Reviews: Inside Out

Among Pixar\'s Finest

This is just a fantastic film. Are there flaws? Yes. And those are mainly about the logistics of the story, where some things feel a little underexplored, and the sense of human agency is very blurred. But overall, the film is full of charm, imagination, heart, and humor, with inspired visuals, and well-written characters with an excellent allegorical plot.

Basically? The little people in your head have a hard time figuring out your life, and when major life shifts come into play at the prepubescent stage, things go out of hand. Heading the emotions in Riley's head is Joy, an enthusiastic character who strives to keep Riley happy at all times. Her goals seem reasonable and sympathetic, but she's really the major reason things go wrong, because she constantly stifles Sadness, her antithesis, who she cannot see as useful to Riley's mental state in any way. There are a lot of creative and logical mechanics in Riley's mind, and when a catastrophe removes Joy and Sadness from HQ, Riley's remaining emotions are left to try to emulate Joy, and only produce preteen mood swings and negative emotions, failing to keep up Joy's goal for an optimistic moving experience. As the plot goes on (some find the pacing tiresome, but I think the danger and misfortune is just enough), things get dire, and along the way, Joy learns that Sadness is a key tool in healing emotional pain and creates empathy, which allows Riley to move on and accept her new life. Very moving and an important message. Overall, the film has the Pixar magic that their past output had been lacking, and is well worth a watch.

Great Concept, Didn't Go All Out

Apparently, nobody is ever responsible for their actions or reactions, they are merely responding to what button the 'little men in their head' push.

And Riley only has five emotions in total inside of her: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger. There is no loyalty, love, no competitive spirit, nothing that could show the myriad of emotions a person can have. Though there are 'islands' of her personality which, frankly, sound much more in-depth and interesting, than the people we follow.

When Joy and Sadness get lost and need to make it back, her remaining three emotions have to take over, leading to Riley having huge mood-swings.

Unfortunately, what sounded like a really cool idea does not go over well in the movie, as they don't fully make use of it. Four out of five emotions are considered negative. The whole Imaginary Childhoodfriend thing sounded interesting, but not too much was made out of it, as with most of the film's ideas. (Even the adults, who tend to know about the more conflicted emotions, only have five emotions inside their head, too?)

I personally would have made a different story out of it. As the movie begins with Riley being born and growing up, it would make sense that she, as a very young child or toddler, would have only five emotions. So her disgust at broccoli (which gets a repeated joke of 'Broccoli is ew' going on, which gets old really fast) or simple emotions makes sense - but it would be cool to see more and more emotions appearing, maybe by splitting off from the five 'main' emotions, as she grows older: say that Disgust and Fear end up creating the Discomfort or Conflicted emotion, Joy and Anger leading to Schadenfreude, Sadness and Anger lead to Frustration, maybe even to the big finale, where Riley grows up and the emotion of Love appears, showing how she's maturing and begins to realize the boys around her and liking them.

Actually, that idea sounds awesome...

Is it Fair to Call Something Emotionally Manipulative When That is the Premise?

In a previous review, I negatively compared Wreck It Ralph to Toy Story. There is a gulf of difference between the intuitive and simple story telling of the latter, and the needlessly convoluted nature of the former. Now I am going to positively compare Inside Out to Wreck It Ralph. Inside Out is Pixar's most abstract story by far. Continuing the "X are sentient" formula from previous movies, this time we have pure human emotions as X. I can just imagine how awkward it must have been to pitch this as a children's movie to a producer; on paper it sounds more like a weird sci-fi novel than a movie for children.

Unlike Wreck It Ralph, which had to contrive a bunch of complex and contradictory rules to make its setting and story function, Inside Out's personification of the human brain feels a lot more intuitive. It is easy to buy the idea that our decisions are guided by emotions, or that emotions (quite literally) colour our memories. Meanwhile, things like "memory trains" and a film industry for dreams feel familiar and almost Dr Seussian. The result is that we are provided with a bright, bizarro world that still makes sense. To an adult, anyway. I can't see kids really getting the nitty gritty details about cognition and memory, but that doesn't matter because they only need brightly coloured blobs with facial expressions and emotive music to get the gist.

