So today I’m going to be talking about one of my most recent obsessions — Disney Pixar’s newest film Inside Out. I saw the movie the night it opened in theaters so I will be giving my review on that, as well as doing a review of the Inside Out Funko Mystery Mini vinyl figures and the Sadness Funko Pop figure.
First things first though, the movie:
I, like a great many people, am a huge fan of all things Disney and especially all things Pixar. I even enjoyed Cars 2, which seems to be the most universally disliked of all the Pixar films. So of course I was really excited when I heard about Pixar’s newest film. I also just graduated with a degree in psychology, and even though I have no intentions of pursuing that field any further, my psychology nerd side of me was also super interested in the fact that this was going to be a movie about emotions and the inner workings of the brain. And last but not least, the feminist side of me (which is all of me) was very pleased to see that the two main emotions of the film, Joy and Sadness — the ones that get to have the main adventure — were both personified as female. Not to mention the fact that Riley, the 11-year-old whose brain we delve into, is also female.
A movie that I know I can expect to pass the Bechdel Test with ease is already a step up in my book. I went into this film having really high expectations and I definitely wasn’t disappointed.
In a way similar to the beginning of UP, Inside Out starts with a journey through time that catches us up to the present day — in this case, the journey of Riley’s early years from birth until age 11 — in particular, how the five main emotions in her brain (Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Anger, and Fear) came to be. There are some clever defining moments from which each emotion springs to life in Riley’s mind that made me laugh out loud. Very quickly however, as is Pixar’s style, the movie takes on a level of profoundness that feels deeper to an adult than it might to a child who has yet to experience the process of “growing up”.
The broad plot description (as spoiler-free as I can make it without saying nothing at all) is that Riley’s emotions and core sense of self gets thrown out of whack leaving Joy and Sadness to journey through her core memories in order to make things better, leaving only Disgust, Anger, and Fear to guide Riley in the meantime. The movie alternates between the POV of Riley, the three emotions left in control of Riley’s brain, and the journey of Joy and Sadness. As a graduate of a psychology program, I found many little moments in the movie to be hilarious and punny references to various things related to psychology, the mind, and brain.
In a movie where the personifications of the emotions Joy and Sadness are main characters, there was always a danger that Joy would be the hero and Sadness the villain or negative force to be conquered but Pixar avoids this trap, showing the importance of experiencing both emotions in moderation and in combination with one another. This is a movie about growing up and a movie that children in particular can grow up with, much like UP or Toy Story 3, or just about any other Pixar film for that matter, adults will see this movie through a more experienced lens but I think appreciate it just as highly or possibly even more. I’m already excited to see this film again to better appreciate all the little moments that flew by the first time.
If you haven’t seen this movie yet, do yourself a favor and check it out ASAP. And if my review wasn’t incentive enough, the short film before the movie begins is about Volcanoes that sing and fall in love and who wouldn’t want to see that?
Because I didn’t want to go see this film alone, I dragged my father along with me. He was pretty skeptical about the film before it started but by the end told me how much he enjoyed it and joked about thinking about his brain as the movie portrayed until the day he dies. Which I’m sure is an exaggeration, but still!
Stay tuned for part 2 of my Inside Out review where I will review the Inside Out merchandise I’ve collected so far!