There’s no doubt that the people behind Pixar are masters at manipulating emotions. The animation studio that brought us Toy Story and Up has been tugging at our heartstrings for almost a decade, so it’s not really a surprise that their latest project is all about feelings … literally. Inside Out, which opens today in theaters nationwide, is a story about the five dominant emotions inside a pre-teen girl named Riley. These feelings, Joy, Fear, Sadness, Anger, and Disgust, are personified by an all-star cast that includes Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black, and Mindy Kaling. But what if Pixar hadn’t staffed the film with Hollywood comedy pros? What if they’d turned to the people that give us the feels on a daily basis? What if Inside Out was cast with YouTubers?
Joy starts off the movie as Riley’s most prominent emotion. Afterall, Riley is a kid and she’s had a pretty happy life, so it makes sense that Joy would normally be in the driver’s seat. The movie is really about discovering that no one emotion can run your life, you need all your feelings to make a whole and happy person. Still, it’s critical to the film that Joy be someone lovable. Someone with indomitable likeability who manages to be relentlessly happy without driving you crazy. In the movie, it’s Amy Poehler channeling Leslie Knope’s endless well of optimism. In our version, the part could only go to Trisha Hershberger. Trish always manages to brighten our day without ever getting on our nerves, we can’t think of a better joy.
No one wants to let fear run their life, but that doesn’t mean fear is all bad. Fear is the guy who keeps you from doing something that could be dangerous, fear is the one who warns you when you’re in trouble. He can be a little hyperbolic, a little over the top, and he’s got some sick-nerd chic style, but he’s always got your best inerests at heart. Am I wrong, or is this sounding a bit like Tyler Oakley? Maybe I’m just missing Tyler’s Lilac hair, but I think Tyler could bring an amazing new spin to the character of Fear. Afterall, who knows fear better than someone who lives as fearlessly as Tyler does?
Sadness was probably the toughest emotion to cast. Afterall, YouTubers are known for bringing their best face when it’s time to film and most of them are upbeat and positive at all times, at least when they’re on camera. We needed to find someone who we knew could play a bit of a downer, but who also had a heart of gold. Sadness, afterall, is the secret star of Inside Out and the balancing of her role with that of Joy is what finally gets Riley back on track. Lucky for us, we know that Olga Kay can play a total downer thanks to her iconic Emo Girl character, but we also know that Olga has the heart to carry a part this big.
Pixar didn’t exactly make a big reach when they cast Lewis Black, the father of rage comedy, as Anger in Inside Out and let me tell you, it works perfectly. Of course the YouTube version calls for something a little different. We need someone who knows his way around a Rant video to really make this character pop. Toby Turner has a diverse array of characters and voices under his belt, but no one delivers a rant video like him. If anyone is going to be blowing their stack and shooting fire from their scalp, it’s got to be the clown prince of YouTube.
Disgust gets a bad rap but she’s actually one of the film’s most important emotions played by a perfectly bratty Mindy Kaling. Disgust’s job is to protect Riley from things that are not ok. That includes everything from vegetables that look gross to people who seem like they might be toxic. If there’s one person on YouTube that we know isn’t afraid to get sassy with toxic people, it’s Meghan Tonjes. The Tonj (as I occasionally call her, but never to her face) doesn’t hold back when it comes to calling out something gross online. Lucky for us she knows that the grossest things out there are body shaming, sexism, and injustice. If only we could work in a musical number that utilizes Meghan’s flawless vocals this would be a perfect match.
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