What The Inside Out Characters Were Almost Called

In order to make Inside Out one of the best films of 2015, director Pete Docter had to weed out the bad ideas from the good. Most of those left on the cutting room floor are never talked about again. But there was one idea that was so bad Pete Docter has now decided to reveal it to the world. That’s because Inside Out’s co-writer and director almost gave each of the film’s emotions human names.

Obviously, with hindsight, we can all immediately tell that would have been a rather ridiculous idea. But, during the conception of Inside Out, Pete Docter has admitted that he and his fellow Pixarers were convinced this was the way to proceed.

They’d even picked out specific names for each of the emotions: Anger was going to be called Ira, Fear was Freddy, and Pride was Preston. I can kind of get on board with Fear being named Freddy, but does the character below really look like an Ira:

The name for Pride was deemed so bad that the character was written out of Inside Out all together.

In a new clip from Inside Out’s special Blu-ray/DVD release, which The Hollywood Reporter have sneakily got their hands on, Pete Docter talked about why they were originally tempted to use these names for their characters, and how this decision was ultimately changed. Docter explained:

We were very opposed to calling them by their emotion. We thought we were being very clever and not so on-the-nose. That ended up being more confusing than it was worth, so I was wrong on that one.

It’s been interesting to learn just how different Inside Out almost was. While the film’s production can hardly be considered a mess – especially not in comparison to Toy Story 2, Ratatouille, and The Good Dinosaur, all three of which were mired in problems – Pixar made sure to give Pete Docter enough time to figure out the best way to not only create this cinematic world, but how to enter it and tell a story.

Through the course of Inside Out’s conception, there were a number of other emotions that were almost granted starring roles in the film. In fact, instead of Riley’s head just being populated by Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), and Disgust (Mindy Kaling), they almost had Irritation, Envy, Greed, Gloom, Despair, Depression, and Love to contend with, too. All of the latter failed to make the final cut, though.

And let’s thank the heavens that Pete Docter and his crew ultimately reached that decision. Because with them, Inside Out could have become a bloated free-for-all. But without, it is easily one of the best films of 2015, and, arguably, Pixar’s most complete film to date.

Gregory Wakeman