Pixar has a strong track record, and I’m eager to see each of their films as they get released, all I knew about this one before going into it was that it dealt with a young girl’s emotions, we would be inside the character…
And what Pixar has given us is a beautiful and entertaining singular experience. Most Pixar films are positioned to find that balance between child and grown-up, and while there is a lot of stuff for kids in this film, I think this one weighs in a little more on the grown-up side, and that is not a bad thing. I just think while some of the kids seeing the film may be going through similar things, it is with the eyes of age looking back on our own experiences that this film resonates with the viewer.
It also reminds us that sometimes, it’s okay to be sad.
In the film’s opening, we are introduced to Riley (Kaitlyn Dias), and the emotions that live within her. There’s Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling). We are introduced to the way they interact, the way memories are formed, how core memories are formed, and the core islands that define who Riley is, her personality.
Joy does her best to make sure that Riley is happy all the time, but when her Mom (Diane Lane) and Dad (Kyle MacLachlan) move the family from Minnesota to San Francisco, things get tougher for everyone, especially when Sadness infects some of the memories, and she and joy end up in long-term memory, desperate to find a way back to the control center.
Poignant, beautifully told, and filled with great characters and dialogues, this is one sure to engross any viewer. I won’t spoil anything, the less you know going in, the more you’ll enjoy it, but I loved all the realms of the mind that the Joy and Happiness find themselves travelling through – learning why that annoying song gets stuck in your head, or why facts and opinions get mixed up, where our imaginary friends go (Bing Bong voiced by Richard Kind is so fun!), where our dreams come from, and what happens to those memories you don’t remember anymore.
This film doesn’t miss a thing. It may end up being the most perfect film Pixar has made to date, which is saying a lot considering their track record. But everything in this film just works, and I found myself getting so involved with the story, that a number of times I was misty-eyed or had a sad half-smile on my face as I remembered similar incidents from my own life, or laughing out loud at some thing that just resonated with truth and humor.
And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Pixar movie without an appearance by their good luck charm, John Ratzenberger, or the in jokes one has come to expect from these films… I know I caught some of them, but probably not all of them.
In the end Inside Out is perfect family fare, wonderfully made, resonating with the truth and humor of experience and life, and no doubt will allow for some healthy discussions about emotions amongst parents and children.
Ant the seeds are there for a sequel…
Also make sure you stay for some of the credits as we get a look inside the minds of some of the other characters…
Inside Out is playing now.