While the rest of America was busy barbecuing, binge-watching, and/or remembering fallen troops, Pixar spent the three-day weekend putting out what amounts to its big summer release for 2014. As reported by other media outlets that refused to take Memorial Day off, the studio announced the plot of Inside Out, the first of two Pixar films due in 2015. (Following Inside Out’s June 19 release, The Good Dinosaur hits theaters November 25, 2015.) According to Pixar’s official website, Inside Out will focus on 11-year-old Riley, who moves with her family from the American Midwest to the strange, alien territory of San Francisco. While friendly mega-corporations like GloboChem and Google have tried to make San Francisco a more attractive place to potentially startled outsiders like Riley, the film’s protagonist instead copes with the trauma of cross-country relocation through the efforts of her anthropomorphized emotions: Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). Or, rather, since this is a Pixar movie, the move puts those emotions into character-driven conflict that throws the inventively named “control center in Riley’s mind,” Headquarters, into chaos. It’s up to Joy, the Woody/Flik/Sully/Marlin/Elastigirl/Merida figure in this scenario, to keep everything running smoothly, ensuring a happy ending and a questionably close association between adult filmgoers and animated representations of abstract feelings.
So that’s pretty much your Pixar fix for 2014, the first year since 2005 without a new Pixar theatrical feature. Fill the time between now and Inside Out’s release date by fantasy-casting more stars of recent NBC sitcoms as other denizens of Riley’s head. For instance, maybe Joy has a pair of foils in the form of Skepticism (Tina Fey) and Rationalism (Nick Offerman). Or what if Donald Glover and Danny Pudi teamed up as the operators of Riley’s imagination? Here’s an artist’s rendering of what their workspace might look like.