Movie Review: Inside Out
I kind of have a secret. I don't even want to watch most of the animated movies that come out. I mean I know that's kind of un-American, but they just leave me cold.
That said. Inside Out's trailer grabbed my attention and made me want to watch more. My daughter invited me to go with her and her three foster kids ages 8 thru 4.
The movie started out moving right along. It is narrated by Joy who is one of Riley's emotions. Joy is pretty much the chief emotional go-to girl and the cheerleader for the whole team. The team members consist of Disgust, Anger, Fear and Sadness. Riley's life is just great, and Joy has pretty much tinged every single memory. Even the core memories are all golden hued with Joy.
When Riley turns 11 the action really begins. Her parents uproot her from Minnesota (aka Home) to San Francisco. Dad has started a new business venture and he's preoccupied. Mom just wants not to stress him out. Riley has a new room, a new neighborhood, a new climate, a new school, and a new family if you consider Dad's different focus. Sadness, the little internal emotion of gloom, begins to touch the golden Joy memories which blue up and dim the light of optimism. In a huge accident during a power struggle between Joy and Sadness, Riley's core memories get spilled, one is touched by Sadness and all end up sucked out into the vortex of long-term memories. Joy goes after them and Sadness is pulled out with her. While Joy and Sadness navigate the pathways of Riley's imagination and memories attempting to get back to the control room and make things right, the emotions of Disgust, Anger and Fear are left to guide Riley's thoughts.
In the eventual happily-ever-after-even-though-things-have-changed, the movie ended on a hopeful note and one that really celebrated the need for honest communication, family and the okayness of just needing to cry and ask for help. I cried a couple times throughout the film, as did my daughter. Of course, our thoughts kind of connected with the sorrow her kiddos face while they navigate their challenges. But the truth of Joy's optimism being tempered by the reality that Sadness has a place was kind of poignant, too.
Inside Out is funny, probably more-so for the adults as most of it would go right over kid heads, but entertaining for sure. Anger is hilarious. And the emotional control rooms of several other people are visited and the conversations are pretty laugh out loud. This movie clips along and our 4-year-old was engrossed. The 6-year-old got caught up in the story-line. Our 8-year-old asked to see it again. We had quite a discussion on the way home and I'm guessing it will help the kids identify some of their own emotional challenges. I think this is a great one for so many different reasons. I also didn't feel any cringeworthy moments or feel we had to reframe any of the information in the film.