The Magical World Of Disney #82: Inside Out

Inside Out (2015 film) poster.jpg

Inside Out is a 2015 American 3D computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The film was directed by Pete Docter and co-directed by Ronnie del Carmen, with a screenplay written by Docter, Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley, adapted from a story by Docter and del Carmen. The film is set in the mind of a young girl named Riley Andersen (Kaitlyn Dias), where five personified emotions—Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hader) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling)—try to lead her through life as her parents (Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan) move from Minnesota to San Francisco, and she has to adjust to her new surroundings.

Docter first began developing Inside Out in 2009, after noticing changes in his daughter’s personality as she grew older. The film’s producers consulted numerous psychologists including Dacher Keltner from the University of California, Berkeley, who helped revise the story by emphasizing the neuropsychological findings that human emotions affect interpersonal relationships and can be significantly moderated by them.

After premiering at the 68th Cannes Film Festival in May 2015, Inside Out was released in North America on June 19, 2015, accompanied by the short film Lava. Critics praised the film’s concept, screenplay, subject matter, Michael Giacchino’s musical score and the vocal performances, particularly of Poehler, Smith, and Richard Kind. The film grossed $90.4 million in its first weekend, making it the highest opening for an original title at the time. It accumulated over $857 million in worldwide box office revenue. The film received several awards, including a BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, Critics’ Choice Award, Annie Award, Satellite Award, and Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. In 2016, the film was named as the 41st best film of the 21st century, from a poll of 177 film critics from around the world.

At this point, it’s kind of cliché to say that this is Pixar’s return to form after a couple of meh turns. I mean, Cars 2 was bad, Brave was just okay, and Monsters University was a lot of fun but Inside Out really is a return to what we love most about Pixar, their ability to tell great stories and tug at your heartstrings too. And what better movie to do it with than Inside Out.

This movie really is damn good, I don’t know what more I could say about it than everybody else have said.

I mean, honestly, there really isn’t a whole lot that’s wrong with the movie. I guess one of the small complaints I had with the film was that the way they kind of treat Sadness in the beginning but even then, that’s kind of the point, nobody wants to be sad and you can understand why the other emotions are like that but it was still kind of too harsh the way they treat Sadness at first. That’s the only really big complaint I had with the film.

Everything else, I really loved. This is probably Pixar’s most perfect movie they’ve made since Wall-E.

The story works so perfectly, combining a lot of great comedy, great elements of drama, and great character traits. It’s interesting that the film doesn’t have a villain to the plot, I think the last animated movie that doesn’t have a villain to it was Hotel Transylvania, another great animated movie. One of the writers for this is Meg LeFauve, who’s going to be writing Captain Marvel next, so this is a welcoming sign ahead for that.

The characters are all very likeable and their voice actors perfectly fit their parts easily. Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling, Lewis Black, & Phyllis Smith each fill their parts out as the emotions so very well, it’s hard to choose which one I liked the best of the bunch. It’s like The Lego Movie again, so many great characters in that, it’s hard to choose the best one. Even characters who could’ve been obnoxious like Richard Kind as Bing Bong, even he was really enjoyable and a lot of fun and when he’s written out of the film, it’s very similar to Dexter’s Laboratory when Dee-Dee’s imaginary friend disappears forever.

The emotional moments in here perfectly fit into what Pixar movies can usually bring us, there’s a lot of great moments where the emotional levels peak very high but the ending is what got to me and the way the story wraps up, I thought that was brilliant and didn’t feel forced at all.

Lastly, the animation is spectacular in this, not only is this Pixar at its’ best but there’s also a great scene where Joy, Sadness, and Bing Bong end up entering abstract thought and it allows them to create some pretty impressive forms of animation, both 3D & 2D.

I mean, what more can I say about Inside Out at this point? It’s friggin’ awesome, it’s one of the best movies of the year so far. There’s so much about it that works, it’s a lot of fun, it’s very funny, it’s got a lot of great characters, and it packs on a lot of emotions. It’s Pixar back at the point we’ve been waiting for them to return to since Toy Story 3. This is Pixar at its’ finest…

…although, that short at the beginning was kind of bad. I really did not like that Pixar short and I didn’t like it because it made absolutely no sense whatsoever. The short was Lava.

On a tropical island in the Pacific, a lonely volcano named Uku watches the wildlife creatures frolic with their mates and hopes to find one of his own. He sings a song to the ocean each day for thousands of years, gradually venting his lava and sinking into the water, but does not realize that an undersea volcano named Lele has heard him. She emerges on the day that Uku becomes extinct, but her face is turned away and she cannot see him. Uku sinks fully into the ocean, heartbroken, but revives when he hears Lele singing his song. He emerges again, this time face to face with Lele, and the two form a single island where they can be happy together.

Not that there was a problem with the music itself, I actually thought this was a song by the guy who did that great version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow, Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole:

…but as it turns out, it wasn’t, mostly because Israel has been dead since 1997 so that wouldn’t make too much sense. The song is sung by Kuana Torres Kahele.

I had no problem with the song itself, it’s a nice little song but it’s the story of the short that made no sense to me. You can’t really take these lyrics and make it into a story that makes any sense. You could do that for other songs but here, it just doesn’t work, it makes no sense whatsoever and I shouldn’t have to look at a short with two anthropomorphic volcanoes and going, “this makes no sense at all.”

I mean, I don’t know, maybe I’m not getting it but I really didn’t like that opening short because I thought Pixar was asking way too much from us this time around to try to make sense. Thankfully, Inside Out made me completely forget that short.

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