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A silhouette of elands grazing in the plains with raising sun in the background inside Mas
  • Writer's pictureBryce Chismire

Inside Out

It's remarkable how far Pixar went with its films and how they revolutionized the animation industry. But there is something special and unique about the Pixar films Pete Docter directed. Monsters Inc., Up, and even his latest film, Soul, all embodied deep, soul-searching, very poignant themes highlighting the human conditions and the intimacy of the relationships expressed throughout each film.

 

I know Docter did a great job with Monsters, Inc. by highlighting his relationship with his daughter in the form of Sulley's friendship with Boo. Of course, what happens when you highlight the complex issues and problems a young child would experience? What could they be feeling at any given moment? How would they have responded to anything, depending on what they make of it? How would that have shaped them into being better people down the line?

 

That's where Inside Out comes in. When I first saw this movie, I was fresh out of college. Judging from the emotions' designs and the story centering around them being emotions of a young girl settling in a new home with her family, my parents and I somehow looked at Inside Out like it was destined to be just for kids.

 

But no. Even though it may look like that on the surface, what it unveils as you dig deeper exposes more emotional pathos and eye-opening themes than anticipated. It demonstrates that the big things come in small packages, and I don't mean just the little inner workings inside every working mind. Let me explain what I'm talking about.



The story is about a young girl named Riley who grew up with her parents in Minnesota, only for her emotional state to be thrown upside down when they made the giant leap and moved to San Francisco. It sent Riley on a downhill spiral as she grappled with her new conditions, her new home, what and who she had left behind in Minnesota, and whether she had even the remotest chance of finding new ground in a place as potentially chaotic as San Francisco.

 

Of course, that's Riley's side of the story.

 

Instead, the movie focuses on a group of personified emotions that make up – I mean, oversee – Riley's mind. Arguably, the leader of these emotions is an excitable yellow emotion named Joy, who was the first emotion to formulate upon Riley's birth. However, as Riley grew older, and even though Joy was always determined to ensure that Riley was always happy, she was accompanied by four more new emotions who joined her as Riley experienced different kinds of uncertain circumstances.

 

The first one to join her was Sadness, who left Riley in a crying fit. Next was Fear, the frantic emotion who had Riley step back before doing something she seemed too uncertain about. After that came Disgust, who always helped Riley refuse to acknowledge whatever looked gross. And finally, there came Anger, the stubborn emotion who made Riley not take 'no' for an answer. All five emotions controlled how Riley felt at any given moment throughout her childhood.

 

However, the big moment came when Riley wrapped her head around her move to San Francisco and the turbulence it brought forth when she reflected on what and who she was leaving behind in Minnesota, such as her friends and hockey team.

 

So, as Riley was uncertain about what to make of her new home in San Francisco and sank into homesickness when reflecting on Minnesota, her emotions gradually reacted with uncertainty. Everything they did reflected Riley's feelings at any moment, as they did throughout her life.

 

Joy wasn't too troubled by this, however. Being the determined optimist that she was, she tried to help Riley make the best of the situations in which she was placed, even if all the other circumstances emerging around every corner suggested otherwise. It doesn't help that Joy held an unsuspecting yet deep-seated distrust of Sadness, as she demonstrated when she tried to keep her from infiltrating how Riley processed her new home.

 

So, what would Riley have thought of her new home in San Francisco? Would she have given that a shot? Would she have found something to like and admire about San Francisco?

 

And while that went on, how about Riley's emotions? What would they have done to help Riley through such a massive change in her life? Would they have looked each other in the eye, approached the new chapter in Riley's life with as little conflict as possible, and navigated Riley into smoother sailing as she adjusted to her new home in San Francisco?



