It’s astonishing to think that even now in my late 20’s I still love animated movies, especially ones by Pixar. I still remember the first time I saw Toy Story back in 1995, and how blown away I was by that movie. I just had a chance to see the latest offering by Pixar and suffice to say Pixar has done it again with Inside Out!
*WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD*
Inside Out is directed by Pete Docter and the talents of Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Diane Lane, and Kyle MacLachlan lend their voices to various characters in this very emotional (pun intended) film.
Riley Anderson (Kaitlyn Dias) is an eleven year old girl who is trying to adjust to her new life when her parents (Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan) decide to move to San Francisco from Minnesota. The film focuses on the five emotions Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling) inside Riley’s head that are helping her to adjust to her new life in San Francisco.
The thing I love about animated movies is that they seem to still be coming up with new ideas, while the rest of Hollywood is trying to reboot and remake classic movies. Pixar is a great example of this, they came up with the brilliant idea of exploring the world of children’s toys and what they are up to when no one is around (Toy Story) and they also explored the idea of the deep ocean and the sea life that inhabit it (Finding Nemo). Needless to say Pixar knows how to make good movies, they have a good track record when it comes to that. But I was not expecting Inside Out to pack such a punch!
I will be completely honest this movie is VERY VERY emotional. The whole film is a metaphor for growing up and the message it is trying to drive home to its audience is powerful and really hits you hard. The message will be lost on children, but not the parents or adults watching it. This is the first Pixar movie since Toy Story 3 that really appeals to adults because the main message is meant for adults. The movie basically hits home the idea that we are not the same person over our lifetime, we change and with that memories we had that mattered to us when we were five years old lose their importance because we grow up and forget about those moments. It’s a very sad thought, but also very profound.
Throughout the movie Joy (Amy Poehler) sees Riley upset and believes she has to make her happy, but eventually comes to the realization that all of her emotions play a part in her life. This movie also does an incredible job at describing depression (now whether or not that is intentional I am not sure). Joy believes that she has to keep Riley happy because the happy memories are worth remembering, but eventually as she herself develops as an emotion comes to the realization that all of Riley’s emotions are legitimate. Joy realizes that moments don’t have to just be happy, because sometimes sad memories can still be good memories. As this happens, Riley’s memories become more nuanced with every emotion contributing to Riley’s memories, it’s very beautiful. My only gripe with the film is that at first it felt like Riley’s emotions controlled her and she couldn’t make any decisions without them, it felt very deterministic to me.
Amy Poehler is amazing as Joy and Lewis Black as Anger is just genius casting, and Bill Hader is great as Fear. Mindy Kaling was perfectly cast as Disgust and I love Phyllis Smith as Sadness. Inside Out has a great cast and they make the movie that much better. Inside Out is an emotional ride but is definitely worth it, even if you may need a box of tissues.
MY FINAL RATING IS A 10/10!
What say you? Have you seen Inside Out? If so, did you enjoy it? If not, why not? Whatever your thoughts let me know!