To expand my review archives, I’m adding in movies! These will be rarer than book reviews but if a movie has a great story that catches my attention, I’ll share that with you. Today’s movie: Inside Out.
If you follow my blog, you might have seen my Friday Snippet from a week back when I said you should watch Inside Out, the new animation movie from Disney and Pixar. I’m digging in a bit deeper this time!
The sort-of protagonist of Inside Out is Riley, an 11-year-old girl whose life turns upside down when her family moves from Minnesota to San Francisco. All her friends and hobbies are left behind, so naturally her emotions are conflicted on how to handle it — her emotions being Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust. The five emotions reside in the control center in Riley’s mind (Headquarters) where Joy loves to be on the driver’s seat since all she wants is to see Riley happy.
Every day, moments in Riley’s life are turned into small memory orbs and then stored in her mind, but big and important things are turned into core memories instead. They define Riley’s personality and who she is.
When all Riley’s core emotions are accidentally removed from her mind, it’s a disaster already. But Joy and Sadness both get removed from the control center as well, which means Riley will be unable to feel either happy or sad until they return. Finding their way back is much harder than it seems at first and not only is Riley’s happiness at stake, but so is her very personality…
Now, I said Riley is the “sort-of” protagonist because the five emotions are the core focus of the story. We mostly follow Joy and Sadness struggle to find their way back to Headquarters, although we also get glimpses into Riley’s life at the same time.
If you thought a story with characters modeled after a single feeling is dull and one-dimensional, think again. How could things like Train of Thought, Goofball Island and Subconscious rolled into one be anything but exciting? The mind is portrayed as a complex place with all these different sections and their workers who do their best to keep everything running smoothly.
I have to say I was actually surprised by how deep and touching the story was. To top it off, I felt I could relate to the characters as we all get run over by our emotions sometimes.
The concept of the movie was fresh and I loved how the basic emotions were handled in different people. I’m sure you’ve noticed people have quite different personalities even though we share common emotions, and this movie did a great job at portraying that.
Of course, because it’s a Disney-Pixar movie, there’s also a lot of humor and warmth, and a very good lesson at the heart of it all. There were tears and bursts of laughter, and then that fuzzy feeling at the end when you know it was the perfect way to spend the evening.
So if you like Disney and Pixar movies in general, you should definitely watch this. Just be prepared for a roller-coaster of emotions!