Thoughts on Inside Out (2015)

SPOILERS

I had originally been told that Inside Out was a depressing movie – so I went into it thinking it would be just that, but truth be told, I didn’t think that. I do, however, think that it’s not a movie for kids.

The movie centers around Riley and her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness – as she deals with moving to a new town. When things go array, with Joy and Sadness on a quest to find their way back to central control, it’s up to Anger, Disgust and Fear to determine Riley’s emotions.

See, it’s kind of complex and hard to understand unless you’re watching the story unfold.

And while I thought the movie was cute, the story is just too complex for children to fully understand. Now, taking into account most children’s films, which have “inside” jokes meant for adults – unless your child is clinically depressed, they’re probably not going to understand the plot.

But wait, you say, what about the colour and humour in the story?! Well, I don’t think it has enough colour or humour for children either. While it is a very colourful movie – take the colours inside the mind or even the bright and colourful emotions, when everything starts turning grey – not only does it lose it’s luster, but most kids will have already lost interest.

I found the most humour in Bing Bong, Riley’s invisible friend. BB still dreams of going with Riley to the moon on a home-made rocket ship, but he makes the ultimate sacrifice for his friend. It’s sweet and sad, and it’s a lesson in growing up.

Perhaps the funniest moment was getting inside the mind of a cat. Did anyone else find that as funny as me? We see the emotions of a dog wanting food – but inside of a cat, it’s just utter chaos which causes the cat to freak out. It’s hard to explain but it was a laugh! I also found recurring the advertising jingle that gets stuck in your head moment quite funny as well.

I also found the story of forgotten memories to be very interesting. Inside the mind is – actually, I’m not sure what they’re called – some kind of cleaners who go into the memory storage (in this case, memories are bright colour balls of different emotional colours) who take old memories and throw them into the pit where old memories go and are forgotten. There the memories sit before floating away never to remembered. Do you remember how to play Baa Baa Black Sheep on the recorder like you learned at school? No. Well, that’ll be one of those forgotten memories – the cleaners would have taken away because it was no longer needed nor necessary. It was a nice visual way to show how we forget certain moments and skills. This is a long paragraph – but to me, it was interesting.

Adults would get more out of this movie than children. It’s a movie that makes you think. It made me realise that there’s not always one emotion behind every situation – when sadness becomes happiness, for example. It’s amazing how you can also look at a situation in one way – and then think differently about it later. Emotions are complex, and this proves that. Although, I like to think that there’s more than just five emotions determining who we are and what we do.

But let’s discuss that for a bit, because it is interesting to get into the mind of others. Forgetting Riley for a moment, as her emotions are in turmoil, but of her parents. That the moment where they’re sitting at the table – Riley is going through the feels, her father is not listening to a word that is happening and her mother is worried for her daughter. Her mother, perhaps of greater interest, then fantasies about the man she could have had rather than her now husband. It’s that play between real life and fantasy, how quickly our thought process can change – and in a way, the differences between men and women.

The movie is not going to be for everyone. I know there’s a big percentage of people who absolutely hated it – and I can see why. If you’re expected a fun Disney Pixar film, then this is not one for you. In the same vain as adult comics, this is an animated movie best suited for adults.

 

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