Inside Out, 2015
dir. Peter Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen
Let me just start by saying I wasn’t as excited about this film as everyone else in the entire world. I’m not a huge fan of animation, and I have an intense love-hate relationship with Disney. However! I loved this. Really, really did. I wasn’t crying from beginning to end, like a lot of people I’ve talked about this with, but I did feel emotional through a lot of the emotional moments, and I thought it was indeed a very good film. Definitely one of my top five Pixar films.
To begin with, the animation itself. There was some serious art put into this movie, proper craft. Every character had a distinctive look, the emotions were really well-designed, and the world itself looked amazing — both inside and out Riley’s mind. (Pun intended.) I thought her mind-world looked absolutely beautiful, and all the little bits of it — the core memories, the long term memories, the memory dump — was so well-thought out, and you could tell some proper research went into making this. The little explanations as to why we forget certain things or why we get that annoying chewing gum ad song stuck in our mind randomly sometimes is really clever. The filmmakers took this already interesting premise of “what goes on inside out heads” and worked it out to wonderful extents.
What I liked most about this film, though, was that fact that even though there were no villains, the stakes were higher than ever before. A little girl succumbing to depression because of the changes in her life is a very real subject, which is tackled really well in this film. It shows that you can’t force someone to be happy if they aren’t, because sometimes they just can’t and there is a good reason. But it also shows that we need a little sadness in our lives, and that part of growing up is allowing bittersweet moments to be part of our lives, to try new things and, yes, sometimes be disappointed, but also learn from them.
Also, this is one of the few times when the human character is just as compelling as the main characters. In this case, since the emotions are part of Riley, it makes sense that she would be interesting as well, but even her parents are well-characterised and fully constructed.
I also thought it was very cool that Riley wasn’t your stereotypical “girly-girl.” She likes unicorns and boys and cute things, but also sports and being goofy — she is just a person, and it’s great that they’re showing that it’s okay to be that way. And also that even the intimidating “popular girls” with their blue eyeshadows can be self-conscious and afraid.
It’s just a really wonderful film, refreshingly fun and surprisingly gripping. Fun for both adults (who will understand a couple of the more grown-up jokes) and children.
review by Mariana Duarte