My Thoughts: INSIDE OUT (2015)


Ah, Inside Out: the Pixar film that nigh everyone says is a masterpiece, an absolutely marvelous film! Do I agree with this consensus or do I think that this film is overrated? Well, read on to find out!

The film is about a 12-year-old girl named Riley. Actually, that’s only partially correct. The focus is actually not on Riley, but on 5 of her inner emotions. They are Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger, voiced by Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling, and Lewis Black, respectively.

Yet somehow each emotion can feel other emotions besides what it represents. Do emotions have emotions? Is this like Inception?
Yet somehow each emotion can feel other emotions besides what it represents. Do emotions have emotions? Is this like Inception? Emoti-ception?

They work in the “headquarters” of her mind and do their best job at protecting Riley, helping her make good decisions, and keeping her happy, overall. Joy is the leader of the emotions and so far, Riley’s life has been well-managed by them. However, when Riley’s parents decide that they need to move to another state, the emotions are somewhat taken by surprise! With regards to moving somewhere totally new and meeting total strangers with hopes of becoming friendly with them, Riley isn’t all that happy about the change.

And that's putting it mildly. Note falling structure in Riley's mind!
And that’s putting it mildly. Note falling structure in Riley’s mind!

In fact, she literally starts to have a mental breakdown as Joy and Sadness get lost in the inner workings of her mind thereby leaving only Fear, Disgust, and Anger to take care of Riley. It’s up to Joy and Sadness to find their way back to headquarters before Riley does anything drastic!

If a 12-year-old in possession of a credit card isn't drastic, then I don't know what is!
If a 12-year-old in possession of a credit card isn’t drastic, then I don’t know what is!

Ok, so do I think this film is a masterpiece or do I think that it’s overrated? I THINK THIS FILM IS A MASTERPIECE!

"Oh...well, we were just readying ourselves in case you said you thought it was overrated."
“Oh…well, we were just readying ourselves in case you said you thought it was overrated.”

I LOVE this film! This is one of two films (the other being Spirited Away) that I’m literally jealous of, mostly due to the writing. The way the writers thought up a story to explain abstract concepts such that a young child can understand and relate to is simply phenomenal! Some of these concepts include change, loneliness, fears, train of thought, déjà vu, memory loss, earworms, long-term memory, memory recall, apathy, imagination, dream production, and abstract thought.

I'm surprised that we didn't see any pink elephants during this scene...oh, wait.
I’m surprised that we didn’t see any pink elephants during this scene…oh, wait.

Every time I watch the film, I always notice something new and realize that the animators/filmmakers really did their homework with this film. For example, one thing that I’m curious about is that in the inner workings of Riley’s mind, there are “workers” who take care of her memory. But, these “workers” are not designed in the same way as the emotions. Whilst the emotions are more figurine-like, these “workers” appear to not have any design at all besides that of roundish blobs! Why is that? Does this mean that they’re not fully developed in Riley’s mind, hence their design isn’t fully developed? Does anyone know? Am I just looking too deeply into this?

"I think Mark needs some of us memory workers in his mind!"
“I think Mark needs some of us memory workers in his mind! You two are volunteering for that!”

Another thing to mention about this film is that it is quite emotional! I’m happy (well, that’s too strong a word, but still) to say that this is the first movie that I’ve ever cried at and I’m sure if you’re a movie crier, you’re definitely going to be bawling at this film!

If you haven't seen the film yet, just know that a character who looks something like this has the capacity to make you cry!
If you haven’t seen the film yet, just know that a character who looks something like this has the capacity to make you cry!

Regarding the technical aspects, the voice acting is really good even resulting in Annie Award nominations for both Amy Poehler and Phyllis Smith. The animation is good as well, making some of the emotions more ethereal in looks rather than simply solid. I also think the score is amazing, as well! I’m a guy who almost NEVER notices scores, so the fact that I noticed this one AND am able to remember it afterwards really says something!

Summing up, this is an amazing film and if it doesn’t win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film, something’s gone wrong! Heck, if it doesn’t get a Best Original Screenplay and Best Score nomination, I think something’s gone wrong! If this film could get a Best Picture nomination, that’d be awesome! I doubt it’ll happen, but it’d be no surprise if it did! It hasn’t taken over Monsters, Inc. to become my favorite Pixar film ever, but it has surpassed Toy Story 3 to become my second favorite Pixar film ever!


18 thoughts on “My Thoughts: INSIDE OUT (2015)”

  1. So agree with you! It’s a movie I see new things every time I watch it and the growth of Joy throughout the film was so moving. It had it all. It was thoughtful, profound and funny too. The ending makes me bawl my eyes out!

      1. Oh me too. That part was devastating but wonderful. It’s my 3rd favorite Pixar film with Up, and Toy Story

  2. So glad to hear you loved it like I did! It’s definitely in my top 3 Pixar films, though I haven’t decided where it falls yet. Probably either 1 or 2, with my other top one being Monsters Inc. Inside Out was a brilliant film and it bugs me when I hear people saying it’s overrated haha.

  3. This is such a great film, and I’m glad that you liked it! It’s definitely top 3 pixar for me, probably #1 but I haven’t quite decided. I can’t wait to review it! (I’ll get to Pixar soon!)

    I also adored the score. I’m glad you pointed that out because I feel a lot of people forget about the music. But it was beautiful.

  4. I love this movie!

    A little while ago I invited a few friends over to watch it, and one of them hadn’t seen it before, so she was really confused when we all started preparing ourselves for the scene that makes people cry.

  5. I finally watched this film for the first fime today and I absolutely loved it! The amount of effort the filmmakers put into this film is unbelievable. I’m not sure if I would say it’s my favourite pixar film, but it’s definitely in the top 5.

  6. I must admit, I was initially not too keen on watching this, but ultimately, I rather enjoyed it– mostly…

    As to what made me want to avoid it at first, it has to do with the basic premise of the story, in which a human’s emotions are essentially humanoid beings, the mind being controlled via console, and memories being portrayed as little shiny orbs. That premise struck me as a bit too outlandish, even for Pixar. (Toys coming to life? Sure, everybody thinks they do that [at least, when they’re kids]. Monsters powering their world with children’s screams? OK, I’ll buy that, too. A rat learning to cook? Well, there’s been a pig who herds sheep, a dog who plays basketball, etc., so why not? But, this? I’m not so sure…)

    As an aside, I was tickled pink by the following voice cameos in the film:

    1. Paula Poundstone (a frequent panelist on the National Public Radio news quiz WAIT WAIT… DON’T TELL ME!) as one of the Forgetters

    2. Frank Oz (Yoda, Cookie Monster, Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, Bert, Grover, Animal, and Sam the Eagle, among others) and Dave Goelz (Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Zoot, and Gonzo) as the Subconscious Guards

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