(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily of ScoopWhoop)
Voices of: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Kaitlyn Dias, Richard Kindm Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan
Director: Pete Docter
Pixar’s latest offering, Inside Out, is yet another interesting take on that tough process of growing up and all the highs, lows and irrational hissy fits it entails. The movie introduces us to the cerebral cityscape that the mind of 11-year-old Riley is. The prospect of her moving house and city tugs at your regular-growing-up-movie-heartstrings.
But Inside Out isn’t as concerned with the world we can see, as it is with the one we can’t. T he likes of Joy (Amy Poehler), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader) and Anger (Lewis Black) are a loveable bunch of feelings living inside Riley’s head. Their disarming dynamics cut through any cynicism you may have about venturing inside a young adult’s head.
Apparently, everything is in your head. Every single move you make, every single emotion you emote, every single dream you dream is all a concoction cooked up by those feelings in your brain. The idea can get slightly creepy. But the personification of emotions is all in good fun.
So, these emotions, literally, run amok. It’s like they are playing a video-game, replete with a button-filled-satisfying-console. The all-star cast is great and all but my favourite is Bing Bong, Riley’s former imaginary friend, voiced by Richard Kind.
Of course, the five emotions closely resemble their temperament — Anger’s head literally sets on fire, Fear is a bookish twerp, Sadness is blue. You get the drift. All the feelings help Riley in one way or the other… except Sadness.
No one understands why she is around. She is this smurf-coloured-yet-oh-so-unlike-any-smurfball-creature who wears nerdy glasses (geek alert) and has trouble interacting with any other feeling. The moaning-myrtle-like-voice-and-thoughts of ‘Blue’ seem out of place in the beginning of the movie. But, she has as big a part to play as any of the other feelings. The biggest, actually, but you guessed that already, right?
The dominant emotion in the-ever-optimistic Riley’s life is is obviously Joy. She takes it upon herself to boss all the emotions around and manage the day-to-day activities of the group.
But as Riley’s reaction to having moved away from everything she’s ever known grows more melancholy, the struggle between Joy and Sadness becomes more intense and ends up in the two emotions being accidentally ejected from the Headquarters area of Riley’s mind. They are now forced to work together in order to return to where they belong. Without Joy and Sadness to rein them in, the more extreme emotions try in vain to regulate Riley’s personality, with potentially disastrous results.
You know how our memory is less like the public library with many books on the shelves and more like Wikipedia with its many linked pages of information? That’s exactly what the film depicts.
Overall, the movie does a great job of showing the complexity of the human mind. The focus is on feelings, and it conveys the relationship between memory and emotion well. Plus, it’s a fun adventure story with a terrific message that is well worth watching.
Before the film ends we must learn the importance of sadness. There is sadness in joy. (Not sure if it is intentional but Joy has Sadness’ blue-tinged hair).
Of course, we all will also learn to live happily ever after together but before that we must accept that all feelings are important.
Please take a bunch of tissues. You will cry. Also, e xpect kids in the hall. (FYI: Broccoli pizza is the stuff that nightmares are made of.)
PS: Please do NOT miss the beginning of the movie. There is an opening song, Lava , which will make you feel all the feels. I mean who wouldn’t weep a seaful of tears for a volcano pining for love over several centuries? Unless you are made of non-lava-stone.
“I have a dream, I hope will come true You’re here with me and I’m here with you I wish that the earth, sea, the sky up above-a Will send me someone to lava…”