Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What a Feeling

Inside Out
Directors: Pete Doctor and Ronald Del Carmen
Voice Talent: Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black, Richard Kind, Diane Lane, Kyle McLachlan, Kaitlyn Dias
Released: June 19, 2015
Viewed in theaters: June 22, 2015

Congratulations, Pixar, you've done it again! You've managed to make me cry like a baby while watching one of your films. This is the first Pixar movie I've seen in the theater since Toy Story 3 in 2010 and the first new Pixar movie I've watched since seeing Brave on DVD in early 2013, but the wait was worth it. I loved it. It's really hard for Pixar to do any wrong. And this one ranks on the higher end of their list. I made sure to attend the 9 pm show to make sure there weren't any kids around. I have had made the mistake of seeing Pixar movies in the middle of the afternoon with tons of screaming kids and no, I will not ever make that mistake again and I never did. Ironically, I saw Jurassic World at 9 pm and there were kids everywhere! Including a few younger than the age of five! WTF? The youngest people at my Inside Out viewing were teenagers. 

Spoilers ahoy! (See this movie!)

They take an interesting approach with this movie as the emotions in an eleven year old girl's heads are the characters and take the "controls" for whenever Riley (the young girl) is feeling a certain emotion. 

Anger, Disgust, Joy, Fear, and Sadness

The emotions are Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hader), and Disgust (Mindy Kaling). There is a memory vault of the emotions that Riley acquires and each memory is represented by its emotion's corresponding color. Joy is represented by yellow and therefore most of Riley's emotions are yellow. (You can see in the above pictures the colored orbs behind the characters...those are the memories). Joy is very proud that the majority of Riley's memories have been happy and takes great pride in that. Riley loves her life in Minnesota. She has many friends, loves to play hockey, and joke around with her mom and dad (voiced by Diane Lane and Kyle McLachlan). Joy couldn't ask for anything better and thinks nothing will ever go wrong until the family moves to San Francisco causing all the emotions panic. 

Nothing goes right with the move. Riley doesn't like her new house and the moving van has gotten lost along the way. She has trouble making friends at her new school and misses Minnesota. (And I loved how it was always "Minnesota" - because nobody knows any cities in that state!) As Joy explains to us, part of Riley's mind is creating Personality Islands. These help define Riley and make her who she is. These include Friendship Island, Family Island, Hockey Island, etc. However, these start to crumble as Riley loses interest in hockey because it's not the same to her anymore or getting angry at her best friend back home.

Riley's mother tells her she knows that moving has been tough on her and that she wants her to stay strong and be her "happy girl" as Riley is known for being positive most of the time. Riley tries to do that for her parents, but it's gotten to be too much for her. This rings very true for me and I'm sure many others as sometimes you feel like you need to be happy/positive for the sake of others, but inside you are anything but.

Meanwhile, inside her head, Joy is trying to keep Riley happy while also making sure Sadness doesn't get anywhere near the controls or turn one of Riley's memories into a sad one. She draws a circle for Sadness to stand in and keep all the sadness in that small circle. Joy doesn't want Sadness to be an overwhelming emotion for Riley.

Somehow, Joy and Sadness get sucked out of "headquarters" and end up in Riley's subconscious where, in order to get back to the control room, they have to get through Long term Memory while hitching a ride on the Train of Thought and along the way they enter Imagination Land and Dream Productions. They even go through a section which was Abstract Thought. I'm pretty sure that one flew over all the kiddies' heads! 

Joy's and Sadness's trek to get back to Headquarters is a journey and meanwhile, Anger, Disgust, and Fear have become the main emotions for Riley which results in her back talking and yelling at her parents. There was one scene where we saw her parents' own emotions inside their heads and it made me cringe a little because it was very stereotypical: the wife's emotions are nagging at the husband because he isn't paying attention and doesn't notice that their daughter is unhappy and the husband's emotions aren't paying attention because they are thinking of the game and don't know why the wife is wanting his attention. It's the only part of the movie that's just really stupid and we've seen this joke a thousand times. 

Along the way, Joy and Sadness meet Bing Bong (Richard Kind), Riley's imaginary friend from her younger days who is part elephant, part cat, and part dolphin. He agrees to take the two of them back to HQ. I loved the scene where they see the  garbage-man type characters who are sucking up some of Riley's memories and protests this until one of them tells her that Riley doesn't need to know all the name of all the Pretty Princess Ponies (I forget exactly what it was...but it was something to that effect). I loved this because I actually do remember most of the names of my My Little Ponies. I actually have a lot of useless and stupid information stored in my brain! They also erase all her memories of the piano pieces she's learned except for "Heart and Soul" and "Chopsticks". But of course! 

All throughout the movie, Joy has been very dismissive of Sadness, not having any time for her depression. And I know this is going to sound weird, but Sadness made me laugh so much. Just her delivery and Debbie Downer-ness was great. "I'm too sad to walk." She was really kind of a pathetic little thing. But she has a very nice moment with Bing Bong when he cries about Riley forgetting about him and listens to him and lets him cry it out. When Joy and Sadness finally get back (and not without tears from me as their journey is not without trials and tribulations!), Joy pushes Sadness to the controls and Riley, who has decided to run away and has become emotion-less at this point (the other emotions have gotten the control boards jammed), just becomes overwhelmed with sadness and she returns homes to her parents who are relieved to see her and she is just crying and telling them all the feelings she's been holding in. Then her parents start crying, I start crying, I'm sure everyone else in my theater was crying! It was so sad!  All along you knew that Sadness was going to play a major role and she does. This movie points out that it's OKAY to be sad and it's a perfectly natural emotion. 

It's kind of hard to explain this movie, but once you see it, it makes a lot more sense. It's very clever filmmaking and the story is great and heartwarming. It made me laugh and cry so it definitely got all my emotions in overdrive!  Highly recommended.

I loved the end because they showed different minor characters and their emotions at work. We see Riley bump into a boy her age and all his emotions are freaking out and yelling, "GIRL, GIRL, GIRL!" We even see the emotions of a dog and a cat. The cat made me laugh so much because it's so true. Its emotions are just wandering around and not paying attention and doing whatever they want.

The emotions notice a new button has popped up among the controls and pronounce the word as "Pooo-bore-tee". Hehe. Is a sequel in the works?

No comments:

Post a Comment