Even before I saw Inside Out, because it was a Pixar movie, I knew it would somehow have ended up in the 'artistically brilliant' category. But it was also intriguing to say about this movie because the time it came out, Pixar went through bumpy terrain, too. After the smashing success of Toy Story 3, Pixar didn't have the best track record with its movies, which included Brave, a solid but clunky fairy tale film, and Monsters University, a decent prequel to Monsters Inc. that regrettably did not carry the same amount of emotional strength that Monsters Inc. did. And, of course, there's Cars 2, widely considered to be Pixar's first-ever blunder. So, with those films in the background, what would that have said about Inside Out?

 

According to many critical and audience reactions, they looked at Inside Out as if Pixar found its footing again and returned to making films as we know Pixar does best.

 

As for what I mean by big things come in small packages, I like how the movie looks childlike, colorful, and bouncy enough to be easily graspable for very young kids but also sneaks in some clever, subtle adult tidbits that Pixar films also do best. But it's not just the childlike and adult writing coming together that I appreciate about this movie.

 

I like how, again, it looks very innocent on the outside but comes packed with very profound, intuitive, and expansive methods of knowledge and feelings that elevate this movie into a unique realm of entertainment that seems more ethereal than your everyday movie. The more childlike and whimsical imagery is what you see on the surface, but what you experience underneath the surface and take out of it is what truly makes the movie shine and makes it such a tremendous hit among animation and cinema aficionados. That's where its true appeal lies.

 

There's plenty of that to keep the children engaged, but not so much that they distract from the movie's overall message: as we grow older, we will experience plenty of new things in our lives, and the little voices inside our heads would tell us what the proper response should be and how best to navigate our way through all these otherwise uncertain and distressing situations without being overwhelmed by them. Riley is no exception.

 

Of course, it's not just Riley expressing that in the movie. At several points, we, as the audience, get a glimpse of the emotions stemming from the minds of such characters as Riley's mother and father. We get a peek inside what they processed in any given moment, too, especially as far as their daughter was concerned, and reacted to certain situations no differently than Riley would have. So, it's impressive to see such provocative, empathetic, tender, heartfelt moments that anyone would feel being displayed so simplistically yet deeply here in Inside Out.

 

Soul did a marvelous job showing the value of looking for your inner passion and purpose in life. Up did a beautiful job of finding adventure no matter how old you get or where you go. And no matter what the age, even Monsters Inc., despite its fantastical premise, still grappled with the idea of what boundaries are laid regarding how we either are seen as monsters or could prove ourselves as empathetic beings capable of understanding other people's feelings.

 

Inside Out is no different in exploring themes of intimacy, confusion, human growth, and potential adaptability.

 

Speaking of which, here's a funny story about what I felt out of what I came to understand about Inside Out.

 

The first time I saw this movie, I looked at it like it was a fun movie about experiencing the feelings of someone else through personified aspects of their personality, which seemed fitting enough in terms of how to grasp this movie. However, I did not come to fully appreciate what that meant for Inside Out as a movie or a story until I looked at its perceptions by child psychologists, who say that this is a fascinating look inside how children grapple with unanticipated events in their lives and that the voices inside their head, whether it be their emotions or whatever else, represent all the convoluted ways in which they'd react to it.

 

This reminds me, how are the characters in the movie?

 

That may probably be the most intriguing part of Inside Out because while there are many identifiable characters to choose from regarding who left the most impressions throughout the film, I also understand that what some characters may be individually, others may very well be in the grand scheme of things.

 

So, what are my thoughts on the human characters?

 

Riley's parents are seemingly ordinary parents who did what they thought was right for themselves and their family, even if it meant moving from Minnesota to San Francisco for a better-paying job. They were also interesting whenever they were concerned for their daughter Riley after she started not acting like herself after settling in San Francisco.

 

But they weren't without some distinguishable features to set them apart.

 

Riley's mother seemed like the sensible one in the group. She always looked out for the best in her husband and daughter and tried to set moral standards for their family.

 

Meanwhile, Riley's father was slightly stingy but not stingy enough to appear unlikeable. The scene that probably demonstrates this the best is when the parents were thinking about how to handle their situation with Riley at the dinner table, complete with the always famous line.

