Review: Inside Out Gives You Feelings About Emotions
Title: Inside Out
Director: Peter Docter
Screenwriter: Pete Docter (story by), Ronaldo Del Carmen (story by), Meg LeFauve (screenplay by), Josh Cooley (screenplay by), and Pete Docter (screenplay by)
Principal Cast: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, and Kaitlyn Dias
Summary: After young Riley is uprooted from her Midwest life and moved to San Francisco, her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness – conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.
I’m fairly sure that, by the end of the year, Disney is going to have enough money to buy the entire world. Between two Marvel movies, a Star Wars movie and two Pixar movies, to say that they are going to make a lot of money is an understatement. The first of those two Pixar movies, Inside Out, comes out this week and I knew the moment I saw a trailer that this was going to be another Pixar movie where I cry like a baby. I was also glad to see Pixar moving away from the sequels like they have for the last few years and back into original ideas. Much like Marvel though, Pixar is going to have a miss one of these days.
Inside Out is another great movie by Pixar that somehow manages to make you have feelings about emotions.
Pixar seems to be on some sort of mad mission to make audiences care about things they we never thought to care about. They started off with toys, to bugs, to robots and now they are giving us feelings about the very concept of feelings. It’s pretty ingenious really and Inside Out has been crafted with all of the love and care that goes into Pixar movies. This one has been in the works for five years and it really shows. Every single one of the emotions is so perfectly designed in every way. Sadness (voice by Phyllis Smith) is immediately sympathetic with not only her voice but also the few pieces of clothing she wears and her glasses. Anger (voiced by Lewis Black) is perfect with his little tie and button down shirt as he explodes in red hot fire when he really gets angry. The level of detail that has been put into this entire enterprise is astounding.
On top of the great character designs it also takes advantage of its environment and how the emotions interact with it. Our memories are color coded balls that glow yellow when we associate that memory with happiness or blue when it is sad. Core memories are the things that make up our protagonist Riley’s (voiced by Kaitlyn Dias) personality. These traits are separated into different “islands” as obvious callbacks to Disneyworld. We don’t get to see a lot of the lands in detail but I love the idea behind them. The final perfect part comes to us in Riley’s imaginary friend Bing Bong (voiced by Richard Kind). He is a great addition to the cast as Joy (voiced by Amy Poehler) and Sadness try to make their way through the maze of long term memory and restore Riley’s core memories.
I’m a huge sucker for Pixar movies and I enjoyed this one as well. It’s well paced and the music is also great, but it was really the design of everything that really set it above the last few sequel Pixar movies for me, and perhaps even better than Brave. The story structure is well done as we watch Joy go on an emotional journey of her own. I must give credit to Amy Poehler for making Joy likable. A character that is always happy is hard to keep from getting annoyed at but Joy’s optimism never grinds on your nerves. The trauma that kicks off all of this unrest, moving across the country at age eleven, is something I did as a child and I could relate to what Riley was going through as the movie progressed. It was a good idea to pick something like a move because it’s something almost everything can relate to.
There is also a short before the movie called Lava that features an incredibly catchy song and volcanoes. It’s very cute.
Inside Out is another near perfect movie from Pixar. It has great jokes, mind blowingly perfect design and made a good portion of my audience cry. I would also make sure you stay through the first part of the credits as they show inside the heads of various other characters and it’s hilarious. Go see Inside Out and leave wondering what Pixar is going to make us have feelings about next. (Hint: it’s dinosaurs)