Inside out review
family movie, Pixar, Amy Poehler, 2015
My summary: So there are emotions in your head that control your thoughts and those emotions are joy, disgust (who is more like ego), sadness, fear, and anger. They all have joy in charge of the controls. There is a machine in which all the memories are saved and operated like a machine. This is all inside the mind of a child named Riley, an 11 year old child who is moved to a different house with her parents. But as sadness accidentally screws up, her and Joy are pulled out of the headquarters and into the other part of the mind. So it's a race against time to get Joy and Sadness back to the headquarters because in the mean time anger, fear, and disgust are left at headquarters to operate Riley and that is never a good combination. It's like leaving the biggest group project in the class to the people who are least skilled.
The Good: I never thought I would say this but unless you do research of your own you, as I was, will be blown away at how original this story is. I have never been so emotionally invested in a Pixar story since The Incredibles. It is so original but not too hard to fully understand because they explain the plot to you as it goes along and 99% of the jokes work. The jokes work because there are some that are obvious which still work but there are others that you think about for a second and it works too. Going in I was afraid I wouldn't be able to take the characters seriously because they are just emotions but that ended pretty fast. The characters (emotions) are hilarious in what they say and react to one another. Riley's story is surprisingly compelling and isn't handled in an insulting kind of way that Pixar and Disney have done in the past. You empathize with her as she tries her best to keep her spirit up and work with this new change of environment but struggles as time goes on. While that is going on the emotions (joy and sadness) roam through many parts of the mind which is cleverly done. The imagery is not the center of the film rather it is the wit and sophistication of the world they are in. One thing I also noticed after I saw the film that is rare in movies period was that there were no villains. None of the characters that you come in contact with are bad rather they all have different struggles. There is no main villain and you know what it makes the film all the more interesting because you're on an adventure with the struggles being from characters and situations that are more complicated to figure out. I found myself caring a lot about these characters and worried for them. The human characters were all good people that struggled to understand one another instead of one being bad. This is a real issue that some kids encounter and there isn't an easy solution to it. Riley tries to make her new situation work but she just doesn't feel right. How many people do we know that has been through something similar? You try to approach a new situation in the best way but no matter how hard you try you just can't make it work. Especially at 11 years old change can be extremely hard on a kid and I thought this film treated that situation with delicacy and compassion for the whole family altogether. No one is wrong and nothing is held back in the real situation. The characters have to work through struggles both internal and external. I honestly thought after about ten minutes in what was the purpose of sadness who keeps messing things up and Joy has to constantly correct her. I mean what would sadness really have to contribute because all the other emotions were smart enough to not get in Joy's way. But I eventually found out why sadness was there which I thought worked perfectly. The ending to the film has to be one of the strongest endings I have seen this year. Up to the end of the film I wasn't sure how they were going to bring it all home because I thought it could have easily been silly stupid cliched but they pull it off with such emotion and strength I completely believed it. I left the movie satisfied with the ending which had the payoff that I have been missing from so many films this year. They get me worked up but by the end they usually can't bring it all together. This film I can honestly say was wonderful from beginning to end.
The Bad: The minor problems exist in the plot conveniences which are few but still there. Some things happen just to create a problem for Joy which I kind of thought was a little convenient. My main problem is with the sort of false advertising in the trailer (I swear these trailers this year) you see the emotions in the parents heads with the child's head and you think they will all be in the movie interacting with each other most of the time. There is only 2 scenes which that happens and they are the one you see in the trailer and one at the end. I thought from the trailers it would be more comedy with those emotions but it's actually more of a heartfelt film about the struggles of adolescence (which it does very well though). I guess I could have used more scenarios like the one in the trailer but the emotionalism is effective so I don't mind too much. Also even though I'm saying this is great don't think it ranks up there with Toy Story, Lion King, or The Incredibles though. It is extremely well done but remember there have been quite a few movies that sucked this year so enjoy it but wait a little while before you start comparing it to the greats.
Verdict: Excellent for all ages
The young kids will like it for the silly obvious jokes (luckily they aren't immature jokes you see in some movies). Adolescence will like it for being able to relate with the main character and for being taken seriously for once by a corporation that is just now making sequels to movies that were first made over a decade ago. The young/older adults will like it for the sophistication and witty jokes that the younger kids won't understand (and I don't mean pointless dirty sex jokes but mature clever jokes). So basically what I'm saying is you should see this movie. For the researchers yes I know there are other films in the past that might have done this idea but how popular was it and how many people know of it? This is as close to an original film for this day in age that you can expect. I enjoyed this film immensely and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a family movie night, girls night out, friendly hangout, or young kids themselves. You won't be disappointed.