 

Is it garbage night? We left the toilet seat up? What is it, woman? What?

 

That line alone is funny to listen to, but - more likely because - it highlights some of the casual bickering you'd expect from couples like them.



As for Riley herself, she's your everyday 11-year-old girl who seemed like she was on top of the world, being on a hockey team with team players who supported her and having a good home life back in Minnesota. But once she and her parents moved to San Francisco, that's when things started going downhill for Riley as she gradually sank into her depression and felt like she wanted Minnesota again. So, everything she went through felt most understandable, especially given how a kid her age would've reacted. Still, it makes for a refreshingly realistic and accurate portrayal of child psychosis.

 

Now, let's hop forth to the emotions. What do I think of those characters? That's a little hard for me to assess because when I think of Joy, Anger, Sadness, Fear, and Disgust, I must remember to evaluate them not just as individual characters but as reflections of Riley's inner voices.

 

Joy was the most upbeat emotion in Riley's head and was well-intentioned. First, she was always determined to look at the bright side of life and always saw to it that Riley did the same. However, there were times when Joy became so enthusiastic about looking at the bright side of life that she forgot to observe when things could go wrong for Riley and know when the best time would've been to let Riley respond as such, which leads to the next emotion that gets the spotlight here.

 

Sadness was the type of emotion who seemingly always had a hopeless outlook on life. Only, she was more innocent and naïve about how she thought Riley was supposed to feel. She served, therefore, as Joy's foil. Whereas Joy looked at the brighter side of life, Sadness always worried about the more unpleasant sides of life. It caused the two of them to butt heads until, at the height of Riley's settlement in San Francisco, she and Joy's fighting caused them to be sucked into a tube and out into the outer realms of Riley's head comprised of many different lanes that define Riley's personality. So, it's up to them to find their way back to Headquarters before things spiral too far out of control for Riley.

 

The other three emotions, Fear, Anger, and Disgust, also expressed Riley's negative side, but never in ways where they looked like bad influences. In many ways, they reflected how Riley would have reacted in any negative situation she dealt with.

 

Anger, obviously enough, was the most aggravated of the quintet. For every moment where he seemed downbeat and often sarcastic, he always had a fit and blew up over what he dealt with. And I mean, his head would've gone up in flames whenever he reacted to any aggravating moment. Of course, he sounded more like the common-sensical type of emotion since he often commented on the basics of everyday life. So, he sometimes can sound surprisingly clearheaded for someone so easily hotheaded.

 

With Fear, he felt like the scaredy cat of the quintet. He constantly fretted whenever anything or anyone suspicious was about to confront Riley. Yet, his precautionary methods of overseeing what or who Riley should watch out for gave him a more cautious and preparatory demeanor, making him look like he was fulfilling his role with pride.

 

As for Disgust, she was the skeptic of the quintet, constantly reacting with a refusal to give in to anything or anyone that she thought looked gnarly and pushing them away in response. It may make her look like she was unwilling to step outside her comfort zone for Riley's sake, but outside of reflecting Riley's instincts, her methods didn't feel different from what Fear established.

 

But it turns out that these five emotions are not all who lived in Riley's mind.



Hiding in the Long-Term Memory – or, as I tend to look at it, literal ‘Memory Lanes’ – and joining Joy and Sadness when they got lost was a forgotten imaginary friend named Bing Bong, whom Riley had when she was younger. He's a fun character who was made of cotton candy, had an elephant trunk, and cried candy for tears. However, Bing Bong also felt the consequences of loneliness after Riley grew up and outgrew him, leaving him to wander forever in Riley's head and hopeful of reuniting with Riley even if all hope for him seemed lost.

