What is there to really say about this movie that hasn’t already been said? Inside Out, the latest Pixar movie, deserves all the praise it has gotten and probably a great deal more. The story of Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) and her core emotions dealing with the challenges of life is expressed so well and with such compassion and insight that you really have to marvel at it. This review will probably be shorter then most of mine simply for the reason that I don’t think I have much to say that is new or original. Lets recap, even though I’m sure you already know all this. Riley is a young girl whose family is moving from Minnesota to San Francisco. During this move she becomes despondent and a bit combative with her parents. The reasons for this are myriad, but the main one is that two of her emotions, Joy (Amy Poehler) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith), have been ejected from the control center of her internal being. That leaves the anthropomorphic concepts of Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Fear (Bill Hader) and Anger (Lewis Black) to deal with things while the other two find their ways back. To say that the three mishandle things is an understatement. With the help of an almost forgotten imaginary friend named Bing Bong (Richard Kind, who KILLS it) Joy and Sadness must return to the control center to help balance out Riley’s emotional state.
Pixar movies have always been created as much for adults as they are for children, but I think that in many ways this film is the most adult oriented, at least in some key ways when it comes to the format and the storytelling. First, there is no bad guy, not even the whiff of one. There are no bad guys for Riley to deal with and there are no bad guys that are seeking to destroy her from the inside that Joy and Sadness must contend with. The story really is just a very common tale of a pre-teen who must deal with her whole life changing for the first time. You take away the visual wonder and all the internal characters, the story is almost boring, and it almost doesn’t really exist. Little kids can be entertained by almost anything, but I am very curious to see how many kids under the age of ten or so really enjoyed this movie on any level. I’m not sure that I would have at that age. The second thing about the movie that I find unique and rather adult about it is that its primary lesson, the way Joy, Sadness and the rest are able to correct Riley’s behavior, is to let her be sad. The first part of the movie makes it very clear that Joy tries to suppress Sadness’s influence on Riley and her memories. Joy sees Sadness as being completely and utterly a bad thing and she must realize that that is not true in order for them to help Riley from making a huge mistake. I’m not a parent, but I think that realizing the fact that sometimes kids need to be sad and that there is nothing really wrong with that, is a rather important thing to keep in mind.
The entire internal world is made up, and Pixar does an amazing job of bringing that world to life. From the command center to the memory vaults to Riley’s sub-conscious, the entirety of Riley’s internal world is a marvel to look at. It’s fully fleshed out and imagined in a way that I suspect only Pixar can really do. I especially enjoyed the dreams film lot and the whole way dreams are used when Riley sleeps.
Pixar always makes great movies, but this is the first one that really touched me in some time. The emotionally complex and realistic story is combined with amazing visuals and wild feats of imagination in a truly masterful way. Inside Out is the kind of film that truly feels like a masterpiece when you walk out of the theater, which is a rare feeling indeed. I really could not recommend it enough.
Next Movie: Dragonball Z: Resurrection F
Next Book: Eisenhorn Omnibus by Dan Abnett
Plus, it has one of the greatest cat jokes I’ve ever seenInsi