I feel like we’ve arrived at the point in history where everyone walks into a Pixar movie expecting excellence. I know I’m certainly at that point, but believe me when I say nothing could have prepared me for the quality of this movie.
Inside Out follows the story of a young girl named Riley and the five primary emotions that power her: Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Anger, and Fear. As Riley transitions into a new chapter of life, Joy and Sadness are thrust into an adventure that could drastically alter Riley’s future. With its brilliant combination of heart and humor, Inside Out is Pixar’s magnum opus that perfectly personifies the process of growing up. This movie is nothing short of an animated masterpiece.
What I liked
It was only about ten minutes into the movie that I knew I was in for something special. My favorite thing about Inside Out is the sheer amount of detail that was put into its story. Every single quirky aspect of a human is perfectly personified in the way Riley’s mind works. The five different emotions show off an impressive and fantastical synergy, and memories are treated in such a way that accounts for just about every wacky thing brains do to us. What’s even more interesting is that you’re almost forced to empathize with each emotion, even negative emotions like Anger and Sadness. They’re shown as human-like creatures, which makes you intrinsically think, “Each one of these is important.”
Inside Out is a family movie above all things, so it only makes sense that it’s nothing short of hilarious. Pixar obviously knows how to tell jokes that will entertain kids, but there’s also a fair amount of humor to be found for the adults. The success of this humor can be attributed to the terrific voice cast. Perfectly timed commentary muttered at the ends of greater points had me laughing until tears ran down my face. Perhaps the best part about these gags is that the movie doesn’t stop to relish in them. Inside Out goes from one comedic beat to another seamlessly.
As classics like Up and Toy Story 3 have taught us, Pixar knows how to masterfully tug on our heartstrings, and Inside Out is no exception to this rule. This movie revolves around a big transition in a young girl’s life, and as such, it hits on certain points that resonate with many different people. Even if certain people have never experienced what Riley goes through specifically, there’s enough happening within her life and her mind that viewers will surely find something to identify with. At some point, Inside Out becomes personal because you think, “I’ve been here before; I’ve felt like this.”
Strangely enough, Inside Out’s most moving moments don’t come in the way moviegoers would expect. They hit not when something sad happens, but when the movie portrays concepts of life that everyone has gone through. As per Pixar’s style, the most emotional points of the movie are the ones that embody some sort of realization, transformation, or acceptance. It’s something we’ve seen before in Pixar movies, but it resonates stronger here than it ever has before. These moments—these experiences—are the difference between a smart movie and a brilliant movie.
There’s so much more to this movie that I don’t want to spoil for you, so let me leave you with this: Inside Out is a downright beautiful cinematic experience. It’s going to be a very long time before we see another movie that perfectly encapsulates the human experience in such a fun and charming way.
What did you think of Inside Out?