 

I find it intriguing that out of all the characters in the movie, it's Riley's emotions that drew me in. If I were to look at Riley, her parents, and their new life in San Francisco alone, they'd look like they didn't establish enough compelling characterizations to make them stand out. And yet, I don't know why it is, but outside of being animated very nicely and conveyed very accurately, these characters just moved about, spoke with each other, and went about their own business so naturally that this is one of those situations where you don't need to write complex characterizations to make them intriguing. Again, this is one of those scenarios where the right expositions and casual happenstances are all you need to portray these people as they should be portrayed properly.

 

And even then, it's not like Riley was left out of the loop.

 

Everything going on with Riley's emotions inside her head still ties back to how Riley adjusted to her new life in San Francisco. And even if it's just her emotions that we're drawn to, everything they've been doing was not for themselves but for Riley. So, everything we're witnessing is through her firsthand experiences in a new city, school, and home, especially for a girl around 11 turning 12. There are many ways a girl her age would feel about leaving her old home behind and having to readjust her lifestyle to a new city, a new home, and a new school, and try not to work her way around it but to live with it and adjust to it somehow.

 

But what I found interesting about watching Inside Out was how to assess Riley's emotions best. I had no idea how the emotions were on their own or, by extension, how these emotions were like as Riley's inner consciousness personified.

 

But this introduces two big questions to contemplate as I assess Inside Out. The first big question is: everything that the emotions said and did in the movie, how much of it can you imagine reflecting what Riley would've thought up?

 

I ask this because there've been occasions where the emotions acted on their own accord when not piloting Riley's mind and talked in ways that sounded unlike how Riley would've spoken. I see the emotions relaxing after Riley fell asleep, and each emotion would've taken over in nighttime duty while she was dreaming. Even as Joy and Sadness, then Bing Bong, roamed Riley's mind, would you picture Riley thinking what they would've said? Sensing them, I can see her doing, but thinking about what they would've said seems like a slight stretch.

 

Frankly, some of the conversations and bantering between Riley's emotions sound less like the type of chitchat that Riley would've thought of or even imagined and more like what you'd recognize out of someone like the fairies from Sleeping Beauty.

 

Also, while Joy and Sadness roamed about within Riley's head, and even if Riley was primarily overseen – albeit improperly - by Anger, Fear, and Disgust, what would have happened for her to act the way she did according to how all the emotions inside her head did their thing? There were times when I remember Joy and Sadness looking at the workers who looked over Riley's Long-Term Memory and asked what they did to Riley's memories since they knew more about what to do with the memories than Joy or the other emotions did. So, if the emotions were in charge of everything related to Riley, you would think that Joy would have had complete knowledge and supervision of everything going on inside Riley's head regarding her memories, expressions, emotions, experiences, and everything.



At one point, during Joy and Sadness' absence, Anger, Fear, and Disgust all contemplated WWJD. And no, it's not 'What would Jesus do,' but 'What would Joy do?' For all their attempts, however, they only made the situation worse for Riley by doing precisely what they're each good at: making Riley fearful, disgusted, or angry with whatever she dealt with in front of her as far as San Francisco was concerned.

 

Sometimes, this inconsistency did make me question where such an appeal for this movie came from. But before I highlight the second question, let me highlight one example of how not everybody looks at this movie the same way we think it's supposed to be seen.

 

What I'm about to tell you next comes from actual experience. In 2016, I participated in an animation course in Scottsdale, AZ, as part of a crowdfunding event. It was taught by none other than famed animator Don Bluth, who you may recognize as having directed movies like An American Tail, The Land Before Time, The Secret of NIMH, All Dogs Go to Heaven, and Anastasia.

 

While my classmates and I were busy learning about Bluth's animation techniques and following his lead, we also took the time between sessions to ask him about his thoughts on other forms of animation. At one point, when we talked about the modern advancements of animation, Bluth mentioned that he has a soft spot for Up and Finding Nemo because, to him, they recaptured what Walt Disney wanted to convey with the funeral scenes in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I don't know what Finding Nemo did to make Bluth highlight it as such, but Up? That goes without saying, given its opening montage.

