So I went into this new installment from Pixar expecting to cry buckets. After all, I was warned by friends and social media alike. But I still wasn’t prepared enough. Inside Out was absolutely fantastic, and is now high on my list of favorite Disney/Pixar movies. And I cried more than buckets. I cried wheelbarrows.
Once again, Pixar slayed my emotions. Just like the beautiful tragedy that was Up, this movie is an emotional terrorist disguised as a children’s animated film. DON’T BE FOOLED. I can tell you firsthand that kids will not understand this movie, or be entertained by it. It’s just way above their heads. There was a whole group of kids sitting in front of me in the theater, maybe 9 or 10 years old, and I didn’t hear one laugh out of them the whole movie. Not even when Anger blew his top. They just didn’t get it. So the kids turn to their mothers (who, like me, have tears in their eyes), and say “this is boring.” YOU KNOW NOTHING, CHILDREN.
I’m not even going to bother writing an in-depth review of Inside Out. The concepts they threw into this movie literally had me having an existential crisis. Obviously I am adult, I realize there isn’t a cute, colorful headquarters in my brain with lots of characters, but each of the characters ran true to what a human mind is like. This movie got it down pat, down to Riley’s memories being orbs that were basically marbles, because how fitting and clever is it that she started acting off when she “lost her marbles.”
Basically, the movie implies that children’s memories and dominant personalities growing up is made up of Joy. Makes sense. Most kids are carefree and have happy memories. But as they grow up, their emotions become more balanced. So when a life altering event happens for 11 year old Riley, not to mention right around the same time good old puberty is probably about to make a visit, Joy (the character) doesn’t understand why she is becoming less dominant. Sadness is starting to creep in more and more. Then during a struggle between Joy and Sadness, Riley’s “core memories” are scattered, which are the memories that make up Riley’s personality and makes her, well, Riley.
The animation and visuals in this movie were fantastic. Between the characters themselves, the city of San Francisco, and Riley’s head in terms of “Imaginationland, Hockey Island,” etc. So well done. And everything was explained well and made sense. There were “miners” who had the job of disposing all of the little memories Riley had no longer has use for (like all the useless stuff she learned in school so far). I especially loved the gag where the stupid gum commercial jingle will never be disposed, making it forever “stuck in her head,” and that the miners once in a while just send it up to HQ to annoy the Emotions for shits and giggles. Priceless. Another thing I loved was that there was a “train of thought” running through Riley’s head through all of her personality islands and Dream Productions, and eventually ended up at HQ. Very clever with all of these plays on words.
In the end, Pixar’s moral of the story is that growing up changes both emotions and personalities. And when it comes to memories, not all of them can be happy to make up a well-balanced person. The biggest takeaway for Joy was that happy memories are often those that make us the most sad, i.e. Riley’s happy memories of her old home in Minnesota becoming sad now that she moved away.
I have to take a moment for this guy right here:
Bing Bong, Riley’s childhood imaginary friend, without a doubt stole the show. Everyone was raving about Lewis Black’s Anger, and yeah, he was great, but he can’t hold a candle to Bing Bong (voiced by Richard Kind). True MVP and star of Inside Out right here. He helped Joy and Sadness find their way back to HQ, and filled and broke my heart in the process. I won’t give too much away, but the scene I’m talking about in particular that broke my heart is basically the equivalent of the Toy Story 3 furnace scene. Yes. That bad.
It was just very hard to put into words what this movie conveyed and what it meant to me personally. If you haven’t seen it yet, sorry to give stuff away. BUT GO SEE IT. And bring lots of tissues. And leave the kids home, they won’t appreciate it. Spend their ticket money on popcorn so you can eat away your sorrows.
Overall. this movie get a 10/10. And I never usually give movies perfect scores. Bravo Pixar. You got me again.
“Take her to the moon.” – WHY BING BONG, WHY.