Inside OutPixar’s Inside Out beat Minions to become the number 1 animated film of 2015… so far. While Pixar’s next film, The Good Dinosaur, could potentially revoke its title, nothing can reverse the success of this emotional comedy. Critics and kids adored it, a combination that rarely happens in the world of animation. In other words, Pixar returned with a bang after nearly two years without a release.

Inside Riley’s mind live her emotions: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust. After moving far away from her friends, Sadness begins acting strange and Joy’s attempts to fix her cause Riley’s core memories to be sent deep into her subconscious. Now Joy and Sadness have to venture into Riley’s mind to set things right.

With fun characters, great voices, hilarious moments and a touching story, it’s easy to see why Inside Out was such an instant success. And while Disney has become famous for barebones Blu-Ray and DVD releases, Pixar has complete control over how their films arrive on home video. This is why a worldwide phenomenon like Frozen gets barely 30-minutes of bonus features and Inside Out gets several hours worth of extra content.

This review covers the Ultimate Collector’s Edition; a 4-disc set that includes the film on 3D Blu-Ray, 2D Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital HD. For homes that lack a 3D TV, there’s also a regular Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital combo pack. And for families who are still only interested in standard definition, a DVD-only version exists. All of the discs are covered here to help you determine which release is right for you.

Video

Inside Out features a bright world that is expertly presented on Blu-Ray. Colors are rich and bright while black levels are dark and inky. In addition, there are tons of details in the rich backgrounds inside Riley’s mind and nothing gets lost in this 5-star video presentation.

The 3D disc is another joy in this release, a real treat in a world where Disney has abandoned the format for non-Pixar/non-Marvel releases. There is a great deal of depth that is experienced with the 3D version and the “abstract thought” sequence is hugely entertaining in the third dimension. The 3D version also features the alternate Pixar logo where the camera pans from the side of the Pixar letters as Luxo Jr. hops towards the “i.”

On DVD, the film loses quite a bit of detail in the backgrounds. Since the emotions have fuzzy moving edges, you don’t feel like you lose much detail with their motions, but scenes with lots of memory orbs blur together into solid lines of color rather than individual shapes. But as DVDs go, this one looks better than most and won’t disappoint supporters of the medium.

Audio

On Blu-Ray in both 2D and 3D, the film is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround sound. It’s a magnificent mix and Michael Giacchino’s beautiful score fills every speaker with various instruments, immersing you in the aural experience of being inside Riley’s mind. English is also offered in 5.1 and 2.0, as well as a stereo descriptive audio track. French and Spanish mixes are available in 5.1.

On DVD, the film is presented in English, French and Spanish 5.1 as well as the 2.0 regular track and descriptive audio option.

Bonus Features

Pixar has assembled an impressive amount of bonus features for Inside Out, which are split between two Blu-Ray discs. All bonus features are presented in HD.

Disc 1

  • Lava (7:12) - The heartwarming short film about two volcanoes that premiered with Inside Out in theaters.
  • Riley’s First Date? (4:40) – A hilarious new short created for this release finds Riley’s parents freaking out when they think Riley is going on a date with a boy.
  • Paths to Pixar: The Women of Inside Out (11:22) – Meet the production manager, director of photography, writer, story artist and voices of Inside Out, who all happen to be women.
  • Mixed Emotions (7:17) – The production designers explain their choices behind each character’s design, including earlier versions that look far removed from the final design.
  • Commentary (1:34:37) – Pete Docter (director) and Ronnie del Carmen (co-director) lead this feature-length director’s commentary track. They reveal the history of the project, the invisible stories that were written to blend into the background, and the cinematography choices. Sadly, they don’t point out hidden objects such as the Pizza Planet Truck.

Disc 2

  • Story of the Story (10:30) – Pete Docter takes you through the inspirations behind the story and how the tale evolved as production went on.
  • Mapping the Mind (8:24) – The sets of Inside Out were difficult to create because it had to feel big and they had to create them all from scratch.
  • Our Dads, the Filmmakers (7:25) – Ellie Docter and Gracie Giacchino created this featurette about their dads and what it’s like to watch them make movies.
  • Into the Unknown: The Sound of Inside Out (7:09) – The sound designers explain the difficulty of creating sounds that felt organic to create the sound effects and how they matched the pitch with Giacchino’s score.
  • The Misunderstood Art of Animation Film Editing (4:43) – Kevin Nolting explains how a film editor truly sets the tone and pace for the entire film and reveals his involvement from story through scoring along every process to create the film.
  • Mind Candy (14:26) – No explanation is given, but this appears to be a string of character exploration animation tests, all fully rendered with score and dialogue. Some of these will be familiar if you were exposed to lots of the marketing efforts.
  • Deleted Scenes (16:53) – Four deleted scenes are presented with introductions by Pete Docter. The four scenes are “Riley Grows Up,” “Joy’s Decline,” “Misdirection” and “Construction.” All of the scenes are in storyboard form and feature the emotions at an earlier stage in their design.
  • Trailers
    • Remember (1:38) – The first trailer that harkened back to the Pixar classics that preceded Inside Out.
    • Experience (2:19) – A more complete trailer features clips from the film set to Katy Perry’s “Hot n’ Cold.”
    • Japan Trailer (2:30) – Disney used a completely different strategy to market the film in Japan.

3D Disc

  • Lava (7:12) - The short is available in 3D on the 3D disc.

DVD

  • Lava (7:12) – The same short is presented in standard definition.
  • Commentary (1:34:37) – Pete Docter (director) and Ronnie del Carmen (co-director) lead this feature-length director’s commentary track. They reveal the history of the project, the invisible stories that were written to blend into the background, and the cinematography choices. Sadly, they don’t point out hidden objects such as the Pizza Planet Truck.

Disney Movies Anywhere Exclusives (viewable after redeeming digital copy)

  • Designing Abstract Thought (2:36) – Character Art Director Albert Lozano invites you to explore his process of morphing the characters into shapes for the abstract thought sequence.
  • Deleted Scene: Imagination Park (3:46) – A storyboarded sequence that features Joy running from Fear in Riley’s imagination theme park.
  • Deleted Scene: Joy Alone (5:13) – This touching scene featured Joy finding a three dimensional of Riley as a little girl and dancing with her before realizing she needs to let go and allow Riley to grow up.

Packaging & Design

Inside Out Ultimate Collector’s Edition is housed in a slightly larger than usual Blu-Ray case. Two double-sided disc holders contain the four discs, which are held in the order of 2D feature, 3D feature, Blu-Ray bonus features and DVD. All four discs contain different disc art. The case slides into a foil embossed lenticular slipcover that features alternate poses of each character when you view it from a different angle.

The 2D Blu-Ray and DVD discs both open with ads for Disney Movies Anywhere, The Good Dinosaurs, Toy Story that Time Forgot and Tomorrowland. Selecting “Sneak Peeks” from the menu on the 2D Blu-Ray and DVD also plays ads for Disney Movie Rewards, Disney Infinity 3.0: Inside Out Play Set and Aulani. There aren’t any previews on the 3D disc. The menu for all four discs features a navy blue background with memory orbs floating past the screen.

Final Thoughts

Inside Out is a great film and Pixar fans will be happy to add this release to their collection. In addition to a much-appreciated 3D release, a great assortment of bonus features let fans feel what it was like to make this film and offer rare glimpses inside Pixar Animation Studios. If Inside Out is any indication, the world can expect great things from The Good Dinosaur.