 

But before that, interestingly, I overheard him say that the one animated film he genuinely hated turned out to have been Inside Out when some of my classmates expected him to say Frozen. I didn't hear the whole story about why he hated it, but all I remember him saying was that he was turned off by how the personified emotions supposedly hijacked Riley's mind and controlled how she was supposed to react or feel at any given moment. Now, I can understand where he's coming from; having seen many of his films, one thing he's good at is introducing us to protagonists that are generally proactive, like they acted on their own instincts to get the job done and didn't need to be told what to do. Of course, this is more from an external level, whereas Inside Out probably does so on a more internal level.

 

Again, what I thought I heard Bluth say about Inside Out is all speculation on my part, and everybody has different intakes of what the film could represent. But that's the beauty of sharing our different opinions. There's no one way to look at this movie.

 

Mr. Bluth, if you're reading this, I respect your opinion, and I apologize in advance if I misheard any of your comments about Inside Out back then.

 

Getting back to the film, as I gave it some deep thought, I wondered how much of these emotions are Riley's and how much they acted outside of Riley. Could they have been more than just Riley's emotions?

 

And that's what hit me. The second big question I was building up to is this: besides our emotions, what other significant presence accompanies us the moment we enter this world?

 

The answer to that question is arguably more obvious: our guardian angels.



I bring this up because all of Riley's emotions were technically the inner extensions of Riley altogether and presumably her brain. But these emotions watched over Riley her entire life, navigated how she was supposed to respond to certain things or people, what to do in certain situations, how to thought-process what went on in front of her, and how to deal with whoever she spoke with. They also taught her how to deal with everything that either confounded her, surprised her, frustrated her, depressed her, cheered her up, or grossed her out. If anything, even though these are her emotions, and however much of what they did was supervised from inside Riley, there's still a likelihood that whatever was navigating Riley through her most arduous times was still looking out for her and her wellbeing.

 

That's when I wondered if Riley's emotions were not just her emotions but could also have taken on the roles of her guardian angels, especially if anyone could have been born with more than one.

 

Of course, there’s more that I admire about Inside Out than just what I laid out.

 

First, another element of Inside Out that instantly drew me in after revisiting it is the music by Michael Giacchino. It captured every whimsy and wondrous essences trickling along throughout most of the movie. Of course, whenever things looked serious or, fittingly enough, ‘emotional’, it did a deft job of capturing the tensity and sorrow of those moments, too. I am honestly almost shocked that it did not get an Oscar nomination for Best Original Score back then, because I can easily see it getting such recognition.

 

But now, let’s shift to three particular aspects of the movie that I find most praiseworthy.

 

One is the voice acting. Every actor and actress who chipped in to play their characters was on a roll in portraying their characters with as much dignity and class as possible while, in equal measure, making them entertaining and conveying depth to each of them.

 

Amy Poehler sounded like she had the time of her life playing Joy, an upbeat and optimistic emotion who was always determined to cheer Riley up, even when things seemed to be getting low, and have her stay on track even if she forgot that the harmful elements must be faced so the beautiful moments could be appreciated even more. Whenever Joy was downcast or felt something wrong, Amy Poehler reflected her uncertainties, confusion, and, yes, even her sadness perfectly.

 

Of course, perhaps that would be where I can understand Don Bluth's complaints with this movie. If even Joy can express sadness, does that mean she and her fellow emotions have emotions of their own? At the end of the day, though, part of this is cartoon logic, so we can let some of it slide. Also, the melancholia of the scene I have in mind touches me so thoroughly that it wouldn't have mattered anyway. All that mattered was that I felt Joy's pain at that moment.

 

Also, Phyllis Smith did a terrific job emanating the moodiness and repentance of Sadness, but never to a point where she's always pessimistic or not funny. Since Smith started in the hit sitcom The Office, she's unleashed plenty of humorous circumstances throughout the show as she delivered the proper lines at the appropriate time, and she did that efficiently and naturally with Sadness. In other words, Sadness was sad, but not without levity, just like the movie.

