Friday, June 19, 2015

Inside Out Review

It's been 20 years now since Pixar revolutionized the animation world with Toy Story. Maybe it's just me, but that seems crazy. Toy Story will be celebrating its 20th birthday this November. I can't remember if I actually saw it in theaters, but I do remember it being in theaters and it's definitely a movie we bought shortly after it came out. On VHS. That's sounds so old-fashioned now. Anywho, I watched that movie many, many times growing up. Following Toy Story, and continuing for 15 years, Pixar blessed my life with movie after movie that was just fantastic. Every time I'd see a new Pixar movie I would go in expecting greatness and I would walk out being perfectly satisfied because that's exactly what I got. Never did I think I would watch a Pixar movie and be disappointed. But then it happened. After they released my personal favorite in 2010, that of Toy Story 3, this Pixar movie called Cars 2 became a thing. Man. What a disaster! Brave and Monsters University weren't bad, but they also weren't up to Pixar's standards and last year we didn't even get a Pixar movie. Pretty soon I've realized it's been five years since we've gotten a great Pixar movie and I was wondering when they'd be back. I was hoping Inside Out was going to be the glorious return of Pixar. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm happy to announce to you that it is. Pixar is back!

Ever since I first heard of the idea for Inside Out, I was intrigued. Before there was a trailer or a title or even a scheduled release date, I heard that Pixar had this idea that they were working on where they would go inside the mind of an 11-year old girl. I didn't even really know exactly what that meant or what they were going to do with it, but it sounded like they had a great idea there. When I finally saw the trailer for this movie, the intrigue turned into pure excitement as I saw a glimpse of how this idea has been put into reality. Now seeing this whole thing in it's full glory was quite a treat. I don't want to say too much about the plot of this movie because the advertising has actually done a good job of keeping most of the movie a secret, which can be annoyingly rare these days as some movies feel the need to spoil the whole movie in the trailers in order to get people's attention (yes I'm looking at you Jurassic World). But in describing this movie, I will give you the very basics. The movie is about an 11-year-old girl named Riley whose life was going great until her parents move. Yeah, that is always tough on a kid. In order to really explore what she's going through, we see most of the movie through the perspective of these characters inside her head that represent emotions that control what Riley does. We have Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust.

Being that most animated movies made these days are directed mainly towards kids, I often am able to judge them a bit differently. There may be certain plot devices that aren't great or cliches that are used, but if I know it's something that the kids will love, then I can forgive it and give the movie a pass. However, I always say that despite being geared towards kids, the best animated movies are ones that appeal to both kids AND adults. If they successfully do this, they get a lot more kudos in my book than a movie that makes the kids laugh but bore the adults. This does happen quite a bit in my opinion, but very rarely do you see an animated movie that appeals more towards adults than kids. Pixar themselves have done this several times. While a young kid might have fun with the events and characters in Toy Story 3, they don't know what it's like to grow up and be forced to part ways with all the toys you used to love. Thus I feel Toy Story 3 would mean a lot more to adults like me who went through all of this. Similar things can be said about other Pixar movies like Up and Ratatouille. As you could've guessed by now, Inside Out does this as well. I feel adults will appreciate this more than kids.

Sure, kids are going to have fun with this movie. They'll laugh at all the characters doing silly things and they'll have fun with the adventures that they go on. But there's a lot of things in this movie that adults will appreciate a lot more. No, I don't mean adult-themed jokes and gags that some animated movies subtly throw in there that go right over the heads of kids that they figure out years later when they watch the movie again. The whole subject matter of this movie is very deep and psychological. I don't want to get into specifics, but in general terms the human mind is a very complex place. I'm no psychologist by any means, but psychological movies are movies that I really enjoy and I feel that this movie does a dang good job of accurately portraying what the human mind is like, especially one that is as complex as an 11-year-old girl who is put through quite the traumatic experience. It's got a be a pretty wild ride up there. But that's not all. The way in which this movie does it is so unique and original that it's one that I will never forget. In fact, when my own mind is going through an emotional roller-coaster, this is the exact movie I will be thinking of. I'll be picturing all the different emotion characters inside the control room of my mind and what they are going through to control this person that is me. It's definitely a crazy place up there.

Are there flaws to be had with this movie? Eh, not really to be honest. Sure, you could nitpick to the extreme and say this wasn't as emotionally powerful as Toy Story 3 or Up. The adventures in the movie may not have been as exciting as The Incredibles. But would it be fair to expect every Pixar movie to be the new best Pixar movie? No, it wouldn't. But definitely don't take these statements the wrong way. This is an emotional movie. Those characters inside my head were doing double duty while watching this one. I was laughing threw a lot of it. I went down memory lane many times. I got all the warm fuzzy feel-goods. And yes, there were a few scenes where I almost cried. It wasn't quite on the Toy Story 3 level, but if you cry during movies, make sure to bring a few tissues to this movie. No this isn't Pixar's all-time best, but it's easily the best since Toy Story 3 and in looking at all of Pixar movies as a whole, this is up there with the best of Pixar's movies. Just recently I saw a YouTube video that ranked all of Pixar's movies from best to worst. Being that I love making lists, I challenged myself to do the same and it's going to be a dang hard challenge, but when you see this, you'll notice that Inside Out will be high up there.

In the end, I do think Inside Out is one of the most interesting animated movies I have seen lately and certainly one of Pixar's best, which is high praise considering how many great movies they have made. In giving a grade, I do think it's important to remember that a number is just a number. I do like giving a number at the end of a review because it gives people an overall idea of what I thought of that movie, but much more important than a number is what I actually say about the movie and I hope you're focusing more on that than the number I give. No, there's no specific instance that triggered these thoughts, despite what you may think, but it's just something that I've been thinking of recently and I decided I'd share. I was going back and forth in my mind as to what grade I wanted to give this movie and thought to myself, does it really matter that much? My view of the movie might change over time anyways and when I create my end of year lists, I always ignore the numbers I gave to the movies. That said, I still am going to give this movie a grade and that grade is a 9/10. It's a great movie and if you are a fan of Pixar, this is a must see.

1 comment:

  1. Pixar's golden age was practically all their movies from Toy Story to Toy Story 3. With the exception of Cars (which got Mildly positive reviews) all Pixar movies gained critical acclaim, with two films even getting nominated for best picture (UP and Toy Story 3) But after Toy Story 3, there was Cars 2. The movie that broke the chain of good movies. After that there was Brave, a dissapointment, and Monsters University another pretty bad movie. Pixar seemed to have lost its charm. Until this movie. Inside Out has all the amazing things of a Pixar movie plus more. All Pixar movies are visually stunning (even Cars 2), but this movie takes it up a notch. Never have I seen a movie create a completely new world so perfectly. Not only were the enviroments amazing, but the characters were great. The last time I felt this way about characters I had just met was Up. Of course in UP I cried in the first 8 minutes (which I usually dont do in movies so thats saying something) and in this movie I cried towards the end. If this doest get nominated for best picture there will be issues. My rating would be a 98/100 (9.8/10), but Im going to round it up to a 10. Pixar, youve done it again

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