Five 'Inside Out' Ideas That Didn't Make The Final Movie

"We've done outer space, we've done the ocean, but the biggest set we've ever created is inside the mind of an 11 year old girl." That's Pete Docter, the co-writer and director of Inside Out, the latest film from Pixar. As Docter says, the film is set in the mind of an 11-year-old girl, giving the filmmakers an infinite canvas to work on, which was both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is the absolute creative freedom. The curse is there's so much freedom, it's hard to keep things focused, and one small change can affect the entire movie.

Over the course of the better part of a decade, Inside Out took many forms before the final version that hits theaters this weekend. And below, Docter, along with producer Jonas Rivera and star Bill Hader, told us about some ideas they had for the film, but then never made it in. Read about the alternate Inside Out ideas below.

1. Riley's Location and Thanksgiving

In the film, Riley grows up in Minnesota and moves to San Francisco when her dad gets a new job. That wasn't always the case:

Pete Docter: You know, we had Riley initially growing up in San Francisco. She hadn't moved....And she was part of a Thanksgiving Day pageant. That was one version of the story as she was growing older, she was gunning for the prized role of the turkey pageant, the turkey. And that was so bizarre and didn't really work.

2. Joy and Fear not Joy and Sadness

The bulk of Inside Out shows Joy and Sadness, separated from the other three emotions, trying to get back to "headquarters." But for a long time, it was Joy and another character who were the main characters of the film:

Pete Doctor: We had Joy paired with Fear for a long time. [The point was] really giving Joy someone to bounce off of and knock heads with that would change her mind about where she stands. It ended up Fear didn't really provide that so we rejiggered the whole thing to make it about Sadness.

Bill Hader: It was better for the movie. It made more sense to be honest, 'cause Joy and Sadness are more polar opposite. And they were more interesting to go on the journey together 'cause the movie can't be, "You can have Joy in your life, but you also need to have some Fear in your life." You know what I mean? Sadness and Joy go hand in hand. I don't think Joy and Fear go hand in hand. Joy and Sadness have to work together. Where Fear and Disgust and Anger are kind of these other emotions that really rule you when you're an adolescent. So no, I didn't think twice about [the change]. When they pitched it as Sadness and I went "Oh that's great. That makes so much more sense."

3. Farming for Ideas

Inside Out has a ton of different places for Joy and Sadness to explore in the mind: Long term memory, abstract thought and Dream Productions are just a few of them. But there was at least one more that didn't make the film:

Pete Docter: In one version, they fell out in the Idea Fields, which we thought of kind as a city like structure. Where you had this center which had headquarters and they were jettisoned way out in the country, where they cultivated new ideas.

Jonas Rivera: Yeah, farmers.

Docter: [Farmers] bring [ideas] to market, you know.

Rivera:  They used to ride on a truck.

4. The Stream of Consciousness

Rivera: Stream of Consciousness. That was an idea we didn't put in the film.

Note: He didn't say more than that, but you can probably imagine it was a literal stream that played a role in Riley's consciousness.

5. Riley's Age

Riley is 11-years-old in Inside Out but that wasn't always the age from the beginning. In some versions she grew up more, or less and here's a bit more about that:

Docter: I don't think we ever really had her grow up too much. We just played around with what age should she be. She never got to be like 20, but she's heading into the more complex time in her life.

Rivera:  Yeah in researching, we found girls from 11 to 17 happen to be the most socially aware creatures on the planet. And, you know, that specific window, felt like that helped cement our decision to keep her at the, on the cusp of that.