 

I'll admit, I have a soft spot for Mindy Kaling as Disgust. She did an excellent job of providing a boatload of sarcasm and delivering it with quick wit and wry humor whenever she responded to her fellow emotions' shenanigans or any outside force of nature that took her by surprise. Also, Kaling's general reactions to whatever grossed Disgust out helped her live up to her name in an endearing way.

 

And the actor who played Fear, Bill Hader, was just a laugh riot. I like how excitably anxious he tended to be whenever Fear was in a panicky mode, and he made this character feel the most animated of the emotions and the characters in this movie. But when concentrating on the 'what ifs' of Riley's potential problems, Fear sounded savvy about the possible hazards and knew what he was doing for Riley's benefit.

 

And I believe I will be in the same boat as everyone else about this: the most hilarious voice performance from this picture comes from Lewis Black as Anger. Like Mindy Kaling, he expressed pure sarcasm and irritation in his voice. But whenever he spoke in character, his deliveries painted this otherwise unpleasant character with a slew of sidesplitting remarks and fruitful laughs that came with the outbursts he's willing to unleash through Riley. Of course, whenever he was more mellow, he was still talented in conveying some of his more irritable episodes and deeper considerations for what he thought was good for Riley.

 

At first, the actor playing Bing Bong, Richard Kind, did a decent job highlighting his excitable, fun-loving personality that Riley always relied on during her more stressful times. But without giving away what happens to him by the end of the movie, let's say that when you hear him speaking in character, you can hear the pure emotion in his voice as his character knew what was about to happen to him and that sometimes it's for the greater good. He started as a fun character, only to take you by surprise by unveiling some hard-hitting elements with him, and his performance reflects that.



As for the characters playing the movie's human characters, they all did a great job of providing more grounded performances to their characters, especially since their side of the story was more grounded than the other half.

 

Kaitlyn Dias played Riley with an astute amount of childlike tendencies and impulses, and she conveyed enough of that to help convey Riley's likeness as a young girl most efficiently. Whenever she was troubled, frustrated, or sorrowful, she expressed such emotions to a tee and, in doing so, elevated Riley above her general '11-year-old girl' mannerisms.

 

Diane Lane played Riley's mother with a certain softness and a touch of sternness, thus displaying her character as a parental figure with some evident moral ground in the family, especially when things started to look slightly off.

 

And I never would've guessed that Riley's father, for all his humorous lines and performances throughout the movie, would've been voiced by Kyle MacLachlan, or as many people would've recognized him, Dale Cooper in Twin Peaks. We know how much of a mysterious but good-hearted detective he was in that show, but here, he enacted a comedic essence that seemed arguably unheard of for Kyle MacLachlan. Yet he displayed it with enough naturality to make it sound like this is how he would've behaved in any given situation. Whenever he was in a light mood, he conveyed his funny moments most efficiently. Yet, whenever he was in a more serious or considerate mood, he displayed his character with the right impulses necessary to make me buy into his character's concerns for his daughter.


As for the second element of the movie that worked so well, that would be the ‘landscapes’ within Riley’s head. Everything about this world befitted a child’s imagination and perfectly represented any semblance of Riley’s personality that would’ve defined her as plain old Riley. Among other things, her personality comprised a series of ‘islands’ that emerged from her experiences in life: Friendship Island, Family Island, Honesty Island, Goofball Island, and Hockey Island. But it goes even further. Rummaging throughout Riley’s head was a train called the ‘Train of Thought,’ and beside the Long-Term Memory, where all of her memories were stored, there were also different establishments that did the job of creating fantastical elements inside Riley’s head, whether it was Imagination Land, which resembled an amusement park, or Dream Productions, which acted like a movie studio where dreams were made. And how about the deep canyons underneath the Headquarters? The mind inhabitants referred to the upper caverns within such canyons as the Subconscious. Everything about this world screams visual representations and symbols that perfectly sync with whatever anyone feels.

