Friday, 3 July 2015
Directed by Pete Doctor & Ronnie Del Carmen
Riley is a happy and goofy 11-year old girl. She lives in Minnesota, loves to play hockey, and loves her family and friends. But suddenly Riley's parents move the family to San Francisco. Riley's emotions (Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Fear) lead the way for living Riley's life and try to navigate her through this next step. However, Sadness starts to play a larger role in Riley's life, much to the chagrin of Riley's lead emotion, Joy. However, Joy and Sadness find themselves swept into the far reaches of Riley's mind, and must find a way to return back to the forefront, without having Riley lose too many emotions, memories, or feelings.
When I saw the trailers for Inside Out, all I really felt was "meh". I figured it would probably be better than Brave, Pixar's last original film, but figured we were looking at like a 75% on RottenTomatoes. However, when the film released, landed a 98% on RT and made $91 million on opening weekend, I wanted to know what the fuss was about. The trailers still looked kind of whatever, and, I don't know why, but I really dislike the poster for this movie, but I knew I needed to check this movie out.
Inside Out was much better than I expected. I start to get wary of movies like this that everyone tells me is amazing. My gut reaction is to dislike these movies on the spot. However, Inside Out was really quite good. The story was imaginative and creative, all the recesses of Riley's mind was so well thought out and just so creative! Riley's mind is split into sections. The 5 emotions live in the Headquarters, an elevated command centre, looking down on the rest of Riley's mind. Memories that Riley make enter headquarters as little glass spheres and get archived into her memory storehouse, while a small handful of memories become "Core memories", things that make Riley who she is. But once Joy and Sadness find themselves outside of headquarters, and no longer in control of Riley, they walk through various parts of Riley's mind. We got to see the memory "storehouse", where the memories spheres are kept on shelves, and are maintained (or "faded memories" are thrown out) by memory workers. We get to see Riley's "personality islands", which are various parts of Riley's personality. We also walk through Abstract Thought, Imagination Land, and even get to see the Dreams Production studio, where all Riley's dreams are filmed and projected while she sleeps. There's even a literal train of thought that runs, and a menacing dark pit that is the subconscious. Everything is done with such great detail, but never gets too complicated that it goes completely over children's heads. The mind is a complicated place, and could've had much more to it, but there's a great balance here, filling it with not too much, but just enough.
The movie and story itself got a lot more sentimental and sad than I had expected. Inside Out touched on some deeper things and serious thoughts. It went a lot deeper than I expected, and I'm so very glad it did. Usually when films gets sentimental, it comes off cheesy, but with a movie like this, a movie about being 11 years old and growing up, the sentimentality is handled well and never comes off as too much. I know I wasn't the only one who was tearing up in the theatre.
My only complaint about this movie is that it started to drag near the end. Joy and Sadness are trying to get on the "Train of thought" which will take them back to Headquarters. However, it seems they hit just one or two too many obstacles along the way that it started to feel long and a little annoying. However, this is a small complaint as the obstacles still were all quite funny and poignant. One even resulted in a child literally bursting into tears in the theatre I was in.
As well, the main 5 emotions had such a great voice cast. I mean, casting Amy Poehler as Joy? Has there ever been more perfect voice casting? Okay, maybe there has, but I could listen to Amy as Joy forever. Also, Phyllis Smith as Sadness? Actually, just as perfect casting (if not more perfect) than Amy as Joy. Phyllis Smith can have such a depressing voice, and she was pitch perfect voicing Sadness. As well Mindy Kaling as Disgust? And Lewis Black and Bill Hader as Anger and Fear? Everyone here did such perfect voice work.
Inside Out is actually a well-made, well thought out, and emotional movie, perfect for the whole family. It's a movie about family, and growing up, and figuring out who we are, and it's done beautifully. While it may not be my favourite Pixar movie, it'll definitely be high up on the list.
Posted by Heather Martin