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Today in Nerd History | June 19

Dive into the darker corners of Gotham and explore the colorful landscape of human emotions, as today marks the anniversaries of two films that left a significant impact on their respective genres. On June 19, we celebrate the release of “Batman Returns” in 1992, Tim Burton’s brooding follow-up in his Batman series, and “Inside Out” in 2015, Pixar’s innovative exploration of the inner workings of a young girl’s mind. Let’s unwrap some “Nerdy Facts” about these cinematic treasures.

Inclusion on this list does not imply that the entry is family friendly, only that is was a nerd culture milestone. Parents should, of course, use discernment.

© Warner Bros.

1992: Batman Returns (Theaters)

“Batman Returns,” directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton as the caped crusader, brought a darker and more gothic atmosphere to the Batman franchise, showcasing iconic performances by Danny DeVito as the Penguin and Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • Gothic Aesthetic: Tim Burton amplified the gothic elements of Gotham City in his second Batman film, creating a darker, more atmospheric setting that complemented the film’s complex antagonists and morally ambiguous themes.
  • Iconic Catwoman Suit: Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman costume was vacuum-sealed to achieve its signature sleek look, requiring her to be sewn into it for each use. This suit has become one of the most iconic looks in the history of superhero cinema.
  • Penguin’s Prosthetics: Danny DeVito underwent extensive makeup and prosthetic application sessions to transform into the grotesque and tragic figure of the Penguin, which included a fat suit, flipper-like hand extensions, and extensive facial prosthetics.

© Disney/PIXAR

2015: Inside Out (Theaters)

“Inside Out,” directed by Pete Docter and produced by Pixar Animation Studios, was praised for its creative storytelling and emotional depth, offering audiences a glimpse into the mind of an 11-year-old girl named Riley, where five personified emotions struggle and collaborate to guide her through life’s changes.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • Innovative Concept: “Inside Out” is noted for its original concept of personifying emotions—Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust—as main characters, a creative decision that provided a unique way to explore psychological themes in a family-friendly format.
  • Critical Acclaim and Awards: The film was a critical and commercial success, winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and receiving universal praise for its inventive approach and emotional intelligence.
  • Research and Development: The filmmakers worked closely with psychologists and neuroscientists to accurately depict the workings of the mind and emotions, ensuring that the film was both entertaining and educational about real psychological processes.

June 19 is a day to remember for showcasing the power of film to delve into dark cities and bright minds alike. “Batman Returns” and “Inside Out” each challenge and entertain audiences in their own unique ways, from high-stakes heroics in a stylized Gotham to navigating the complex emotional landscape inside a young girl’s head. Happy Nerd History Day to all who appreciate the artistry and depth of these thought-provoking films!

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Station Manager of LTN Radio and co-host of the "Nerd History Podcast" & the "Two Words Podcast". Matt is a third-generation radio station manager who has done pretty much every job in the radio industry. Matt is the father of two boys and a little girl. It's probably the best thing about him.

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