Now to be honest I watched this movie because I heard so much hype about it, but even without the hype, the trailer was enough to pull me in. What was it about the trailer that pulled me in? The ability to bring your emotions to life before.
When I watched a review on this by the Nostalgia Critic, he acknowledged that there was a movie before this that had done this, which was Osmosis Jones, but that was really more on the inner workings on your body, and a little insight to Biology if you were first learning it. But this movie is very separate to it. Now, obviously you would think my thoughts would sway by his reactions to it. Well, believe it or not, I watched it before he did the review, and I didn't even know that he was going to do a review on it seeing it was fairly new and had just come out.
Honestly, I did watch it myself and tried to break it down for myself. And I thought this movie was great. The way they conveyed the message of the importance of sadness they did hit it at least twice, at the beginning and at the end. Asking the question and answering it at the end. Now, this was especially important seeing this is a children's movie, and its fair to say that we may have desensitized children over the years, with a little violence here and there from various media sources till they don't really express their emotions anymore. And the fact this movie came out this year and in this century is surely to be Pixar's classic etched in stone for sure.
We start the movie of with Riley, and her micro-managing head of emotions, Joy. Joy is so intent on keeping Riley happy, that it begs the question of if Joy herself is selfish, or truly looking out for Riley's well-being. Because the fact of the matter is, I was brought up in a way that being sad was okay, and it was good to let things out so that you could enjoy the good times even better, which plays into the nostalgic factor as well. Sure, that's the lesson at the end but, for the first part of it I think that's what Joy was, a narcissistic egocentric girl who just wants her to be the bulk of the influence of Riley. But of course Joy cannot be the only emotion in her head, so enter the others, Anger, Fear, Disgust, and of course Sadness. Now we could also make the argument for Anger and its importance, but I think we've had enough angsty pre-teens/teenagers already. But I digress, there is always a cautionary tale to all the emotions. Anger is good if you need to let off a little stress, Fear is good to make sure our body isn't in too much danger and lets us know that we are still mortal after all, and will have a little Fear no matter how much we try to deny it. Disgust is the one that is really that main core of the tween age as I like to call it, where they have select opinions on something already and are not willing to try something for the simple fact that it does not look appealing, and last but not least is Sadness.
Now seeing how Sadness should be center stage, they took the time instead to show us the contrast between Sadness and Joy. One is pessimistic and the other is hopelessly optimistic. But there are some similarities as well, for example, they immediately show after Joy is made, Sadness is right there after Joy, implying that both should work hand in hand in shaping Riley's life and all the other things as well. But as Joy is narcissistic and controlling she wants to do it herself. Now it must be said that yes, Joy is also looking out for the best interest of Riley, and ensure she doesn't feel too Sad and brought down, and really emphasizes the notion of an optimist. But, Sadness is there to help as well, it's not that she doesn't care, she's just apathetic to some things but also cares about the important things which is Riley and her memories, and that's what Joy and Sadness have in common, they would do anything to preserve Riley's personality and her memories.
Of course, the little outbursts of Anger, is also supported by the joke they made about the "Puberty" button and how they most probably won't need it(Right..). But again the focus is actually on both Sadness and Joy, and by the end of this we see Sadness truly care about the need of Riley, and also use the information she got from studying all of Riley's mind core even though Joy forced her to.
At the end we see that, Sadness makes something last longer because, we as humans learn from the bad things and so, we keep it so that we can improve and enjoy as well as appreciate the better times ahead. But don't get me wrong, being happy is equally as important and that is the real point that hits home. This movie is not only saying it's okay to be sad, but at the same time, it's good not to dwell on it, let it go and move on. And as we saw from the ending, it also got the family closer together and her personality Islands all the more stronger. And of course the memories as well. It also nods subtly at the fact that children still have a little memory of their imaginary friend(and I think Bing Bong was an iteration of "Don't think about the pink elephant) but knows that their imaginary friend is always welcome, but also, when the children grow older, it's time to let them go and have new friends and create new memories with them.
So does this movie live up to its hype? Yes it does! This movie was creative, it was colorful and it had a great message to children out there. But only one thing of the movie disturbed me, which was the use of imaginary boyfriends as a bridge, I mean yeah, it was a little funny, and poking a little fun at the fact that now all tween girls want is someone that kinda looks like Edward Cullen from Twilight. But that was just disturbing. It just was a little too creepy for me. But other than that, this was a pretty solid, and it deserves the rating.