Inner Workings is the latest Disney Animation Studios short. It will be attached to the beginning of the film Moana, but has been screened at some festivals and limited engagements this summer. During a preview day at the Disney Studios earlier this summer I was able to see a screening of the film and hear from the Producer and Director of the short.
Inner Workings shows the internal struggle/relationship between the heart and brain. It brought to my mind some aspects of Cranium Command and on a more abstract level the more recent film Inside Out from Pixar. Leo Matsuda is the creative force behind this film and he says part of the inspiration to the film are the classic encyclopedia sets with the transparencies so you can see how the different organs of the body work and are connected.
The short stars Paul, who brings to mind Carl Fredricksen with this square look. Paul has a very mundane set of routines and his brain works to keep things in order and the same. This is taken to the extreme with him working for a company BBQ – boring, Boring, Glum. Everything is square and logical. All the way down to the wheels in the office. A central concept is the thought process and struggles the brain goes through and the longings of the heart. The way the brain thinks through every scenario is on one hand a little disturbing and sad but on the other extremely humorous and will ring true for many. The brain analyzes every situation and draws a conclusion of what will happen a couple of moves/steps ahead. I will not give away these sequences except to say they are not pleasant outcomes so the brain is very risk adverse.
I really enjoyed the short, as I have almost all of the recent ones from both Disney Animation and Pixar. This one delivers on an engaging story that is entertaining and a little thought provoking. It is always impressive how much is conveyed in shorts given the minimal amount of time they have to establish the story, develop the character and wrap up the short. When you go to see Moana this holiday season be sure to get there on time so you will be able to enjoy Inner Workings too.