Quick Hit: A movie that sets standards for what animated movies should be like – much as Pixar did before it with the Toy Story franchise.
Sometimes it’s easy to fall in love with a film the first time you see it, but it fades away in your mind. Sometimes you have to grow to love a film with repeated viewings. But sometimes, a movie is made that really sticks. And sometimes, that movie is animated. One interesting thing about animated movies is how powerful they can become. They can make you laugh and make you cry. And, they can show you that Joy and Sadness go together.
Pixar has been delighting parents and children alike for years now (Can you believe that Toy Story is TWENTY years old???). Not only has the humor been there, but there has been so much emotion! Look at The Incredibles, Wall-e, Up, etc. These are stories that are hinged on the emotional awareness of the audience. If there is any doubt that these movies are as much for parents as for kids, then you haven’t been watching the same Pixar as me.
Inside Out follows a young girl named Riley and the emotions (Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear) that run her day-to-day activities. Inside her head is a wonderfully beautiful, completely thought out and developed world. This ranges from things that are simple (the Train of Thought!) to things that are incredibly complicated (an abstraction machine, or core memories). It really shows you what growing up is when you watch this movie. You make memories, you experience things, and as life goes, it becomes harder. You experience more emotions than just “happy” and “sad”. Sure, this movie stops at five, but it shows how as you grow older, people become more well-rounded. All of your personality traits come back down to memories and experiences that define you – who you are as a person, what you enjoy, etc. Isn’t it beautiful that Pete Docter and Pixar believe in children enough to give them ideas like this?
Inside Out is beautifully animated at times (the scene where Joy gives Riley the memory of ice skating to end the day happily) and wonderfully cast. Lewis Black is great as Anger, Bill Hader is a great Fear, and Amy Poehler is a true winner as Joy (Disgust is just ok – sorry Mindy).
I’ll finish by saying this. This movie made me cry. I don’t cry very often anymore (mainly the “dad stuff” gets me now), but this film got me. Buy this movie. Watch this movie. Your kids may not love it their first try (the characters may go over the younger ones’ heads – by four or five they’ll love it), but I really think you will.
For more on Inside Out, check out IMDB.
Did I mention this film won Best Animated Feature Film?????
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"