Sunday, June 21, 2015

Inside Out: Must See

Sam and Jason and I went to see Inside Out this weekend and this is probably the most clever film Pixar has created, to date. 

The trailer, which is cute, doesn't even come close to the complex metaphor the writers manage to pull off for the entire film. They've even thrown in really smart bits about why certain jingles pop up in our minds at the most random times, what gets stored as core memories that help us decide who we are, what gets shoved into our subconscious, and how, necessary and heartbreaking at the same time, some memories have to be lost. 

But the crux of the film is what to do with Sadness, who is voiced so perfectly and animated so beautifully, that, even if I weren't of a melancholy disposition much of the time, she'd still be my new favorite character. Once Riley, 11, is moved cross country for her dad's new job opportunity in San Francisco (expertly animated far more realistically than the San Fran tourist board would probably prefer) Joy suddenly finds Sadness' presence even more annoying than usual, since everything she touches, including all of Riley's past memories, are tinged with her blue hue now. When their struggle disrupts the Head Quarters (get it?) system and Joy and Sadness are both thrown far into back into Riley's brain, only Fear, Disgust, and Anger are left to run the show. 

It's the journey of Joy and Sadness, trying to get back, that makes up the core of the movie. And it's just so well done. 

There's a beautiful moment where Joy tries to cajole someone out of their grief over losing their connection with Riley. But Sadness just sits down next to him and says the simplest thing, basically, "I'm sorry you're sad." The catharsis she offers him is the only way through, the only way to move onward. Kids won't get it, but the adults most certainly should.

(NPR's Morning Edition interview here where the director and Amy Poehler (Joy) mention that moment.)

 There was enough to process that I'm sure I'll go see it again soon. 

Don't miss it!

Bonus: the little short before the film was clearly an homage to Israel Kamakawiwo'Ole and it was a little gem, too. 


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