More than five years in the making, Pixar has this week marked the completion of its latest film – in which Minnesota plays a part.
Pixar has finished work on "Inside Out" and used the landmark this past week to talk about the process of putting the film together – which has proven particularly laborious since the plot takes place in two "worlds."
The film is the story of the emotions experienced by an 11-year-old girl named Riley as she moves with her family from their native Minnesota to San Francisco.
The crux of the film lies inside Riley's mind, as the plot focuses on five of her emotions: joy, sadness, fear, anger and disgust – voiced by comedy heavyweights including Amy Poehler, Bill Hader and Mindy Kaling – competing for control as she goes on the journey, the Washington Post reports.
Judging by the trailer, much of the story is likely to take place in San Francisco, as Riley struggles to adapt as she yearns for "her pleasant life in Minnesota," which coincides with Joy and Sadness falling out and disappearing.
But however small, Minnesota's involvement shouldn't come as a surprise given that the film's Oscar-winning director Pete Docter – who directed "Up" and "Monsters, Inc.," and co-wrote "Toy Story" and "Wall-E" – is a Minnesota native, hailing from Bloomington.
Docter graduated from John F. Kennedy High School, according to Pixartalk, before spending a year at the University of Minnesota where he took philosophy and art classes.
His interest in animation, the website says, started when he was just 8, when he would create his own animated flip books.
Docter left the U of M after just one year, moving to the California Institute of Arts where he created several films as a student. Eventually, he landed at Pixar, which is arguably considered the world's most respected animated film company.
Although not being referenced specifically, Minnesota also influenced the character and home town of Carl Fredrickson in "Up." Docter told MPR in 2009 that he felt the character was "Midwestern through and through."
"Inside Out" will be released on June 19, but is expected to get its full premiere at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in France on May 15, Variety reports.