Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Movie Review- Inside Out (And an Ode to Pixar)

After young Riley is uprooted from her Midwest life and moved to San Francisco, her emotions - Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness - conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.

Do not fear, this is my non-spoiler review for the movie. I will hopefully have my N-Depth review up in a few days when more people have had a chance to see the movie for themselves.

Well, I must say, Inside Out is yet another example of Pixar's prowess in the movie-making world. And no, I am not just talking about animated movies, I compare Pixar's films to all movies, both live action and animated, and as a studio, Pixar is near the top.

The reason for this? Pixar understands people. They have been blessed with some of the most observant, kind-hearted, intelligent, and creative minds over there, and when those minds are put together, movie magic is made. (I LOVE you John Lasseter!)

Pixar is able to convey truth, messages about humanity, and the plain humor of everyday life in a way that is charming and digestible for audiences young and old. Who else do we know of that has made us not all go "EUUWW" at a world of bugs? Since when did the idea of monsters coming out of your closet make you feel warm fuzzies? How on earth did they get us to fall in love with rats and food at the same time?!? And seriously, have any of us (yes, even adults) treated their toys with the same lack of respect after seeing all three Toy Story movies? I certainly have not! I treat my former toys with great respect and care.

All of that to say, when it comes to tackling some of life's everyday trials, agonies, joys, humor, and wonders in movie form, the only studio I completely trust is Pixar. Why? Because they have proven themselves time after time.

Inside Out was in keeping with the wonderful creative magic of Pixar. To be honest, it wasn't my favorite Pixar movie, it probably wasn't even in my top half of favorite Pixar movies, but it was still awesome.

This movie which explores the emotions of an eleven year old girl who was just uprooted and moved halfway across the country. I know exactly how she feels, when I was elven years old my family packed up and move from southwest Missouri to Columbia, South Carolina for a temporary job relocation. And let me tell you, that is an emotional roller coaster.

I loved the way that the writers of Inside Out were able to conceptualize that inner struggle in a way that both children and adults could comprehend. Everyone can find something to relate to in this movie, the Emotions, the memories, and all of the activity going on inside Riley's brain.

Characters (The Emotions)

All of the Emotions were beautifully voiced. Somehow their actors were able to take very specific emotions such as Disgust, and keep them true to their character without making them overly annoying. For example, just because Fear is fear doesn't mean he is always quaking in the corner, it means that if something unexpected happens, Fear will be the first one in the corner.

Joy (Amy Poehler)- She is most definitely the boss up in Riley's brain. Joy was cute, without being overly googly-eyed or too good. She had an edge of sarcasm and sense of humor that kept her real.

Sadness (Phyllis Smith)- Sadness was really cute, and her role was really pivotal to this whole movie. I loved how while she was, well, sad, she really was rooting for Riley to have the best experience all of the time.

Fear (Bill Hader)- For any of you Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs fans, this is the same voice as Flynn Lockwood. Fear was hilarious, he had a healthy dose of fear, as he should, but it didn't drown his character. Well done sir.

Anger (Lewis Black)- Perfect, perfect, perfect. He looked like an angry boss in some old 1960s Disney film who is always swallowing aspirin or anti-acid tablets. His sarcasm was well done.

Disgust (Mindy Kaling)- My personal favorite emotion, not because I deeply identify with her, but because she was just kind of adorable. She had a nice edge of disgust without being, well, disgusting.

Like I said before, this is not in my top favorite Pixar movies. But my least favorite Pixar movie would highly out-rank many other movies in this world, so I still give it a high opinion. I would recommend this movie to all ages.

P.S. A quick shout-out to the short "Lava". Yet again, Pixar made me fall in love with an entirely random object that they brought to life. To understand, you will have to see the film.