Back in Headquarters for RILEY’S FIRST DATE on INSIDE OUT Blu-ray

First question on the minds of everyone during the recent press trip to Pixar Studios for the home edition for INSIDE OUT was… “would there be a sequel?”  Director Pete Docter and Producer Jonas Rivera quickly quashed any sequel talking saying they’d rather concentrate on new stories, but RILEY’S FIRST DATE on INSIDE OUT almost serves as a mini-sequel to the film.  Director Josh Cooley and Producer Mark Nielsen take us back to Headquarters’ inner-workings of the mind and gave us the inside scoop on the creation of the RILEY’S FIRST DATE? short.

RILEY’S FIRST DATE? imagines what happens inside everyone’s heads when a boy (Jordan) comes over to take Riley skating.  Is this a date?  What does Dad think?  What does Mom think?  What does Riley think of what Mom and Dad thinks?  Is Jordan thinking anything?


RILEY’S FIRST DATE ©2015 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved

As the filmmakers were wrapping up Pixar’s INSIDE OUT, they knew they wanted to create a short based on these characters and world.  INSIDE OUT story supervisor Josh Cooley pitched two ideas to Docter, Rivera, and John Lasseter; they liked RILEY’S FIRST DATE? the best and asked Cooley to direct.  Note: Cooley’s other story pitched involved Riley’s imaginary friend (who likes to play) Bing Bong – to which the gathered bloggers all let out a collective, “awwwwww….”

(L-R) Producer Mark Nielsen and Director Josh Cooley of RILEY’S FIRST DATE? the short available on Pixar’s INSIDE OUT home edition. Photo by Dave Parfitt


Josh Cooley and producer Mark Nielsen both happen to have daughters, and the story grew from their protective side as fathers.  Cooley also remembered the awkward “hi, I love your daughter” encounter he had with his future father-in-law when they met for the first time.  “The thing we connected on was music,” Cooley added, “and so I used that in the film.”


RILEY’S FIRST DATE ©2015 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved


RILEY’S FIRST DATE? packs a lot of laughs into its 4 minutes, and that’s intentional.  In INSIDE OUT, “you’ve been crying for 20 minutes so let’s think of something happy,” said Cooley.  Plus, Cooley is naturally drawn to comedy and enjoys the team atmosphere with everyone the crew adding ideas to make it funnier, including John Lasseter.  “Riley’s Dad playing air guitar, that was John’s [Lasseter] idea,” added Cooley, “that was genius.”

This Dad playing air guitar on the “set” of RILEY’S FIRST DATE


You could tell Director Josh Cooley and Producer Mark Nielsen both had incredible respect and admiration for John Lasseter.  “He’s incredibly inspiration with his crew,” Nielsen said about Lasseter, “I had the chance to work on all of his earlier films and he’s so engaged, and warm, and gives great solid notes that blows us all away every time.”  Regarding Lasseter, Josh Cooley added, “he’s the best story teller I’ve ever worked with.”

Oh, and this certainly won’t be the last time you hear from Pixar Director Josh Cooley.  His next project?  Just a small, little independent film known as TOY STORY 4 – he shares the director responsibilities with John Lasseter himself.  TOY STORY 4 is currently scheduled for June 15, 2018.

(L-R) Writers Will McCormack and Rashida Jones, director John Lasseter, producer Galyn Susman and co-director Josh Cooley of TOY STORY 4 at Disney’s D23 EXPO 2015. Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez, courtesy Disney.


Disney•Pixar’s INSIDE OUT is available now on Digital HD, Disney Movies Anywhere, and Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray Combo Pack and On-Demand.

The INSIDE OUT home edition includes an extensive line-up of bonus features including deleted scenes (click here for an exclusive look), the theatrical short film LAVA and RILEY’S FIRST DATE? short.  We also chatted with the voices behind the breakout stars of the film, Sadness and Bing Bong.  Click here for our conversation with Phyllis Smith and Richard Kind, and follow this link to catch the “Train of Thought” and read our full review of Disney•Pixar’s INSIDE OUT.

DISCLOSURE: I was hosted by Walt Disney Studios on an all-expense paid trip to San Francisco, California including airfare, hotel accommodations, transportation, and meals to attend this press event and learn more about Disney’s films and shows.  All opinions expressed are those of the author.  For more family movie news, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.