“It’s always the Pixar movies with the strangest and least likely to work set ups that end up being incredible. Okay, so pretty much all Pixar movies are incredible, and some of them looked as awesome as ever from the beginning, but there’s something special about the truly unique premises. Monsters Inc, Up, Cars, all don’t sound like much on paper, but turned out to be among the best. For Inside Out, I didn’t even blink at the set up, strange as unconventional as it was, because I knew I trusted the force behind it.
For this round, we’re following the emotions inside a girl’s head: joy, sadness, fear, anger, and disgust. These five emotions watch what’s going on and control her reactions accordingly. So really, we have two stories going on at once: our little girl Riley, dealing with her family’s cross counter move, and the emotions working in her head as they have a crisis of their own to deal with.
I know, it sounds weird, but it worked beautifully. I really loved the way that her different brain functions were illustrated: memories colored by the emotions that affected them and moving from short term memory to long term memory, being recalled and shown as needed, core memories creating and maintaining islands for each part of Riley’s personality, the memory dump where things were forgotten, the playground of imaginationland, the train of thought. It all made perfect sense for what they were trying to represent, while still being very fantastical and fun. Immediately after the film, I messaged a friend of mine who studies and researching the brain. I wanted to see what his take was on how things were represented. I was running to the next movie, so we weren’t able to get into it, but it’s a conversation I’m very much looking forward to.
One of the other great things about Pixar is the voice cast, and this was one of their best assembled: Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling, Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black, and a few cameo voices here and there. With an animated film, the actors involved can make or break the film, and these certainly elevated the magic to a whole other level.
So once again, Pixar knocked it out of the park, delivering a unique and heart tugging film that can be loved by children and much bigger children (which is to say, adults) alike. Did we really expect anything less?
Inside Out – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/”