the same thing: it’s a film that deserves great recognition from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Of the responses to the question, my favorite came from Richard Kind – who made a point of disregarding the idea of a Best Picture nomination, in favor of the film instead being recognized for its tremendous original screenplay. It turns out that the Serious Man star has a deep appreciation for the incredible world building that the animated movie is able to accomplish – noting that it shares similarities with Alfred Hitchcock’s North By Northwest, but with the creativity knocked up a few notches. As you can see in the video, I didn’t disagree with him one bit.
It’s worth noting that Inside Out does have a few good luck charms that could ultimately find it making its way into the Best Picture category. The first is the leadership of Pete Docter, who was the filmmaker at the helm of the aforementioned Up. Richard Kind also has some experience starring in animated movies nominated for Hollywood’s biggest prize, as he voiced Bookworm in Toy Story 3 (which was, at the time, the actor’s third Pixar feature). We’ll have to wait and see if the two men’s veteran status winds up aiding Inside Out in its quest for ultimate glory.
The Academy Award nominations will be announced on January 14, 2016, in advance of the ceremony on February 28, 2016 – but even if Inside Out doesn’t wind up being fully represented in all appropriate categories, that won’t take away from just how mind-blowingly great it is.
Inside Out is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.