You know that little voice in your head that always tells you what to do in any given situation, well, that’s an emotion or more precisely one of five distinct emotions that live in your imagination and have creative influence on how you live each day. That’s the premise of Disney and Pixar’s 2015 motion picture “Inside Out”. Jumping right to the point, this is one of the studio’s best movies, not just in recent years but in general it’s one of their greatest animated offerings, top 3 easy. It really has the makings of a classic and has something to offer to younger audiences, older audiences and especially the young at heart.
Now while this concept is very unique I was also asking myself, “how on earth are they going to tell a story with this”, but leave it to Pixar to surpass your expectations. I shouldn’t spoil too much but here’s the setup, a little girl is going through all the emotional turmoil that one would naturally have at a young age when unexpected things happen, and in this girls case, she’s dealing with moving to a new state and leaving all her close friends behind. The emotion of Joy tries her best to take charge and make things as perfect as possible, unaware that the emotion of sadness actually has something really important to offer in this situation. When joy and sadness don’t agree, they find themselves going on an adventure across the girls imagination and realms of thought in hopes to find a compromise. They meet some colorful characters, get into exciting situations in various parts of the girls subconscious mind and new lessons are learned revolving around expectance, sacrifice and humanity. Honestly, I can’t say anymore about the plot then that because it’ll spoil the experience.
The world this movie creates is one of the most captivating and imaginative I’ve ever seen. All the subtle ways this movie conveys the mind of a child is brilliant, I love how the girls best memories become little islands, and I love how her nightmares are like odd play productions created by her subconscious. The visuals are fantastic and the colors are wonderful, but the movie is very good at never giving us to much, there’s just a perfect balance here with character interactions, heavy talks and it’s captivating imagery. The message of excepting hardships and embracing sadness as an important emotion is handled beautifully. It’s also a very unique moral that we don’t see too often in movies, and I was so proud of how this movie talked to its young audience about how we need all of our emotions, we can’t live in a world that’s nothing but joy, you still need your fear and your sadness to complete who you are. There’s even a strong blend of comedy mixed with some heavy drama, and the touching moments stuck with me more than I thought they would.
Pixar had been turning out some subpar material lately, but this was a very strong return to the high quality films that they’ve done in the past. It was imaginative, colorful, innovative, touching, magical and for lack of better words, a truly emotional experience that I look forward to seeing again. I know this was less of a review and more of a recommendation, but I really can’t say any more about it that might spoil the experience. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, do yourself a favor and see this film while it’s still in the theater, it’s more than worth the price of admission.
I give “Inside Out” a very strong 4 ½ stars out of 5.