Here we are again on Fishing in the Discount Bin, my weekly ramble about one of the movies I own. This time, we get to Pixar's spectacular 2015 epic, Inside Out. I originally watched the film and wrote this on November 8, 2015.
Post Toy Story 3, Pixar hit a slump. Cars 2 sucks, Brave had a lot of good ideas, but they never coalesced into a good movie, and that lowered my expectations so much that my reaction to Monsters University was, "Meh. Couldv'e been worse." But then, Pixar took a year off, refocused on a few things, thought some things though, and then came back and blew our minds with Inside Out.
Inside Out is so good, you guys. It's a return to form for Pixar. As I said in my original review, it's a coming-of-age story told from an incredibly unique point of view: the emotions that drive you. Our heroine is Joy, as in the actual emotion, and she's the main driving force in the mind of a little girl named Riley. There are four other emotions that play a role in driving Riley: Fear, Anger, Disgust, and Sadness. And that's our core conflict in our little drama, the relationship between Joy and Sadness. No one can understand Sadness as Sadness just makes Riley sad. So, when Riley and her family move to a new town, Joy gets stressed out trying to keep Riley happy throughout it, and Sadness's attempts to help just make Riley sad, and before long, Joy and Sadness are lost in the recesses of Riley's mind. Can they team up and make it back to the the control centre before Riley's personality shuts down?
And I haven't even gotten into Bing Bong yet. Bing Bong is Riley's old imaginary friend, whom Joy and Sadness stumble across. Bing Bong then joins the two to help them out, but eventually, Bing Bong has to make the ultimate sacrifice so Joy and Sadness can get home. It was definitely the most tearjerking moment at the movies in the summer of 2015. And spectacular voice work from Pixar vet Richard Kind.
And what's also a good subplot is what's happening at headquarters while Joy and Sadness are gone, and Fear, Anger, and Disgust take control. As I read in another review, it would have been really easy to make one of them a villain and take charge of Riley in Joy's absence, but instead, their attitude is to just keep the ship afloat until Joy gets back. And that was a good route to take as there's more than enough dramatic tension without creating a more typical villain.
They do incredibly creative things with the animation, too. There's a scene where Joy, Sadness, and Bing Bong decide to take a shortcut through the department of abstract thought, where they're slowly reduced to their base shapes and colours. When I saw it in the theatre, I saw it in 3D, and they actually got squished from 3D into 2D, too, which was a clever use of 3D.
And the music! I've been listening to Michael Giacchino's score all summer. It's just so good, you guys.
Seriously, this is a good film. Pixar is back...and for a good long stretch, I hope.