Minnesota child development specialist sues Disney/Pixar over 'Inside Out'


In Pixar's 2015 mega-hit Inside Out, an 11-year-old girl named Riley deals with a flurry of emotions -- personified as colorful characters inhabiting a world inside her head -- after her family moves from Minnesota to San Francisco.

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The premise hits a little too close to home for parenting and child-development specialist Denise Daniels, who had pitched a similar idea to Disney, Pixar's parent company, from 2005 to 2009.

Daniels' proposed children's series, The Moodsters, would follow a variety of characters, each color-coded and representing an emotion: Happiness (yellow), Sadness (blue), Fear (green), Anger (red), and Love (pink). 

In Inside Out, Riley's personified emotions work through challenges in her head, and are similarly color-themed: Joy (yellow), Sadness (blue), Fear (purple), Anger (red), and Disgust (green).

The lawsuit was filed Monday in Los Angeles federal court. Daniels believes that she had an “implied-in-fact” contract with Disney, and that they owe her a cut of the over $850 million that the movie made in revnue from box office, DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes, and merchandise.

Meanwhile, a Disney spokesperson asserts that the movie was all an original work from Pixar.

“We look forward to vigorously defending against this lawsuit in court,” the spokesman said.

Minnesotans can check out the animation and development of Pixar works in a nationally traveling exhibition currently at the Science Museum in St. Paul. Several free movie nights this summer will also feature screenings of Inside Out.