A number of other blogs that I’ve read said that Inside Out might very well be their favorite Pixar movie. And I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed. I don’t know that I would rank it as my #1 (there are so many great Pixar movies!) but it’s definitely towards the top – probably in my top 3.
Pixar seems to be at its strength when it takes a unique perspective on things. They ask what if questions, like “What if your toys came to life when you weren’t in the room?” or “What if the monsters in your closet were actually nice guys just trying to earn a living?” And now: “What if your emotions literally controlled you by sitting at a control panel and pushing buttons?”
The film is about the emotions inside the head of an 11 year old girl named Riley: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust. They work together to create Riley’s reactions and store her memories. After Riley’s family moves across the country, her core memories (the things that make her who she is) get lost and Joy and Sadness must work together to get them back to her. I won’t say anything else besides that because I don’t want to spoil anything.
The thing that makes this movie really great for me was that it is just so clever. The idea is so original, but aside from that there are all sorts of little jokes or references that tie in well. They had a lot of laugh out loud funny moments. Like the workers going through the memories to decide which ones to get rid of – “All the names of the presidents? Just keep Washington, Lincoln, and the fat one.”
The emotion of the movie was just so well balanced too. And I don’t mean the emotion characters – though those work well together. I mean that it has the right amount of laughter, happy moments, sad moments, and things that make you think. There were a couple of parts where I teared up a bit, but many more that had me giggling throughout. I heard some people say they cried a lot, but thankfully I didn’t find that to be the case at all. The amount of tears and laughter was just right.
The actors they chose to do the voice work were pretty much perfect for their parts. I adore Amy Poehler on Parks and Rec, and she has a similar sort of bubbly over the top happy personality here as Joy. Phyllis Smith has the gloomy voice of Sadness down perfectly, while still being somewhat lovable. Everyone else just fit perfectly, and they worked together as a great team.
I don’t want to spoil it, but I also really loved the lesson at the end. What Joy and Sadness come to learn, along with the others, is just really moving and a great thing to keep in mind.
There is a short before the movie called Lava, about a volcano looking for love. I thought it was all right, but I found it to be a bit cheesy. I think the shorts really have their strength when they tell a story without words, and while I don’t think that’s required this one narrated the entire tale through song.
In all honesty, I don’t know if I can find any fault with this movie. It’s the perfect balance of emotions and everything flows perfectly. It’s a beautiful film and if you haven’t seen it yet, you certainly should!