Warning: this review contains some
Riley Andersen is your average 11-year-old Minnesotan girl. One day, she and her parents moved to San Francisco following after her father gets a new job there. Things go downhill from there: the Andersens' new home is tiny and cramped, and the only pizza they serve there is broccoli pizza. Plus, she became severely homesick. At school, she admitted, crying with teary eyes, to the entire classroom that she missed her life in Minnesota, and how fun it was back when she lived there. Her depression affected her greatly, to the point that she was unable to play ice hockey well with the other kids at school -- she quit in frustration in the middle of the match, much to the surprise of the other players.
Riley's longing to return back to Minnesota reached a breaking point. The next day, she put her plan into action: she stole her mother's credit card, then skipped school in order to take the bus ride back to Minnesota. Upon riding the bus, however, she realized that she had made a terrible mistake. She ordered the bus driver to stop, then she ran all the way back to her worried parents. She admitted that she still missed the good old days back in Minnesota. Her parents then revealed that they, too, missed Minnesota, and together they happily adjust to their new lives in San Francisco.---Spoiler ends---
Sounds like another mundane pre-teen angst drama movie? Of course, that would've been the case, had the movie is also not about what's going on in her mind deep within the inner workings of her subconscious. This is what Disney's and Pixar's new movie, Inside Out, is all about: the anthropomorphic representations of her emotions: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger. Thanks to a little mishap, Joy and Sadness found themselves thrown away out of their headquarters and deep into Riley's labyrinth of long-term memories, and now they'll need to find a way to get back to headquarters before their absence causes a severe consequence to Riley's emotional turmoil.
When I first watched the teaser trailer for Inside Out, at first, I was rather skeptical with how the movie can play out. However, I was convinced to watch it after my friends who did get to watch it told me that it's a very good movie, and certainly even better than Minions that came out around the same time. Except, I had to wait for two whole months
before this movie is finally released here in Malaysia.
I think it's because there's a scene early on during Riley's childhood when she ran around naked
while her father tried catching her...
Those two months wasted might probably have been due to our Malaysian censors debating whether or not to cut this scene out. (The scene is intact.)
Since the disaster that was Cars 2, and the better yet still lackluster performance of Brave and Monster Academy, I feared that Pixar may have lost their touch, which kept them from being able to do another great movie like they were known for. Well, after watching Inside Out, I'm glad to see that they still haven't. That, or because it was directed by Pete Docter, the same guy who also directed Up, another emotionally beautiful gem produced by Pixar.
The characters, Riley's little voices in her head that represent her emotions, are quite animated, and really represent the emotions they stand for. Joy is happy-go-lucky, Sadness often looks gloomy, Fear is cautious and scared for his life, Disgust has a repulsion for everything, and Anger is quite literally hot-headed. Well, actually, more accurately, Joy is being super bossy with the rest of the emotions, having this obsession to make sure that Riley is always happy all the time. Her desire to be in constant control over Riley's happiness, to the point of not even letting Sadness do her job at all, is only more damaging to Riley's well being and is what caused the events of the movie later on. The movie presents the danger of being too much of a control freak, and the consequences it brings.
People are already comparing Inside Out to Warner Bros' 2001 gem, Osmosis Jones. DON'T.
I've also seen that movie, and I've enjoyed that one, too. They're not the same movie!
You're basically comparing an apple to an orange here. Osmosis Jones is about the cells in our body. Sure, they did depict the brain as the headquarters where Mayor Phlegmming controls Frank's every actions, but that's just it. Inside Out is about our subconscious, and the emotions that govern our thoughts. I don't think Pixar is trying to rip-off Osmosis Jones. The concept that we are all giant mechas and that there are little people in our brains who are the ones piloting our body and controlling our every action is nothing new. UK comic The Beano has The Numskulls, little people who live inside Edd's head. And yeah, the comic even references that movie!
(There's also Meet Dave. Erm... let's not talk about that.
Would I recommend watching Inside Out? Yes, of course, I do. I'm not sure if it's in the cinemas anymore in the US, considering that it's been two months already. (Here, in Malaysia, movies have a one-month period since the first screening before they're then retired from the cinema, to allow other new movies to fill-in the slot.) I'm still upset that we Malaysians had to wait for two months before it's finally released here.
By then, the reviews have already been poured out, making it exceedingly difficult to avoid spoilers. But it was all worth the wait. And I'm glad that I finally get to watch it. It is an enjoyably funny yet emotional movie for the entire family.
I'm giving it a 10 out of 10 points.
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