‘When Bing Bong Died … America Mourned’: Amy Poehler Reflects On Bing Bong’s Death 10 Years After Inside Out

 Bing Bong.

When Inside Out was released in 2015, it quickly became a worldwide phenomenon, earning over $850 million at the box office and winning an Academy Award. But while Inside Out is widely considered to be one of the best Pixar films and has captured the hearts of millions, we musn’t forget that our hearts were also broken. I’m of course talking about the traumatizing death of Riley’s imaginary friend Bing Bong, voiced by Richard Kind. Almost a decade later, it still hurts, but thankfully the delightful voice of Joy, Amy Poheler, recently provided me with some much-needed catharsis.

Catching up with Amy Poehler to discuss the upcoming release of Inside Out 2, she said this:

Well, pour one out for Bing Bong. Bing Bong is always in our hearts. Rest in peace. But Bing Bong is the ultimate sacrifice. I mean, when Bing Bong died, you know, America mourned. But it has been 10 years, and we all have had a lot of loss. We’ve gotta keep going. And that's a lot of what the spirit of Pixar is, you know? Like in this sequel, we have to figure out how to keep going as a person.

Given that Amy Poehler’s response had a tinge of “Get over it” energy, I’m going to assume I wasn’t the first person at this press junket to ask about Bing Bong. Regardless, her answer was very sweet, and I’ve been waiting 10 years to hear it. See the interview for yourself in the video at the top of this article.

In case you don’t remember Bing Bong, he's a big pink elephant oddly enough inspired by John Candy from Planes, Trains and Automobiles. But if you’re at the point where you even need a refresher, you should really just rewatch Inside Out. Bing Bong’s death scene is embedded below, and if you think this is sad, just try to imagine the original cut, which featured a much longer and more devastating version of the scene:

New to the emotions gang for Inside Out 2 is Anxiety, hilariously voiced by Maya Hawke. Hawke was also present during the interview and seconded Amy Poehler’s sentiment, though it seemed that the wound was more fresh for her. She went on to explain that the scene was like a “knife to the heart,” and it even reminded her of another major death in recent Hollywood history:

Bing Bong’s death and Dobby’s death. Like, knife to the heart. I mean, why do bad things happen to good people?

I wish I had the answer to that question, Maya. Sometimes life is just unfair. Hopefully she was able to experience her own catharsis when J.K. Rowling apologized for the death of Dobby, but chances are that one lingers, just like our pain has carried on since that fateful day in 2015. Rest in peace, Bing Bong.

You can watch Inside Out with your Disney+ subscription right now, and Inside Out 2 in theaters tomorrow, June 14! As for everything else coming to theaters, check out our 2024 movie release schedule.