Okay so has anyone else been disappointed with Pixar ever since Toy Story 3 came out in 2010? To me, that was the last true and great Pixar film and ever since then the quality and creativity of their works have decreased greatly (mainly due to them relying on sequels, many of which are going to be in production soon as well). I am so happy to say though, that Inside Out has returned Pixar to its’ former glory!
Set in the mind of an eleven-year-old girl Riley, Inside Out explores how her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), and Disgust (Mindy Kaling)- try to lead her through life as she moves with her parents from the Midwest to San Francisco.
Let’s first start with the animated short that comes before every Pixar movie, for Inside Out it was Lava. Lava was such a cute story about two lonely volcanoes looking for love that I almost cried by the end. So obviously my emotions were already peaked by the time the movie actually started, and boy did they go on a roller coaster ride! I really loved Inside Out. The concept is so original and something I feel only Pixar would be able to come up with and actually put into motion. The director, Pete Docter, also directed Monsters Inc. and Up, so it is again obvious that he is a creative genius. I was constantly amazed by how unique the movie was and it only attests to the amount of time it took to develop the story. Kudos to the whole crew!
The film was super deep too, especially when you really think about it after watching. The whole idea of sadness being essential to achieve happiness and all emotions being involved in memories and experiences is pretty profound and also complicated. I sincerely doubt if the many kids in the theater really understood what was going on so it is a good thing that the characters were all brightly colored and that there were lots of funny moments. That being said, the animation was really cool to see up close since all the emotions had an almost pixelated, energy look to them. I read it took 8 months to achieve Joy’s “sparkly aura” and the team almost threw it out in the end, so again kudos to the animation team.
Amy Poehler was fantastic as Joy and a great leading character/emotion. The others were also fantastic with Lewis Black’s Anger emotion getting some of the funniest lines in the movie. However the breakout star was really Phyllis Smith who voiced Sadness. Sadness turned out to be the most important character in the film and became the film’s other lead, which I loved. The fact that Sadness resembles Smith was cute but Smith’s voice acting to me was top-notch and the best performance.
Inside Out had all the best emotions and gave me the feels too. There was love, lots of laughs, and yes sadness (two words: Bing Bong…people who saw the movie will understand the distress I went through because of Bing Bong). Above all was a core message about growing up and how hard it is, but the themes of family and being yourself added some much-needed warmth. I do not know how well little kids responded to the movie, especially since again the story got deep at times, but I do know people of all other ages can definitely enjoy Inside Out.
ALL IN ALL: Inside Out is a triumphant return for Pixar with an amazingly creative concept, great voice work, and emotions that run high all throughout the film.
image from: http://cdn.movieweb.com/img.news/NEMye3g3VuXNQM_1_1.jpg