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WARNING - There are spoilers in this review. If your own emotional reaction to revealing spoils is anger (as represented by a walking "meatboy" bag of unmotivated rage in this movie) then you best not read this review. I know the internet reacts differently to spoilers; and how those who are attacked to for revealing spoilers without warning have different emotions going on inside their heads. (Namely asking "Who is this guy?", "Is he really whining like a little bitch?" and "Is he pretending to be offended or is he just trying to get thumbs ups?")
But I think for the most part people listening to reviews want to know about these movies anyway as long as crucial plot elements aren't spoiled. Of course the fear that you will accidentally reveal such things is always present so you best watch yourself.
But...my emotion Fear is out taking a crap right now....so you've been warned about me revealing spoilers. ;D
INSIDE OUT: Review
PIXAR and Disney have presented us with some answers to things they believe we always wanted to know. Ever wondered what your toys do when you're not around? Ever wonder what video game characters do within their arcade cabinets? Ever wonder what lives inside your head dictating your emotions and decisions in life?
The answer to all these questions is a common: NO!!! Because no sane person ever thinks of this nonsense.
But PIXAR and Disney are going to force you to wonder anyway by putting on display all the warm and gooey rich sugar coated feel goodness of loveable characters and stories. (Even when you look at it; it's all a bunch of insane garbage. XD)
And PIXAR and Disney really know how to pull at the heart strings over....nothing really. Like how Andy was playing with his toys one last time before going to college and it made us all sad. He's a college kid dammit! I figured at this time in his life he'd be playing with himself more than his toys!
Or how about when video game characters have their own version of "real death" when their arcade games are unplugged and they are reduced to nothingness. Poppycock! Everyone knows this couldn't happen today....because they're all already dead! Arcades don't exist anymore!
Now PIXAR and Disney are at again with an idea that in all honestly isn't new; but because they create such a vibrant cast of characters we are willing to tell 'originality' to take a hike. The idea of course being that there are tiny little characters inside your head that dictate your emotions. They come in the forms of Joy, Fear, Sadness, Anger and Disgust. From the moment you are born they suddenly appear. Whether they were willed into existence by our subconscious, the cosmos, or Jesus....they remain with you all your life.
Now from a PIXAR point of view, the idea that these tiny little characters are helping you through life by controlling your emotions is whimsical and prone to both heart felt moments and pure comedy. But from a historical point of view, it means there's devils inside your head and a process known as 'trepanning' where someone bores a hole in your skull would be performed to "let them out." It's a good thing this is just a movie and not based on fact; cause this would make these 'ungodly practice' seem feasible.
Whether you consider them whimsical sprites or demons....your emotions are personified characters. And according to the film, the first one to appear is "Joy." Really? Joy? I imagine the first emotion to appear is our oldest one 'Fear'; cause from the moment we're born we're a screaming bright red mass of flesh that is practically blind and has no idea what the Hell is going on!
Not long after Joy appears, other personified emotions like Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust come along. And they all seem to work inside your head like it's an actually job. Kind of like Monsters Inc., but even more insane because this means they work practically 24/7. And they actually have a 'Dream Shift.' Yeah; so your only break time is when you're asleep while one emotion takes what's called a 'dream duty.' Good thing they're not really human; no human would take on a shift this insane.
Actually that's one thing the movie never explained; when you die do your emotions disappear or reincarnate elsewhere?
I'm getting ahead of myself here....let's introduce the human host these parasites live off of.
Her name is Riley; a growing girl whose memories are stored into tiny glowing orbs stored in her memory banks. Her subconscious also creates these tiny islands that represent aspects of her personality and social life all while being transported by trains and other sentient lifeforms that toggle these memory orbs around like bubbles from Bubble Bobble.
The mechanics of this world makes this the 'Inception' of PIXAR films. Either a genius or an insane person came up with this place.
The one emotion who seems to dictate her life the most is Joy; the brightest and most cheerful of the bunch. Like the American Dream (loosely defined); her main goal is to make sure Riley’s life is in “the pursuit of happiness.” Unfortunately this puts her at odds end with the one emotion who seems to cause the most “trouble”; Sadness. Everything Sadness touches makes Riley sad. Meanwhile Joy tries her best to make sure Sadness doesn’t keep touching things and making Riley feel as she does. Now Joy and Sadness are actually the two key emotions here; and it seems very much like real life. There’s always a conflict between Joy and Sadness in our daily lives as it is both light and dark trying to control how we feel. But because we are addicted to feelings of euphoria and relief; Joy usually ends up winning telling Sadness to go “stand in the corner”….not far off how she’s treat in this film actually.
Joy: “OK Sadness…you have an important job today. And that’s to stand in this circle and keep all the sadness within it. Got it?”
Sadness: “…You think I’m useless don’t you?”
