I went with my oldest son and my wife to see Inside Out this week. Everyone who has seen it has given it rave reviews. I really liked it, but I wouldn’t put Inside Out in the great pantheon of Pixar movies like Toy Story 3 or Up. The movie was a good time with my family, and yes it may or may not have made me tear up at the end. Inside Out was an interesting concept, and I would lay good odds one of the writers or creators of the movie was a fan of the television show Herman’s Head from the 90’s. I was a fan, and the movie reminded me of it. The movie was better than the TV show ever had hopes of becoming.
Inside Out takes us through how moving to the west coast affects a young girl. Riley is moved to San Francisco from Minnesota. It would be a big culture shock for anyone, and Riley has to figure out how to cope with it. The movie takes us inside her head, and we meet her emotions who try to work through the move. Joy is her primary emotion voiced by Amy Poehler. Riley is a happy girl, and Joy runs a tight ship in her head to keep Riley up beat. The emotion Sadness is left to read brain manuals, and told not to leave her chalk circle. An accident happens in which Joy and Sadness are sucked out of the brains main control room into long term memory storage. The rest of the movie is the two of them trying to get back to the main control room.
This means Riley has to function without Sadness and Joy for emotions. She is only left with Fear, Anger, and Disgust. Riley, on the outside, shuts down emotionally. She doesn’t know how to process all the things she is feeling from the move. Anger takes most of the control, with Disgust right behind him. It was a good representation of how any kid handles change. I know my ten year old can be one moody dude. His Anger seems to be in the pilot seat a bunch these days.
Anger couldn’t have been cast better. Lewis Black is perfect for the role, and he didn’t disappoint. Everyone that I have read or watched has talked about Black, but not many people talked have talked about Sadness, voiced by Phyllis Smith. I thought she stole the show. She was perfect, and Sadness was my favorite character. It was a great aspect to the movie, and the overriding theme. It’s ok to be sad. Not all the time, but it does help us process. Doctor and Del Carmen, the directors, are deft enough not to beat us over the head with the theme. It’s subtle and makes the movie touching.
It was a very fitting ending, and I enjoyed it. You can’t prove that I cried though. I’ll deny it, and there is no video evidence to prove if I did. No Senator, I have no recollection of those events. It’s a good movie, great for families. I don’t think it’s perfect for younger kiddos. It’s more for 8 or 9 and up. Just because it deals with ideas and concepts of complex emotions, and younger children will be a little lost since they don’t have those. Though the weird looking imaginary friend, who guides Joy and Sadness through long term memory, may hold them over. My ten year old (eleven in a week) related perfectly. Hey, now I can say to him, dude your Anger is driving the bus let someone else take over.
My Rating: Must See in Theaters/Will Stop and watch every time on TV.
My Top five favorite Pixar Movies
2. The Incredibles
3. Toy Story
4. Monster’s Inc.
5. Toy Story 3
Every time I have heard the name of the movie, my long term memory has played the great joke on me of recalling the Phil Collins song Inside Out. Every single freaking time I think of the title I get the song stuck in my head. So I have been walking around with Phil Collins Inside Out stuck in my head for almost two weeks now. I thought this very apt after seeing the movie and seeing Riley get a stupid gum commercial song stuck in her head. Enjoy the video below. Misery loves company and now maybe someone else will associate this song to the movie.