Inside Out, Pixar’s newest movie in almost two years, doesn’t open until June 19, but reviews for the film are coming out fast now and the consensus seems to be that Pixar has once again set it’s feet on solid story ground, making Inside Out a must see.
About the interior, emotional world of Riley, an 11-year-old girl, Inside Out takes the pre-teen and her emotions — Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), and Sadness (Phyllis Smith) — through the difficult transition of uprooting her life and starting over in a new city because her father is starting a new job.
Riley’s emotions work behind the scenes to advise Riley on how to get through the mundane events of everyday life. But just like Riley, they’re growing up and learning as they go, so they struggle with adjusting to Riley’s new world which leads to disagreement and eventually a crisis, where Joy and Sadness must work together to travel through the brain back to Headquarters, while Fear, Anger and Disgust have great difficulty running the show without Joy to lead.
Pixar has been creating some of the deepest, most heart-felt storytelling for years, going all the way back to their shorts. They have a way of getting to a universal truth that somehow makes each member of the audience feel like the movie has been made just for them because it speaks to the specific situation they have, or are going, through.
Here are five reasons you are going to love Inside Out, no matter what phase of your life you’re in — adult, parent, child, or even teenager.
The Concept Is Brilliant
As soon as we have that moment when something doesn’t quite go the way we want it to, we start to question who we are, why bad things happen to us and why we’re here on this tiny planet. We try desperately to understand our feelings. Where they come from and why they linger? And some of us will do that our entire lives. Therefore, to personify and animate the feelings inside of our hearts and minds that control the things we do leaves story possibilities wide open.
Pixar dives in and comes out with a story for Inside Out that’s not the obvious. Riley’s a pre-teen, but this isn’t a story based around a struggle with puberty — it’s about growing up in the larger sense and coming to grips with the fact that sorrow and heartache are a necessary part of the equation.
It’s heady stuff and yet, as Pixar does so well, the balance of humor, breathtakingly stunning visuals, and a story that continues to move and amaze in Inside Out will keep kids and adults entertained while the adults are also treated to the deeper meanings. Warning: one or more tears may fall.
You Can’t Hold Back The Feels
Growing up is a painful process. We must lose, we must fail, our hearts must be broken — this is the only way we learn and therefore the only way we grow. Every single person on earth has gone through their own agonizing development. We relate to everything Riley and her feelings are going through which for the adult brings up a little grief for the loss of innocence the day we left our childhood behind.
In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel on Tuesday to talk about Inside Out, Amy Poehler had a much better way to tell the audience what they’re likely to go through.
“[Inside Out is] a really great movie. It’s beautiful and really deep, and sad and really funny. It is so sad — you’re gonna cry your balls off!”
It Shows Not One, But Two Worlds
As the name of the film suggests, the audience sees an everyday outer world where the colors are subdued and everything follows the basic rules of our physical plane, but also an inner world where emotions run the show. It’s this world that grabs you with it’s vibrant colors and the exciting, reality-bending things that happen there.
The brain is a complex place and so there’s so much to play with there. It’s easy to tell that it was a sand-box writers Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley had a lot of fun playing in.
But it’s the back and forth between the two that grounds the movie and makes the stakes higher in Inside Out. We get to see the consequences of the decisions that the emotions make play out immediately in Riley’s reality which keeps the momentum hurtling toward the finish line.
The adult themes of saying goodbye to your childhood could be a little too much for a children’s animated movie if it weren’t for the humor.
Inside Out‘s comic gags come at a steady pace and are, for the most part, all dependent on the story to set them up making them a stronger hit.
The Critics Have Nothing But Nice Things To Say About It
When Inside Out screened at Cannes it had the audience of critics, a notoriously jaded bunch, exploding with enthusiastic applause while the credits rolled — creating the best reception at the festival.
Leigh Singer of IGN felt Pixar has reached another pinnacle with Inside Out.
“Pixar has never been so formally and visually inventive and rarely so funny as they are here.”
Peter Debruge of Variety believes Inside Out will have a lasting affect on its audiences after they leave the theater.
“Pixar’s 15th feature proves to be the greatest idea the toon studio has ever had… promises to forever change the way people think about the way people think, delivering creative fireworks grounded by a wonderfully relatable family story.”
Alison Willmore of Buzzfeed writes that Pixar’s story risk has more than paid off.
“Call Inside Out a comeback, a return to form, a gratifying reminder that no one else would attempt to make a children’s tentpole movie about how emotional pain is just as essential a part of life as happiness.”
Catch Pixar’s Inside Out on big screen near you on June 19. Until then take another peek at the trailer.