Okay, let me preface this review of Inside Out with a disclaimer: this is my opinion. I’m entitled to my personal view. Don’t hyperventilate if it doesn’t line up with your outlook. (P.S. I love both Disney and Pixar)
And that said…I thought it was “okay” and nothing more.
Shhhh…I’ll hold you and sing Soft Kitty until you recover from that sentence.
Honestly, it’s what I refer to as, “Meh.”
I know a lot of readers will not understand my review, but you ARE here, so let me explain. I recommend this movie to all ages. We had a pleasant surprise and had a trailer for the Christian band Hillsong that preceded the movie. There are three and a half parts of this movie that I really liked and the rest of the movies was mediocre with some funny one-liners tossed in for seasoning.
The movie is based on emotions inside the young girl’s mind: Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear and Anger. They are all involved in her (Riley) memories while growing up, with Joy being the leader of this “happy girl.” Joy makes sure that there is a lot of cheerfulness in Riley’s life and very little of the other emotions. Trouble starts when Joy and Sadness are taken from Riley’s central headquarters (where memories are formed) and dashed away to her long term memory.
And true to Disney/Pixar form, they fight through the perils and find that they needed to work together.
No really. That’s the synopsis of most Disney/Pixar films anyways.
However, unlike a plethora of collaboration films that I enjoy, Inside Out fell flat for me. Riley succumbs to Anger and runs away and I have a really big problem with an eleven year old who is happy one day and running away the next. After she steals from her mom’s wallet. And explodes in anger at her dad. Don’t get me wrong – I know kids do those things, but it was totally out of Riley’s character. I guess it made for a good plot.
My three and a half highlights? Thing 1 agreed with me on these points:
- The back and forth argument of the Mom and Dad’s emotions. Epic! If you’re married, you probably enjoyed it as much as I did.
- The hilarious montage at the end of the film when the camera jumps from character to character, letting the viewers glimpse their emotions. Thing 1 particularly loved the cat.
½ Riley’s imaginary boyfriend. “I’d DIE for Riley!” “I’m from Canada.”
- Bing Bong. He was singularly the most important character of the film for me. I never had an imaginary friend, but my brother did. When Bing Bong disappeared, I wept – as in tears streaming down my face and heartbroken. I am a silly person by nature and it was crushing to watch him fade. I encourage ridiculousness and whimsy (when appropriate) with my own kids because growing up is hard. The one thing that made Bing Bong’s demise better was dedication in the end credits:
“This film is dedicated to our kids. Please don’t grow up. Ever”
Thank you, Disney and Pixar, for including that dedication. It harkens back to Peter Pan and his Lost Boys and I find no fault in that.
I’m going to go buy a Bing Bong Funko Pop toy and he will sit on my desk to remind me to use the imagination God gave me!