 

Even watching Joy break down in tears during her low period can be described as tears of Joy. I know that it was a sad scene where it occurred, but those kinds of visual connections and instinctive puns make Inside Out's storytelling and world-building feel more clever, immersive, and universal.

 

As I said, even though we can only see every angle of that in Riley's head, the movie shows that everybody has that kind of world-building and voice inside their head, too, and that everything we see in Riley's head is just an innermost reflection of Riley's thought-processing as she got settled into her new San Francisco home, and what a role her homesickness for Minnesota played on her mental and psychological health.


 

And the third thing that I find most impressive about this movie? What can I say? It's the animation.


Inside Out is just filled to the brim with visual magnificence, whether it occurred within the real world, in Riley's head, or even within a portion of that world. Starting with Riley's home, all the human characters are portrayed most authentically, and the environments reflect what type of people would have come from each neighborhood. For example, the Minnesotans seem modest, whereas the San Franciscans are more diverse and feel like there are as many decent people as uncertain-looking people. Considering that Pete Docter was several years away from perfecting the real-world environment with Soul, his efforts to create a believable world are still evident within Inside Out.

 

When you dive into Riley's head—or, practically, any of the human characters' heads—and see how their emotions functioned, it teleports you into a whole 'nother realm of imagination and visual wonders that translate the idea of the inner workings of the human mind with pure visual brilliance. It is just ripe with atmosphere, and the clever visual jokes apparent throughout the mindscape add to its almost immaculate world-building.

 

In addition, the emotions were conveyed with engaging aspects, too, beginning with the particles floating around them. While their over-the-top, cartoony designs may be for Inside Out what Olaf's design is for Frozen, they were still portrayed in a fittingly imaginative light.

 

But the one section of the movie that I remember well and looked very avant-garde, even by Pixar's standards, was Bing Bong's 'shortcut.' It occurred when, out of desperation, Bing Bong directed Joy and Sadness to a shortcut that he believed would've taken them straight to the Train of Thought and back into Headquarters. Along the way, they went through a freaky series of portrayals that reduced them to mere lines that they had to work their way through. It was interesting to see them go from 3D characters to polygonal caricatures, then to 2D caricatures, and then to shapes and matter until they were finally reduced to lines. It even affected how they would reach the door to the Train of Thought when the visual proportions affected their sense of distance, so it was as tense as it was visually wacky.

 

Of course, it throws in some funny little bits regarding Riley's inner workings here and there. There's one bit that cracks me up where the workers of Riley's memories, as a prank, sneak in one memory that is nothing more than a catchy jingle from a 'Triple Dent' gum commercial. Regardless of Riley's thought processes, the gum commercial tended to sneak in and play forth without the emotions even expecting it. I think we've all gone through experiences like that where, after we hear it even once, such tunes tend to blare forth in our heads without us knowing it, haven't we?


Well, here's mine.



It's nostalgic, but yeah, good luck getting that out of your head.

 

But believe me, if you have yet to see Inside Out, you should give it a whirl and see what you make of it. It invites many intriguing elements of thought-processing and the human condition that are digestible enough for children to comprehend and engaging enough for adults to take seriously.

 

The characters are all fun. The emotions are fun. The human characters are grounded and relatable. The writing is incredible. The visual correlations in Riley's mind are ingenious, and the mental fortitude and conjunctions apparent throughout the movie perfectly reflect what anybody, especially as a young kid, would have experienced or felt when confronted with unanticipated events they were unprepared for. Anybody watching this movie, whether children or adults, can get something of immeasurable worth out of it. And whatever they can relate to in Inside Out would perfectly reflect how they react to any given moment in life.

 

Inside Out, a movie about emotions, will bring on all the emotions. Go figure!

 

My Rating

A low A



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