Hello there. I do so apologize for the recent gaps between postings. I’ve been in a bit of a rut creatively, and also quite busy,and didn’t want to put just anything out, for the sole purpose of posting something. But, thanks to a bit of breathing room, I believe that I can (and now will) put out my first straight, unthemed review in, what has it been, like a month? Wow. But now, what’s important is that I’m here.
So, Inside Out. Short story: it’s fantastic and deeply moving. Go see it if you haven’t. Now.
But, for those looking for more in-depth thoughts, an inside-out analysis, if you will, there’s no need to fear, That Other Critic is here!
Inside Out is the latest addition to the Pixar canon, and the first since 2010’s Toy Story 3 to pack any real emotional punch. Sorry, Brave, you tried, but you failed. Directed by Pixar vet Pete Docter and relative newcomer Ronnie del Carmen, it stars Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black, Bill Hader, and Mindy Kaling as voices of the emotions within one 11-year old’s head as she deals with an emotional crisis.
And don’t get me wrong, when I say emotional crisis, I mean a serious crisis. As in, borderline, if not full-on, depression.
Inside Out deals with some pretty weighty subject matter, but does so even-handedly, and in an apparently psychologically accurate manner. I mean, I’m not a trained child psychologist, but it seems to make sense to me. There’s a lot of psycho-jargon, but it’s never overwhelming, nor condescending. There’s never an EMP moment. You know what I mean. When a film decides to explain something that’s very obvious, like when every movie to ever feature an EMP explains what it is. Look, I’ve seen Ocean’s Eleven, I’ve seen The Matrix, you don’t have to explain it anymore!
Background info: I rarely, if ever cry at a movie. Sure, I’ll feel emotions, but I usually don’t cry. The last film I remember crying at was Marley & Me, and a dog died in that. Inside Out made my eyes moist from, well, I’ll try not to spoil anything. But, let’s just say that there are some incredibly emotional moments in there, and they hit hard.
The film is also mature in its depiction of emotional underpinnings. If this were from a lesser studio, say, DreamWorks, it might seem that the emotions were controlling an automaton, instead of the emotions being a personification of a real situation, the crisis of Joy and Sadness being ejected representing the consequences of emotional trauma, and the journey back representing finding peace and emotional maturity.
And represent emotional maturity it does. Rather than the shallow, say, DreamWorks depiction of emotional health, believing that being happy all the time is to be emotionally healthy. That’s why DreamWorks characters always do that stupid smirk.
Inside Out is not only sad and poignant, it’s a damn funny film. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll learn something. A fantastic film, enjoyable, yet meaningful, a definite A+.
So, whaddya think? Did you like Inside Out? What’s your favorite Pixar film? I’ll be back next week (hopefully). Until then, adios, and I’ll see you in the comments. Bye!