Joy: “Ohhhhh no no no no no…It’s a vital service you’re providing for the team. I mean, standing still, not touching anything so Riley stays happy! Is there any way it could be done better?”
Sadness: “I could lie on the floor and die.”
Joy: “Oh!! That IS better!”
But Joy will be at odds end now since Riley is about to move away from the frozen wastelands of Minnesota, to the fog enshrouded ‘counter culture capital’ known as San Francisco. New town, new school, new friend, new problems. Riley now has to face this new reality. She will also have to live with the other terrible things that come from San Francisco: traffic jams, organic pizza, Nancy Pelosi….There’s only so much an eleven year old girl can take when her life suddenly turns around. What exactly her dad does again to make them move from Minnesota to California I don’t know; but family is a key factor to this whole movie and you’ll soon see why.
And of course when it comes to a new school; you inevitably are called upon to tell the class a little about yourself and the state you’re from. And your emotion Fear is NEVER prepared for this despite all his research. Yeah; this film has your emotion Fear doing research. Do I even need to tell you how bizarre this thing already is? XD
Now Riley of course goes into detail on how her favorite thing to do was hockey! (In San Francisco this already makes you an outcast.) But like most teachers, I imagine they want you tell more about the state you’re from other than it gets really cold. So I imagine Riley would have to continue to educate her fellow Californians what Minnesota’s all about.
Riley: “Well…we have a giant ball of twine as one of our main attractions; we have a football team that has been in four Super Bowls and lost all of them; and we used to have a professional wrestler as a governor.”
So right away she’s facing the main problem a kid from Minnesota faces when being in a school in California….that being she’s “A kid from Minnesota.” Isolated and alone, her emotions are now scrambling to deal with this new reality. Another reason why living as an emotion would suck. Think moving to a new state is an emotional upset? What about marriage, divorce, car payments, student loans, putting on 60 extra pounds, pregnancy, heart attacks, etc., etc.? This makes you actually grateful to be a human for once; since being a human doesn’t mean having to be alert for 24/7 to keep the system going.
I mean these emotions sleep and have emotions of their own while being dangerously understaffed. How do they cope with this frantic lifestyle without killing each other or themselves? Especially the emotion Anger being explosive all the time. The guy has fire shooting out of his head. You think he’d lower it and burn away the face of that one emotion he didn’t like (Disgust) at one point of Riley’s life. Yeah um….I don’t get how emotions being with us all our lives can feel emotions of their own….which means having their own fears and doubts. So there’s emotions within emotions!? Oh God!!! I think my brain is going to explode…and by brain I mean my islands and little glowing memory orbs!
In the midst of this chaos, Sadness does it again and she and Joy are separated from the main headquarters (The cerebral cortex of your brain is apparently their HQ) and must find their way back. Here we see Joy actually experience worry, trauma and sadness of her own. Part of this being she has to drag Sadness around because she’s a giant blue lump of depression that acts as a literal ‘load’ for Joy to carry. You know Riley’s from Minnesota; and Sadness seems the most Minnesotan of all the emotions: obese, socially awkward and clearly not enjoying life given where she lives. Seriously, it’s like Sadness is so sad she just gives up. Someone changed this blueberry’s name to Apathy please.
Along the way they meet another character. A character spawned from Riley’s imagination (or Hell) named Bing Bong. He was Riley’s imaginary friend and is an all-around fun loving kind of guy. And only a kid could make a creature this crazy looking. Because I think you’ve been hitting a “bong” of some sort to imagine “Bing Bong” as an adult.
He along with other fantasy characters (not AT ALL related My Little Pony: FIM XD) make up for the refuse of Riley’s subconscious. Apparently Joy, Fear, Disgust, Anger and Sadness are the 1% of Riley’s head. They’re few in number but they call the shots and have all the power. Also their HQ is the nicest looking. Oh good....now there’s class warfare going on inside my head too. Am I looking too deep into this? Ah Hell it’s an internet review; of course I am but I’m feeling proud of my shame.
The thing is this movie is all about PIXAR stretching out their “Creativus Maxmimus.’ The idea that there are worlds within worlds inside your head is explored into such depth that we go into sub worlds of worlds; like a Hollywood type studio that produces ‘Dreams’ like they were actual movies. Or that your inner most fears are locked inside a dungeon where a massive ‘Pennywise’ clown lurks waiting to cause Kaiju style havoc. Like I said…either a genius or an insane person came up with all these artistic hallucinations. Sounds like Kingdom Hearts but with a more coherent plot.
Without going too much into detail; the majority of the film centers on Joy, Sadness and Bing Bong making their way back to HQ to make Riley feel good again. Because it’s all havoc upstairs: “The Lights are on…but no one is safe.” Apparently Anger hates San Francisco so much that he has this “bright idea” of having Riley escape from it and go back to Minnesoata. Hmmm…Red, angry and reactionary. Is Anger PIXAR’s subtle stab at conservatism?
