Generally speaking, any movie that Pixar puts out is a movie that I want to see. Inside Out was no exception to this rule and was in fact better than I ever could have imagined. Of course the trailer looked good and the initial reviews were all positive, but this film managed to outshine every other film so far this summer, and maybe even this year. What on the outside may seem to be a fun and quirky personification of feelings is actually far more profound than I could have predicted.
#1. Visually Beautiful
Before I even get into how incredible the story and characters of this film are, I just need to point out the sheer beauty in the art style. The animation alone is beautiful, but then the world that animators built to show what it is that goes on inside the human brain is more intriguing and captivating than any other depiction I have seen of this abstract concept. Each section of this world had its own distinct design and feeling assigned to it which only added to the already great storyline.
#2. Important Morals and Lessons
I do not believe that I have ever seen a film quite as relatable as Inside Out. I do not doubt that everyone who sees this movie will be able to see pieces of themselves and their own life stories reflected in that of Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) and her family. This film helps to teach its audiences that our emotions are not all black and white, happy and sad. The older we get, the more complicated and muddled those borders become and the more we are able to realize that there is often both joy and sadness in some of the most pivotal moments of our lives.
#3. Intriguing Characters
The main character in this film may technically be Riley, considering it is her head we run around inside for the majority of the film, but the real stars of the show are found in her emotions. Joy (Amy Poehler), Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hader), and Disgust (Mindy Kaling) are funny and witty but also point out important aspects of human emotion and how we deal with it when life throws mountains at us to climb. All brilliantly depicted and expertly designed, these core emotions lead audiences through what seems to be the first major change in the young protagonist’s life.
#4. Not Just a “Kid’s Movie”
Inside Out may be an animated film with fantastical worlds and characters that are technically geared towards the younger demographic, but frankly I do not care one single bit. I see this film as being important (as well as enjoyable) for people of all ages to get to see. I do not care if you are 12 or 92, you have faced sadness, anger, disgust, fear and joy. What this film does, that I think is so special, is that it manages to show us how to find the sadness in joy and the joy in sadness. Inside Out gives us an example of why, despite our inherent discontent with being afraid or sad, these emotions are vital to helping us find balance and joy in our everyday lives. Joy is not a state of being, and it comes and goes in a fluid manner, being replaced by our other key emotions as we move through our lives and it is these fluctuations and experiences that ultimately make us who we are. You could say that I am reading too much into this basic children’s movie, but I don’t believe that for a second. I believe that this film has the chance to change how kids look at being bullied and left out, loss of friends or family and even major life changes like the ones Riley had to go through. And I think that is definitely worth the price of a movie ticket.