I was so excited about the release of Inside Out, I dressed up as Joy for Denver Comic Con weeks ago. Nobody knew who I was. I didn’t mind. After all, I was Joy.
Five years in the making, Inside Out unfolds in the mind of an 11-year-old Riley, whose faces a crisis when her family uproots her from small-town Minnesota to move to San Francisco.
The snafus that follow—a lost moving truck, a sketchy start-up, a wincing-oh-so-painful first day of school, and a sports try-out turned disaster—transform the happy-go-lucky pre-teen into a short-tempered, angry tweener, with the a bad case of the G-pains, the growing pain, that occur whenever one waves buh-bye to a life built, loved, known.
Never content with a shallow story, the writer-director Pete Docter (Up) digs deep into the anthropomorphized feelings lodged in Riley’s mind.
Joy = Amy Poehler = cast perfection = group leader
Disgust = Mindy Kaling = can you hear “Mindy” saying "Ew!"?
Fear = Bill Hader = a skittish, shy character until he’s afraid
Anger = Lewis Black = no one could blow their hat better
Sadness = Phyllis Smith = Office fans will adore = brilliant performance
The opening of the film feels like being thrust into a Psychology 300 course. An exposition and information dump.
Before you can navigate Riley’s emotional world (or your own) there’s much to learn.
Riley’s personality is represented and shaped by a series of island including Family, Honesty, Goofy, and Hockey. Her mind is filled with a Long Term Memory facility (inspired by a real Jelly Belly candy factory). Imagination land is magical place of possibilities. Dreams are scripted and filmed in a mini-Hollywood studio ironically not named DreamWorks.
Not all is light and fluffy. Abstract thinking can flatten and distort anyone who enters. The Subconscious is a dark place dreams become nightmares.
All this may seem random and hard to follow for those of us who managed to graduate from college without taking Psychology (or at least showing up to class).
Keep watching. Once your mind is stuffed with the necessary details, Pixar kicks the plot into second gear as Joy goes on an unforgettable journey.
Without spoiling the movie, here are 5 Myths Inside Out exposes about our emotions. Continue Reading...