Alright friends and foes today is the day, it has finally come, a NEW Pixar movie is being released into the wild. Now normally I would give you all the disclaimer about what a fan of Disney/Pixar I am but I feel like you already know this so no need to dive to deep into those emotions. However, what I will tell you is this Pixar has another grand-slam on their hands are you even surprised? This time around they have created a film based on something so human, so effervescently Pixar that it will wake up the person you are and laugh, cry and enjoy through and through. Inside Out is all about emotions, and the voices inside your head, the voice that tells you to eat another piece of cake and later feel disgusting that you just ate a whole cake by yourself.
In this film we are introduced to Joy (voiced by Amy Poehler) one of Riley’s central emotions, her other counterparts are Fear, Disgust, Anger and of course Sadness (Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling, Lewis Black and Phyllis Smith respectively). Riley is an 11 year old girl from the midwest who is relocating with her family to San Francisco for her dad’s new job, as with any large change emotions run high. The film starts off as you expect laying down the footwork of how these five emotions blend to make Riley the person she is. What I have to say about this blending and how they describe what makes Riley’s personality is so ridiculously insightful it hurts. The emotion team controls Riley through a console in Head Quarters and at the end of every day as Riley goes to sleep they move the days memories down to long term to start fresh the next day. These five core emotions are something we as human beings all share, we have all been scared, disgusted, angry, joyful and sad, what Pixar does right is it shows us that this is what being human, being alive is all about. As it turns out being alive is difficult and moving is hard and being 11 and in a new school is really really hard.
What Pixar gets right about emotions, they get even more particular and perfect on memories and thoughts and ideas, these things which seem so abstract and maybe only appear in your head as very cartoony lightbulbs or faded photograph images of moments in your life Pixar has turned these moments into beautiful little memory orbs something tangible and visibly brilliant. Riley has 5 core memories all of which are very joyful, they create the parts of her personality that up until this move have sufficed her well being and how she behaves. For Riley these five core memories are reflected by five personality islands that fuel Riley they are : family, friendship, honesty, goofy and hockey. (What can I say she’s from the midwest hockey is her sport.) Anyways, all h-e-double hockey sticks breaks loose when Sadness and Joy along with the five core memories get sucked back through the tube of long term memories and are thusly lost and stranded away from headquarters. This is where the rest of the interesting, fun and dynamic takes off in this film. Now Riley’s five core emotions and memories are jumbled and lost, but don’t fret Pixar always has the best way of depicting that loss. To answer your question, yes I cried like a baby while watching this movie, I don’t even care to hide it I’m a 24 year old female with a steady job and home of my own and I cried like a baby at a cartoon movie about EMOTIONS. The entire movie then gets very abstract from this point forward were talking about a child who internally has lost her Joyous emotions and is now very lost in a new world and feels like such an outsider. Pixar has always been great at depicting the external moments that you can visibly see on a characters face but to show how and why that is happening internally at the same time is something phenomenal to watch. Throughout the film we see the world of imagination, dreams, fear all come to life in a very fun and inviting way. I highly recommend this movie for families, for people with kids who are as young as 4 or 5 and as old as 16-17, but even if you don’t have kids (I don’t) still go, see this film and watch something stupendous occur in front of you.
The voice acting and animation in this movie are stupendous, I can’t imagine any other voice to play Sadness besides maybe Droopy Dog that is so on point and reflects the emotion so well, the same goes for Joy. Both Poehler and Smith are powerhouses in this film and it really does take you on an emotional and turbulent ride. I will say at the end of the movie I was reflecting with my friend who attended the screening with me about my imaginary friend when I was a kid, and having those same emotions and how that reminded me that this is something everyone does, we all have very common experiences in life however we dealt with them emotionally in very different ways. In a lot of the pre-production information for this movie Inside Out’s writer and director Pete Docter worked very closely with child psychologists to get the science behind these emotions right and then for Pixar to bring those emotions to life in such a way that you feel an attachment to them that you feel a connection to an intangible emotion is simply amazing. Don’t be surprised that I give it a 5 out of 5 Stars, do not be surprised that I cried like no other and don’t be surprised that the moment my friend Nicole saw a Funko Pop vinyl of Sadness that she instantly bought it for me. Pixar has a knock out of the park hit on their hands and I know it will influence children and families for years to come. I hope what it brings to a lot of children and to parents especially, is an open dialogue about emotions and feelings so that there is no longer a taboo subject with kids to talk about what has upset them or made them sad so they can work through the bad and learn from the good.