Inside Out? More like tear my heart out from the inside out. Pixar does what it does best here. It pulls on your heart strings and plays sweet sweet music with them. Inside Out makes you cry, laugh, and cheer just like most Pixar movies do. However, I will say that perhaps expectations were too high and this movie felt like a bit of a let down due to some of the press surrounding it. So, let’s hop on the control panel, and decide what emotion describes how I felt about the movie.
Let’s face it. Pixar’s ability to feel a spectrum of emotions during their movies wouldn’t be possible without their creation of such memorable and relatable characters. Riley, the little girl in the film, was much like any of us were as children especially at her age of 11. I remember acting out, feeling sad, wanting to run away, the overwhelming nervousness of a new school, and trying to face each obstacle with a smile on my face. She really reminded me of myself, and I feel like most people could relate to her as well. The real finesse on Pixar’s part comes in the form of their embodiment's of emotions. Each major emotion is a living being who helps take control of Riley’s body and decisions. These characters could have fallen flat and seemed one dimensional especially since they are inherently one dimensional being that they are the physical embodiment of one emotion. Each one interacts and works so well off of the other though that you really get to see the full spectrum of human emotion. Even the side characters are ones who play an integral part in helping our heroes much like most side characters in Pixar movies. They ensemble reminded me of Finding Nemo, where each new side character was vastly different than the last, but each one helped fit a role that needed to be filled.
It was very interesting and unique to see an adventure within Riley’s mind, as well as the consequences of that adventure in her real life. It was a great dynamic. Joy and Sadness’ journey to save Riley’s long-term memories in order to maintain her personality was one that you grow to care about very much. It made me even reflect on some aspects of my former self that I may have lost or let go. Also, Riley’s subsequent reactions to each decision made in her brain by the emotions, whether it be running away, quitting hockey, crying in class, or yelling at her parents, all made for a trip that played out like a rerun of my own life. I think most people probably felt similarly. Joy’s journey to understand that each emotion must live in tandem was also a great lesson learned that played out very lovely. Each piece of progression in the plot, although thickening the main plot, had a great message of its own. Most movies can’t do that as smoothly as Pixar managed to do in this film.
As usual, Pixar just crushes it when it comes to visuals. Every aspect of their animation is just so unique and flawless. They delivered on their definite style while also feeling different enough from previous movies that it wasn’t distracting.
What Didn’t Work?
Although I enjoyed the journey very much, and I like each lesson that was learned, it was a little too predictable. The film literally has Joy and Sadness run from each personality island in order just to have each one crumble before they get there. It just seemed unnecessary to have each one go down in order. Also, the visual representations of these islands, long-term memories, and thought train, made it too obvious that they were going to take a very specific route out of the control center, and back there again. This isn’t a huge grievance, but usually Pixar is a bit less on the nose about where they are going with a plot whether it be visual cues or even verbal ones.
They started out much like they do in every movie, with a little 5 minute introduction scene to get you invested in the characters before they jump into the main story. However, once we jump into the regular story, things just didn’t seem to slow down enough for me, and it made everything feel rushed. It didn’t help that the plot itself dealt with a time constraint, but perhaps the pace was set fast on purpose in order for the audience to feel rushed to have Joy and Sadness return to the control room. I just didn’t think it worked to well. I felt literally exhausted at the end of the film because there was just so much emotion, and so little down time to process it.
Of course this movie is great. It’s really good. However, I wouldn’t agree with a lot of hype asking or stating that this could be Pixar’s best movie yet. I highly disagree with that. It comes in softly as my 5 on my top 5 Pixar films of all-time. To be fair though, Pixar is like a guy who only shoots and hits net. Every once in a while though, they hit the backboard or the ball circles the rim and still goes in. Pixar rarely misses, but sometimes their shots look a little better than others. This was definitely a make, but it just wasn’t quite as great as their phenomenal films. You should really go see it, but don’t feel too distressed if you can’t make it to the theaters. You can wait for this one to come to Redbox or something else. Just be sure to see it.
As always, be sure to tell me what you think? Have you seen the film? Will you being seeing it in theaters? Do you think it's Pixar’s best so far? Please make sure to follow me on Twitter @HaneyCasey, check out my website SlackerNerds.com, and check me out on MoviePilot.com/HaneyCasey.