In any case; if Joy and Sadness don’t back soon Riley’s subconscious will destroy all the islands that where created from her memories. Christ this IS like Inception!! Are we sure Christopher Nolan wasn’t directing a kid’s film? As you would expect, this leads to some tear inducing moments given PIXAR’s reputation for doing so. I myself felt a bit misty during some moments; but then I came back to reality and realized how absurdly nuts this whole concept is. PIXAR is creative; but creative to a point where if you gave ‘Family Guy’s’ Seth McFarlane enough speed and ecstasy he’d throw all of his best ideas and throw away jokes into a blender and produce a broad array of chaotic abstract concepts. Imaginative? Yes. Funny? Not really.
Actually the funnier moments involve Fear and Anger. Anger in particular is hilarious because being the emotion of Anger all the time, he’s always challenging what’s going on in the outside world and making Riley throw shit fits when things look down. Like I said; he’s reactionary. And it seems like he always is in control of the button while Fear is too weak to stop him and Disgust couldn’t give any more of a shit.
Now the whole idea of going through the human mind through visual concepts and abstract ideas is something PIXAR did well in this movie. Of course they can’t literally show you how it really is inside; what with electrical impulses travelling between the neurons and all. But they might’ve still pulled that off somehow. Actually nah; it’s better they have wacky cartoon characters representing certain emotions. Kind of like those ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ creatures from the 70’s….except Inside Out’s character don’t look like they could devour your soul.
Well…seeing how it’s a PIXAR movie and we really can’t end on total downer….eventually joy and Sadness make it back. They also learn something about each other. For one; Sadness exists to bring people closer to Riley so she can feel Joy again. Joy learns she can’t live without sadness. So it totally works…if you’re a girl. If you’re a boy, Sadness works differently. Sadness still draws people to you when you’re a boy…but only to beat your ass and tell you to “stop acting like a pussy.” But ah well; Riley’s new founded life rebuilds newer worlds and newer memories to keep the Emotions busy. I gotta feeling there will be more destruction in the future though….especially when the biggest emotional upset of all time will rear it’s ugly head in the not-too-distant future: PUBERTY!!!
Oh God; what with all the menstrual cycles and PMsing Riley will go through; the emotions will be in Code Red all the time. And I can also imagine puberty is that time when newer emotions will rise up and suddenly be in total control.
Hysteria: “ACK!! Lust!! What are you doing!!?”
Lust: Relax brah!! I’m just letting our dear Riley here explore her sexuality some more on this site.
Hysteria: Lust you KNOW that’s a lesbian porn site!! You’re making her attracted to girls again!! You know she wasn’t born naturally this way!!
Lust: Don’t hate brah!! There’s nothing wrong with a little bi-curiosity to keep the motor running! Giggity giggity!!
Hysteria: ARGH!! Girls!! Do something!!
Ambivalence: I know this is wrong…but at the same time…who am I to tell her what is right when it comes to her blooming into womanhood? I don’t know how to stop her….I’m so morally confused right now!!
Angst: Geez…why you all gotta make a big deal out of this? So what if she goes lezzie? It means putting one less human in an over populated world that will eventually starve itself out of existence anyway.
Hostility: Just shut the f**k up all of you!!
Actually that last part is somewhat relevant to the movie. Anger knows ‘curse words’ and almost says a few. Fear even censors him. It’s like PIXAR knows kids swear all the time like when they fell “Oh fudge!” (Only…they didn’t say fudge. ;D)
Inside Out is a rather comical, yet strangely accurate view on human emotions we feel growing up. Personified by energetic and well animated characters this fantasy world PIXAR made is both a fun and weird experience to go through. You do feel your own emotions react to how other emotions feel (if what I said makes any sense in any context). Hell I know I’m feeling my own emotions talking to me right now; mostly tell me “I’m a hack” and that “I’m about as funny as gonorrhea.”
The characters themselves are what make the film. Whether you have a favorite to choose from much like how each Brony has their favorite pony (Sweet mercy, what’s the inside of their head like?), I say all of them are enjoyable to watch as well as take notes on how to get character reactions and movements. So I was greatly entertained and endeared by these characters and watching their personal lives and struggles.
It’s definitely one of PIXAR’s best and most imaginative films. It’s also one of their most mind bending. You know how in Interstellar not too long ago explained event horizons and time travel? Inside Out is like that for kids; presenting a mind bending concept that the inside of your head is its own world and being controlled by sentient creatures.
Well if they’re anything like what I saw in this film; I’m cool with it. I warmly embrace my ‘Skull Demons.’ ^_^
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