Since 1995, Pixar has graced us with spectacular adult-themed movies disguised in animation and marketed to children. Revisiting all these movies and watching the YouTube channel Screen Junkies gives us all a brutally honest perspective of lots of current and classic movies. (Check out the one they just posted on Toy Story.)
“Inside Out” is another instant classic in the Pixar repertoire of amazingness that’ll surely get nominated (and probably win) best animated feature film, etc. etc. But truth be told, this is one of the greatest movies I have ever seen.
In the words of Julie Andrews, “Let’s start at the very beginning; a very good place to start.” We begin with the birth of an adorable girl named Riley.
Yes, the story is about Riley (in essence), but focuses entirely on her emotions. They are Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust. The emotions are responsible for filing away all of Riley’s memories in the epicenter of her brain called Headquarters. Joy is pretty much in charge and drives Riley’s overall personality. Sadness, Disgust, Fear, and Anger also chime in once in a while, but the others try to keep Sadness from doing anything. The other emotions don’t truly understand what her purpose is. Sadness means well and tries to help every chance she gets, but Joy insists that she just sit back and let the other emotions “drive.”
After Sadness causes an accident that results in her and Joy leaving Headquarters, Riley isn’t her usual self. The two emotions have to find their way back to Headquarters so that Riley can be her formal self. This leaves Anger, Fear, and Disgust in charge. They do their best and mean well, but the result is a little girl that her parents no longer recognize.
Joy and Sadness must work their away around Riley’s four core memories, which are literally falling apart as time passes. Joy and Sadness have to hitch a ride on Riley’s Train Of Thought, which only operates while Riley is awake. Along the way, they find Mr. Bing Bong, Riley’s former imaginary friend who points them in the right direction.
“Inside Out” is an amazing story about the importance of being honest with yourself and expressing what you feel. It made me want to remember childhood memories (good and bad) that I had forgotten. (I don’t think I ever had an imaginary friend, but I do remember being obsessed with dimmer switches and thinking drive-thru carwashes also served as temporary alien abductions.)
I think that this movie brilliantly scratches the surface of what depression can look like and how important it is to express yourself honestly and truthfully. A tear-jerker of a movie with a phenomenal message told with humor in the masterful way that only Pixar can. Go watch it and take plenty of Kleenex with you.