I may have been the only adult in theater attending without a child, but there is no doubt that Inside Out shouldn’t be labeled as another children’s movie. It’s so much more complex and beautiful beyond that. Pixar has once again delivered another original and enthralling story that can entertain children AND adults while offering both groups completely different experiences. Director Pete Docter (who also directed Monsters Inc and Up, both of my favorite Pixar films along with Toy Story) has delivered us a vision about the human psyche that doesn’t just look fun and colorful, but is a pretty plausible way of seeing how the mind works. The film centers on Riley, an 11 year old girl form Minnesota who’s life is turned upside down when her family moves off to San Francisco. Inside Riley’s head are her five core emotions that help run Riley’s mind and control her responses to certain situations. Let’s meet our emotions:
We got Joy (voiced by Amy Poehler) who is the energetic, optimistic, spunky member of the group. Though her intentions are always good, she’ll sometimes come off as pushy and bossy to get things her way. It’s not her fault though, since her main purpose is to keep Riley happy at all times. Which is good thing….sometimes, as the film will show you.
We got Sadness (voiced by Phyllis Smith) the mopey, pessimistic but likable emotion who doesn’t seem know her purpose. I wanna say that while most kids choose Joy as their favorite emotion, most adults might side with Sadness as their favorite. Most of the comedic moments of Sadness can get you laughing one minute and then saying sympathizing with her
We got Fear (voiced by Bill Hader) the paranoid, scaredy cat (duh!) emotion who’s purpose is to keep Riley safe from danger, but sometimes his concerns might come off as too much. Example: he mentions Meteor as a potential danger for Riley’s for day at a new school.
We got Anger (voiced by Lewis Black, of course lol) the grumbling emotions who is reading to throw a temper when things don’t his (and Riley’s) way. Alongside Sadness, Anger gets most of the comedic moments in the film, and how can’t he? With Lewis Black lending his voice in a role that was perhaps made for him, you’re sure to get a chuckle at everything he says
Finally, we got Disgust (voiced by Mindy Kaling) the sarcastic and very picky emotion who kinda looks like she can’t enjoy anything. That would be a wrong assumption. Her sarcasm usually overshadows her disgust for certain things, but she’s a nice addition to the group.
The casting for Inside Out is pitch perfect, but it’s the message that I appreciated most from the film. I’ll try to be as spoiler-free as I can, but the film teaches us that everybody and everything has its role. The two front runners of the film are Joy and Sadness who couldn’t be more opposite, but they are caught in a predicament that forces them to work together. It is then that, while explore many other aspects of the human mind in Pete Docter’s eyes (abstract though, imagination, personalities), we have to see how to opposites work together for a common goal. Here’s where I’ll get spoilery:
SPOILER ALERT! Eventually, Joy learns a tough lesson how being happy isn’t always the right solution and being sad isn’t always a bad thing. Without Sadness, we can’t learn to be happy. It’s what makes us human. It’s when Joy and Sadness are sucked out of headquarters (where the emotions operate) that leaves Fear, Disgust and Anger in charge and the results are disastrous. Riley gives off attitude towards her parents, her interests begin to fade away and she slowly loses herself as her days without Joy and Sadness make her move to San Fran harder to accept.
SPOILERS END HERE! Overall, I loved this film and it’s another worthy addition to the Pixar franchise (i’m waiting to see where in the Pixar Theory this fits in). The ending is also the funniest I’ve ever seen, offering so many different versions of the film we just saw through different minds. That is my gripe, by the way. I would have TOTALLY sat down for a much longer film where we can explore more complications in Riley’s life and see how the emotions deal with it. I’m not really sure we’ll get a sequel (not that we need one) but I find the functionalities of the mind in this film so fascinating that I wish we could see more. Maybe a short video series? Or heck, even a comic would be great! I really want more! *Sighs. Guess I’ll buy the DVD when it comes out because I’m definitely gonna be watching again
Most Likely to love: I’ll risk it: Everybody. There, I said it
Least Likely to Love: Robots (What. Are. emotions?)