Inside Out is about the importance of the role of emotion in our development and continued survival in society. It is an unabashably sentimental and uncynical film that portrays every person as a bunch of internal monologues and conflicting emotions. It is a conceit that does a masterful job of connecting with its viewers too - I teared up a couple of times, and there was one point where the audience around me were wailing. It doesn't ever achieve Up's level of catharsis, but it gives it a really good try.

It feels like it is the first Pixar movie that is explicitly aimed towards women, what with its predominantly female characters and its appeal (note: I am trying to be as cautiously democratic about this as I can) towards feminine interests. Pixar has made a brave attempt to step away from its more safer properties, and the result is something particularly rewarding.

Easily One of Pixar's Best

I was visiting my parents when I saw this movie, and as such, saw it with my mother, and I remembered commenting to her that while I was confident this movie would be good, it still couldn't compare to Toy Story. But when I finished watching it, I was wrong. For me, this is almost, if not on par, with Toy Story.

The idea of this, while its been done before, has never been done better. Each individual emotion is engaging, memorable, and funny, with their own distinct personalities, and designs. You'd think since they're supposed to personified emotions they'd be cut outs, but they're not, they're actually pretty interesting. And its very realistic. While I was watching it, I remembered having similar feelings going through my head when I faced such obstacles. It gets the true feeling of a situation a child that age could go through.

No need to talk about the animation. Its Pixar animation, and is therefore amazing.

Parts of this movie, are downright hilarious, I remember many people in the theater (including a multitude of adults, and myself), laughing out loud during a lot of scenes. That's how funny it was, and they take advantage of every joke at their disposal with this scenario.

The lesson of the movie is also very good. In the end, the emotions realize that life isn't all about being happy. There will always be sad moments that you have to tough through, and to the best of my knowledge, this is one of the first kid movies that says that is okay to cry. True, we've seen other kid shows do this, but this is a central theme to the story, that sadness isn't a bad thing, and sometimes you just have to embrace your sadness, and get it out of your system. This is a great lesson for kids, and probably some adults as well, and its done very smartly.

I don't know how many other animated movies are coming out this film year, but there is not a shred of doubt in my mind, that Inside Out will win Best Animated Feature.

Go watch this. Please.

I see absolutely no reason why anyone should skip on watching this. After the lackluster(if not bad) films such as Brave and Cars 2(exception to the former), this shows that Pixar still has that creative talent that makes their masterpieces, well, masterpieces. This is a film that deserves to sit alongside Toy Story as one of Pixar's best, because there's just so much effort put into it. My high expectations were undoubtedly met.

That and the film hits a lot of right marks if you're a fan of psychology. Anyone majoring in the field should definitely check this out.

  • sobbing*

Normally, a review would go here. But not this time, because it's hard to see the screen through the tears this film incites. Please, everybody, go watch this, now.

A Film That Anyone Can Relate To

Inside Out is a animation film about emotions and the mind and it's very relatable. The film deals with themes of change, depression and growing up and I think it deals with these themes very well.

One of the main plots is about dealing with change and how these changes can effect someone, meanwhile it also delves into the minds of different characters and how their emotions and minds function. I think the way it's handled is very smart and I would recommend people watch this film because it's not only an entertaining look into how the mind works but is also one that even if they may not necessarily like the film, they can easily relate to the film on a personal level.

In other words, please watch this film. It's a high recommendation.

A beautiful film, and my new favorite

I went into this movie unspoiled, and unsure of what to expect other than great visuals — it is Pixar, after all. Not only did it deliver on the visuals (and how! Just look at the inside of Riley's head!), but it truly blew me away with its storytelling. This is a movie I wish I'd had when I was younger. The lesson "there's more to life than just being happy" is one you don't often see, especially not in children's media, but it's a lesson that everyone has to learn, sooner or later. The way the lesson is executed in the film is simply perfect, and had me crying in the theater. (And this is coming from someone who almost never cries at movies.)

