Pixar you did it again! I didn’t want to fall in love, but you forced my hand. I was a little skeptical. Feelings resembling Dots candy in a preteen’s head? Um . . . You are going to compare it with the likes of Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, Up, Toy Story? It is like bragging that you can win the NBA champions 6 times in a row. I knew it was going to be cute and funny, but I didn’t know it would be so thoughtful and resonate so strongly with human experiences like Monsters Inc. and Up.
The plot of the movie in one quick sentence appears rather simplistic. IMBD says it best. “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.” Average, comedic, animated children’s movie, I thought. Wrong. Inside Out not only won the Best Animated Movie of the Year, it crushed any animated worthy opponents from this year (Sorry, I am still not over the amazing US World Cup win over Japan.) In an alternate reality, Inside Out would also be nominated for Best Picture.
Okay, maybe I am being a little over dramatic, but it was artistically impressive. Picture a lasagna. Topping the dish is a nice sea of parmesan cheese, but when you dig in you see and taste the layers of pasta, ricotta, mozzarella, sauce, meat, spices. That is Inside Out. Layers of meaning are illustrated as the story unfolds mainly in Riley’s mind.
And what a trip it is! The subconscious, dreams, abstract thought, imagination, long term memories, and core values are all part of the characters’ and viewers journey. I can’t help think of the movie as a mini-Inception. Inception was a movie that centered around the mind, the subconscious. Yet, I am not comparing Inside Out for those reasons. Like Inception it makes you walk away thinking about how your mind works and the emotions and actions that impact our personalities over time. Three hours after viewing the film I was still thinking about my childhood dreams and all the other events and people that have shaped who I am today.
An easy 10 in my book. I am also giving the film two bonus points for clever credit scenes. I usually walk away when the first person’s name scrolls out, but it is worth those extra three minutes for some extra laughs.