Review by Edgar Torres
Pixar Animation Studios, the power house that has brought us timeless classics such as Toy Story, Wall-E, Cars and Up (to name a few) is back again with another film that will find its way and tug your heartstrings once more. The newest title Inside Out takes place in the most peculiar of places, inside the mind of an eleven year-old girl. The main characters are modeled after our primary feelings Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust. These primary emotions control the human mind and maintain the creation of memories. At times there can be strong memories created called “core” memories which create and power islands that make up personalities of a person. I think I covered the basics now onto the story!
In Riley’s mind Joy is in charge and keeps everything working like a well-oiled machine, that is until her family has to move from her home town in Minnesota to San Francisco. It’s in San Francisco that Sadness begins to change some of Riley’s memories into sad ones and Joy tries at all costs to keep Sadness away from causing anymore harm. On Riley’s first day of class she has to stand up and introduce herself to the class, Joy attempts to keep the situation happy after Fear has collapsed on the ground but Sadness touches a memory which causes Riley to cry in front of the class. This triggers a “core” sad memory to be created which is a first and Joy tries to stop it at all costs which causes Joy and Sadness to be sucked up into a tube headed into long term memory and the trio of Anger, Fear and Disgust to take over control of the mind. The rest you will have to go watch for yourself but I assure you, it’s an enjoyable ride.
The voice acting on this is phenomenal from Amy Poehler playing Joy to Lewis Black playing Anger each actor embodied the character they were playing. I can’t help but think that the people over at Pixar are fans of NBC comedy programing because the emotions voice actors all come from NBC shows: The Office, Parks and Rec, and SNL. Except for Lewis Black but I can’t think of any other actor who could have played the role better.
Another thing I enjoyed about the film was that they stuck to the mind which is this completely abstract idea and turned it into these amazing lands where little bean looking creatures keep tossing annoying commercials to annoy the primary emotions. Which leads me into the next point, it was great to see the different areas of the mind playing their role in their own unique way. You have this area of the land dedicated to abstract thought which breaks down ideas into the most primary structures in order to make sense of them. Imaginary land was also a great place to visit. An eleven year old’s mind is still filled with teddy bears and cloud villages but also includes a random boyfriend creator making countless embodiments of dream boyfriends.
Lastly, as Pixar is known for, the film find ways to expose you and put you into the body of the character. This story was about an eleven year old girl but I too was once rooted out and planted into another town where I knew no one and wished to be back home. At any age this can be a stressful and mood altering experience. Even if you don’t find yourself identifying with Riley, perhaps you are a parent and can identify with Riley’s parents. Maybe you are neither of those and just identify with the cat whose mind is made up of more cats.
This is the part where I pick the movie apart and try to find some things that went wrong but it just wasn’t the case with Inside Out. Pixar spent five years creating yet another masterpiece that would be able to keep adults and children entertained the whole way through. However, I will talk about some things that I wish they would have included were the movie longer. I wish that we could have seen more of other people’s minds at play. We do get a scene of Riley’s mom and dad’s minds at work but it wasn’t nearly as long as I would have liked. Director Pete Docter talks about how there was a huge list of mind puns that they wanted to include in the film but for one reason or another they were cut from the movie. I do hope that we get to see a director’s cut of the film one day with these additions.
I went to an Insider Access event put on by Fathom Events for this film which allowed me to watch is a few days in advance. It was twenty dollars for the event which besides the screening included an inside look at Pixar studios. It was an awesome thirty minute segment that was essentially a tour of Pixar Studios and it was fantastic. They also had a live Q&A with Pete Docter and Amy Poehler which was great although I wasn’t too fond of the interviewer. I would recommend that people attend any other Insider Access events that Pixar may hold for their future films if you are a Pixar fan. That said, Inside Out was an awesome film whose story can and will serve to explain to children what is going on inside their mind and will hopefully help cope with their emotions better. I recommend you all to go watch this film in theaters and take anyone you can, it’s that good. In a theater roster full of action heroes, dinosaurs, and spies, Inside Out will be the one movie that you will leave with a happy heart.