The cast of this movie is also really top-notch. Amy Poehler, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, and Kyle Maclachlan were the only names I knew off the top of my head, and they definitely delivered to my expectations of them. The other cast members were also fantastic. I really must give special mention to the girl playing Riley, Kaitlyn Dias. Her acting in the scene where she goes home (I'm sorry to be so vague, but I'm trying to avoid spoilers as much as I can) was truly phenomenal.

I don't want to spoil even the smallest twists and turns of the movie, so please, go and see it!

Wonderful Film, recommended

There is just so much to say about this movie. It's unpredictable, funny, a bit sad, and things are put in an interesting perspective. It's hilarious on it's own, too, especially Anger. He has some of the best lines I've ever seen in a movie. What Riley and her emotions go through is depressing, but understandable. This film is unpredictable because you don't know where the plot's going. "Oh, so Riley's moving now? Cool!" "Oh, so, she's in this ugly house. Yuck." You not knowing where the plot is going makes it all the more better, because I'll warn you now if you haven't seen it that a really sad moment will happen, and when it does... well, just bring the tissues, man. Bring 'em.

Pixar does it again!

Like with Monsters University, I was skeptical about Inside Out. I didn't know how this concept was going to work, and the premise seemed awfully pretentious. But after finally watching it, I can safely say that it's another Pixar winner. Is it one of Pixar's very best though? Arguably not, as I feel it has some problems. Even so, it's still a strong and memorable movie with an involving and engaging story. Also, like 2011's Arthur Christmas, it's packed with loads of original and intriguing elements.

The main aspect of Inside Out that makes it such a great movie is how massively ambitious it is. On the one hand, the movie does get a bit too hectic and zany for its own good at times, but there's so much to drink up that it's infectiously fun regardless. The film constantly keeps you guessing and never runs out of ideas. The animation is also impressive because it varies throughout the film, with a satisfying balance of retro computer animation with newer, more detailed computer animation. This is a huge and remarkably creative movie, with a bit of everything thrown in to the mixture.

Another excellent aspect of the movie is the emotion characters. All five of them are well-voiced, funny and rarely become monotonous. Even Sadness, who is miserable for most of the movie, is an enjoyable and sweet character with a very important role in the story. Their interactions are also done very well, with loads of amusing bickering and banter, as one would expect. As for the story outside Riley's head, it could have been perhaps a little more developed; a majority of the best stuff takes place inside Riley's head rather than out of it. However, it's a surprisingly adult story, just like 2009's Up. Seeing Riley break down in tears in her classroom and become increasingly depressed was shockingly realistic, and I'll admit that I myself had to wipe away some tears from my eyes. By merging a colourful and crazy adventure with a relatable, heartbreaking story, Pixar has crafted a unique, poignant and timeless experience.

Overall, Inside Out is an animated film that I strongly recommend. It'll leave you wanting to watch it again as soon as it's over. While it might not get everything right, and the writers could have given us a bit more of Riley, there's loads to take away from it already. I'm going to give Inside Out a well-deserved 8/10.

A Good Concept with a Great Execution

After just having gotten back from the movie theater, here are my thoughts after having seen Inside Out. I really liked it!

What the film is I believe, is a very clever commentary/metaphor on the way a person's mind, emotions, and memories work, along with how they all interact.

Our story begins literally moments after a girl named Riley is born and inside her brain, an entity called Joy appears. Joy is what her name implies, Riley's happiness and it's her job to keep Riley happy which shouldn't be hard since she's the only emotion around . . . for about 32 seconds as another one named Sadness manifests. As Riley grows older she also gains Disgust, Anger, and Fear. All the emotions have aspects of Riley they have to look after with Joy being the senior emotion and leader. She can see the use of all the emotions . . . except for Sadness that is. Joy just can't see what use Sadness is, all she does is bring everything down, she's just a killjoy (pun fully intended.) So Joy tries to make sure Sadness has as little to do as possible.

Throughout her life, Riley's memories have mostly been happy, but Joy's job get's kind of hard when Riley's family moves and there doesn't seem to be a lot to be happy about. Things go awry when Sadness touches a memory (which are stored in little orbs) and it suddenly turns from happy to sad. In a series of events, Joy and Sadness end up getting lost in the various aspects of Riley's mind and have to find their way back to the central headquarters. Meanwhile the other emotions try to manage things as best they can with (very) limited success. Throughout their journey, Joy comes to see that Sadness actually does have value to Riley (as she finds that her usual methods of cheering people up sometimes don't work). All of this leads to some very heartwarming and tearjerker moments as they journey through Riley's mind and we are treated to a very unique and interesting display of how a mind works.

