Most people would say that Pixar left their roots of heartwarming emotion and great storytelling behind up until now, but I disagree. "Inside Out" continues Pixar's amazing trend by introducing us to Riley, an 11-year-old girl that holds family, friends, silliness, imagination and hockey close to her heart. We're also introduced to the "little voices" inside Riley's head: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Fear.
At the start of the movie, the audience witnesses Riley's growth from being a newborn baby to a young girl. Through that time, her emotions start to develop. Viewers quickly learn what she likes, what she doesn't like and what she holds near and dear to her heart. Just as the audience gets to know Riley and how she lives, she goes through something almost all of us go through... the first move to a new house. With this, she has to leave behind everything she knew. Her friends, her school, and her hockey team. This throws her emotions out of whack as they don't know what to do and Sadness overtakes her memories.
Now that we know the basic overview of the plot of this movie, lets get into the real nitty-gritty. If you don't want potential spoilers, stop reading!!!
Now lets first talk about the characters of Joy and Sadness. Joy's main mission is to keep Riley happy at any cost, even if that means stopping Sadness from taking over. When Sadness eventually gets around Joy and tries doing her job, that's when things go haywire and start getting REALLY interesting. Sadness goes to touch one of Riley's core memories that create her personality, but they instead spill onto the floor and get sucked into Long Term Memory along with Joy and Sadness, leaving Disgust, Fear and Anger to try and take control.
Now out of everything in this movie, one of the things that I loved the most was the symbolism. If you're paying attention and are thinking about it, you'll pick it up everywhere in this movie. Joy trying to take precedence over the other emotions, Sadness being considered unimportant, the other emotions taking over after Joy and Sadness are lost in Long Term Memory... those are some of the many examples of symbolism in this movie. The way that the writing worked like that is and was absolutely fantastic!
Something else that I loved about this movie was it's characters and how their personalities and looks fit their name. I know that sounds stupid and probably makes you think "well I sure hope that's how it would work with the main characters being emotions," but you'd be surprised at how easy it can be to screw that up. For example, Anger was red and hot-headed (literally), Disgust was green, sassy and had this trendy look to her and Sadness was blue and moped around.
Despite how great this movie was, there was still one thing that felt slightly off and I think that's how weird and different this was for Pixar. They took a risk with tackling an emotional movie about our emotions and having it involve something that we all go through at some point in our lives. This wasn't a movie about talking toys or monsters or a fish in search of his son... this was a movie about what goes on inside each of us everyday: creating new memories, growing up and our emotions taking control.