Inside Out (2015)
Riley is your typical 11 year old girl with the exception that she has recently moved from her awesome life in Minnesota to a dingy apartment in San Francisco. Riley doesn’t know how to cope with all these new changes in her life so her emotions are running wild. Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith) are Riley’s 5 core personalities that control her memories. However, when Joy tries to control Sadness, both entities end up being cast out into the far reaches of Riley’s memory leaving only Fear, Anger and Disgust to control this fragile girl’s emotions.
Inside Out is Pixar’s latest project, and just like all the rest, it plays off family emotion to keep its theme strong. In fact, the characters in this movie are actual emotions. At the time of this post, this movie has been getting so much positive buzz that I when I watched it, I wasn’t that impressed. Let me tell you why.
First off, Riley loses Joy and Sadness and Fear, Disgust and Anger end up running her life. She becomes a zombie that just explodes randomly to situations, and this behavior makes Riley not a fun person to watch on the screen. She is a downer and rains on the parade for the bulk of the movie. This must be how people get put on Psych medications early on…
Something else I didn’t like was how they made it that Sadness could change happy memories into sad ones, but Joy couldn’t change sad memories happy. That just didn’t make sense. I understand the message Pixar was trying to send, but it just didn’t make thematic sent that Joy (aka the leader) couldn’t undo Sadness’s mistakes. Something else that bothered me was Bing Bong (Richard Kind). He is kind of scary with a creepy stranger danger vibe. I didn’t think he fit in well with the other characters and I found him to be the Jar-Jar Binks of the movie.
Having said all that, there are some positives. The movie is colorful, well animated and funny (towards the end). I wish the creativity in Riley’s mind didn’t remind me of an airport, but it could have been worse. What shines the most is the ending. When people talk about the movie making them cry, they are talking about the end. I won’t go into spoilers, but the whole movie makes sense regarding an 11 year old girl who is on the verge of puberty having just moved to another state. Sometimes a girl just has to have a good cry I guess…
At the end of the day, Inside Out was just ok for me. For most of the movie it was a 6 and the ending is a solid 8, so I went somewhere in the middle for my score. Something else that could have possibly left me feeling unimpressed was the Lava Love song before the movie started. Volcanos need love? and sing about it? and wasn’t that one Volcano super old and the other was young? That’s kinda creepy…
Inside Out definitely isn’t the best Pixar movie as many have claimed (Monsters Inc. will always be my favorite), but it does offer great things for both young and old. I would say that Inside Out will probably lead toward women over men.
7/10 Stars – Not a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination, but there was plenty that left me unimpressed.