Pixar’s ‘Inside Out 2’ to Get HDR Release in Select Cinemas

Pixar’s 2016 Oscar winner “Inside Out” had a dazzling look from the glow of emotions such as Amy Poehler’s Joy to the colorful Islands of Personality to the darkness of the Memory Dump or bleakness of Abstract Thought. Now, as the studio prepares for the June 14 release of  “Inside Out 2,” Disney/Pixar is rendering a version of the movie in high dynamic range—providing the filmmakers expanded contrast and luminance in telling the story, which revisits the world inside “Headquarters.”

This version will play in a limited number of cinemas worldwide that are equipped with certified HDR-capable direct view displays, meaning cinema auditoriums with LED displays rather than traditional theatrical projection systems.

“We’re very excited in general about the future of cinema, as it relates to opportunities for storytelling,” Pixar’s senior scientist Dominic Glynn says, explaining that Pixar is exploring the potential of all types of cinema systems, including those that could offer HDR or 4K. “It does lead to new opportunities to tell stories and bring immersion to audiences.”

He adds that the studio likes to allows each technology “to really sing … so if there’s an attribute [to a tech] which sort of makes it unique, we often offer that up to our filmmakers as an opportunity.” For instance, a release of “Inside Out 2” in 4K is planned for Imax, Dolby Cinema and other 4K capable cinema auditoriums. And for the limited number of direct view displays that meet the HDR spec, Pixar will render a version with the “precision and nuance” that takes advantage of HDR’s increased contrast and peak luminance of 300 nits (a measure of brightness).

There’s roughly 100 direct view displays installed worldwide at this stage, including the Samsung Onyx.

Pixar previously rendered HDR versions of 2022’s “Lightyear” and 2023’s “Elemental” for direct view screens that meet its criteria, though the number of screens was even fewer at those points. Earlier this year, “Soul,” “Turning Red” and “Luca”—its pandemic era movies that went straight to streaming—were released in theaters. These also included an HDR version for the select direct view screens.

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