I can't believe I'm about to write these words. But, here they come.....
I didn't really care much for Inside Out.
There, I said it. Got the words out that are very contrary to popular opinion. And to be honest I'm very mad at myself for feeling this way. I hate that I rank this movie only above Cars. (And I truly loathe that movie. But what do you expect from a guy who knows even less about cars than he does about Algebra?)
Back on point. I really wanted to go into this movie and fall in love with it. After all, I loved the sitcom Herman's Head. Basically the same idea, with lots more time to flesh it out. But the reality of it was, I just couldn't connect.
Fair warning....from this point on there will be SPOILERS. So if you haven't seen it, and don't want to know some stuff...maybe you should look at my Megacon pictures again. The last thing I want is for you to unleash your little ANGER on me.
You may be wondering why a guy who seemingly could care less about the movie owns TOYS based on that which he doesn't love. Well, that brings us to the one thing I really did like about it. The character designs. They're all so damn cute. For the character designs alone, I went to see this movie. I see so much of me in Anger. I mean, hell, we even have the same fiery pointy hairstyle when he blows his lid.
Other than that, the movie just left me indifferent. Maybe it's because the center character is a little girl? And even though I've been known to act like one at times, I'm not a little girl myself.
Riley (the above little girl) has a wonderful, happy coherent life. It has everything most kids hope to have. An original two parent household that offers love and unity. She's got the beautiful home, with swings and laughs and sports. And in her darling little head, she has this awesome group of emotions (Joy, Anger, Sadness, Disgust and Fear) Life is GOOD.
Until dad announces that's it's time to shake things up. Take Riley and her band of emotions and cause some chaos with a move to a new city, new life. Complete with new school, new apartment, new friends and new problems for those little colorful characters in her head to deal with.
Is it the emotions? Is it Riley? Who can be sure. All that we know for sure is, through a series of mishaps Sadness and Joy become separated from the core group and have to work their way back to brain central before Riley literally loses her marbles. (The marbles in this case being cute little glass balls of memories)
From this point based on early comments about how dark and deep the plot became for children, I half expected Riley to turn bi-polar. But the truth of the matter is, it wasn't that dark. It was just something most kids in the real world have to deal with.
But back to the plot.
Joy and Sadness end up as far away from the command center as can be, but luckily they stumble upon Bing Bong. An adorable mix of Elephant, Cat, Cotton Candy and that funny hobo on the street corner who sings Mister Celophane. Long forgotten, Bing Bong is Riley's imaginary friend. And he knows the way back!
Adventure ensues, and ensues, and ensues some more. In the meantime we've lost the cool dynamic of all the emotions together, and the movie honestly drags through some funky, abstract Picasso like scenes that I assume will best be enjoyed after you've popped some sort of happy drug or are drunk off your ass.
I really wish that all the emotions had shared this journey BACK together. But ultimately, someone had to keep watch of Riley's sad developments.
Now I won't lie, I shed a few tears. Pixar knew exactly how to bring those out. Towards the end Bing Bong makes the ultimate sacrifice to help Joy and Sadness make it home. Nothing like a good Disney death to get you right in the cockles.
The girls make it back, realizing that sometimes you NEED the sad memories to compliment and create the happy ones. All the emotions hug it out, Riley balances out without a need for medication and therapy. And in typical fashion, happy ever after is the result.
Some of the best sequences come at the end, when we see all the emotions interacting in variations of themselves through others eyes. Even the versions that live in the heads of dogs and cats. I think if we'd gotten more of that, it would make for a much better film.
Bottom line, it wasn't the worst movie I've ever seen. My two little girls liked it. My oldest even watched it a second time. Although she came out of it liking it less on the second viewing. I wish maybe they'd kept Anger or Fear in the mix, or even made Sadness a boy. The plot isn't female centric. These are problems both boys and girls face alike. But most of it centers around the three girls Riley, Joy and Sadness. And although I'm in touch with my feminine side. I just got bored as it progressed.
I'll own it im sure, because it's so pretty to look at. And maybe after Rewatching it a few times it'll grow on me more. But for now I'm content with sticking it in Lightning McQueen's passenger side and watching it drive off into the sunset.