Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Inside Out

**** out of ****

A movie that is sure to delight most parents, if not their children, is the wonderful, Inside Out, Pixar’s grand return after the two-year hiatus that followed some of their less impressive films.

The story follows the life of a little girl’s mind as her emotions, who manage her brain like an office atop a large factory, scramble to cope with the malfunctions resulting in the jarring experience of the kid adjusting to a new life after moving across the country with her parents.

As I watched the movie, Joy was dominant, accompanied by the Sadness of the childhood memories the film evoked, while a little bit of Fear that the baby for whom I felt Disgust that an idiot brought into theater, would make me feel Anger when it caused a disruption. It did, but overall the film’s Joy persevered.

As is often the case with Pixar, the casting is very inspired. Amy Poehler is Joy, Phyllis Smith is Sadness, Bill Hader is Fear, Mindy Kaling is Disgust, and Lewis Black is Anger (Yes!!). The film focuses on the idea that Joy is a control freak and self-appointed leader who sees Sadness' role in their department as counter-productive. Ever since the little girl's move, Sadness has been compelled to meddle with operations. 

Eventually, Joy and Sadness get lost in the girl's mind, leaving Anger, Fear, and Disgust in charge, causing the eleven-year old to start making some bad decisions. With the help of a forgotten imaginary friend from the girl's infancy, played by Richard Kind, Joy and Sadness make their way back to the control room -or "Head-Quarters" as it's called. 

The movie quite intelligently creates an imaginative analogy for the workings of the mind, taking into consideration psychological findings regarding human emotions and their functions.

I feel that Pixar's visuals peaked with 2008's Wall-E, but they still show an amazing amount of insight when it comes to making a story work, while limiting themselves to a simpler kind of animation. The movie is funny, beautiful, and it's an emotional movie about emotions. I love it.  

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