One of the best things about this story is how well it works. The concept is not too original, but much like Pixar's best work, their execution is brilliant. And the ultimate message, of the importance for times to grieve and adjust, and the potential for grief to turn into joy, is a very good message.

All in all, Pixar hits another one out of the park. Go to see it, you won't regret it.

I LOVE IT! One of Pixar's best, if not THE best.

I don't even know where to start. I just saw it today, and I think that this is one of the most creative, unique, emotionalnote  animated movies EVER. This movie contains several references to psychology, while presenting it in a fun, easy-to-understand way. The story is well written, there were MANY times I laughed, as well as some where I almost criednote , as well as some strategically placed Adult Fear (I'm not an adult, but I still sympathized with Riley's parents in the climax.)

One way to tell that a movie is good is if you have so many favorite characters that you can't choose just one. That's certainly the case for this movie:
  • Sadness: As someone who has been through low self-esteem many times, I completely identified with her.
  • Fear: Another emotion I sympathize with (I tend to worry a lot.) I hate the fact that he's the Butt Monkey.
  • Bing-Bong: I was horrified when I read the YMMV page and saw that he is considered The Scrappy. WHY?! He's such a fun, nice guy! I don't want to put spoilers in here, but I'll tell you this: What happens to him is very sad, so please don't hate on the poor guy!
  • Jangles: If you don't know me, there's something you should know: I'm no coulrophobe. In fact, I love clowns and circuses.note  So Jangles was one of the funniest characters in the movie to me, and I even wrote a Character Page for him!

Ironically, I didn't like Joy that much, because of how controlling and arrogant she is, especially towards Sadness, but in her defense, she's doing it for Riley, and she does get better.

Overall, this film is amazing in every way imaginable. If you love animation like me, you will be astounded by the beautiful, colorful world inside Riley's brain, and even outside! If you are a psychology expert, you will find that this movie is littered with Genius Bonus. If you want Funny Moments, Heartwarming Moments, and Tear Jerkers, you will get them. This movie rules!

An Emotional Masterpiece That Pulls No Punches

Inside Out is wonderful. Let's get that right out of the gate.

This is perhaps one of Pixar's first films that deals with an uncomfortable part of life: depression. How do you go around showing depression without it being offensive? Just give the straight truth. The people who don't understand will most likely understand, and the ones who do will be ecstatic that there is a good film that represents their plight well.

As a person who has dealt with depression for most of their life, I can say that Inside Out is accurate in its portrayal. Although it (usually) isn't as severe as outright having all joy disappear, their is a certain disconnect. It often happens that it becomes hard for me to understand a situation, know when to slow down in public. You also get radical ideas that won't leave you, such as Riley's idea to go back to Minnesota, or my occasional (and always discarded) idea of suicide (which I could never do, because my family would be devestated).

I also have extremely low self-esteem and self-worth, which I believe comes through in Riley's belief that only going back to Minnesota will make her somehow better. This is healed (if only it were always that easy...) when she lets her emotions show to her parents, who comfort her and let her know that she is not alone, bettering her view of herself.

I don't know when I first got depression (it's kindof like sleep: you can't keep track of when it comes on you), but there are sometimes things I nearly reject out of bursts of anger - like my friends in robotics, or my brother - which happens because of one bad day. And that brings me to the next point: difficulty of emotional control.

When Riley loses Joy and Sadness, she obviously starts to show trouble, like at dinner with mom and dad. And it's not because she means to. It's because it becomes difficult to process the emotions that are coming, and you've mostly lost the ability to express any in the form of happiness and sorrow, so (almost) no more joy or the ability to say what's bothering you, for fear that people will reject you.

In my opinion, Inside Out is perhaps the greatest showing of the process of depression in cinema. It doesn't try to hide things "for the kids", and it well represents what happens to a person. And no naysayer will change this mind.