Inside Out (2015)

pixar amy poehlerI always knew the Joy inside of me was actually Amy Poehler with a pixie cut.

 

Well, Pixar, you’ve done it again…

…You’ve left me weeping softly in a dark room surrounded by strangers, with only the tears running down my cheeks to wash the popcorn grease from my quivering lips.

Well done, indeed.

This was Pixar’s fifteenth feature film, and my wife and I were lucky enough to attend an early screening a couple of weeks ago. All in all I’d say this movie was more for adults, but we brought along our almost-three-year-old, and this was the first movie in a theater that he watched all the way through, so it passed the kid test as well.

inside out joy sadnessWhen I first saw previews for Inside Out, I was immediately reminded of this classic WWII Disney cartoon about reason and emotion. Great little cartoon with a similar idea.

Pixar really tapped into TV celebrities for this film, which I don’t remember the studio doing very much before. It cast Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation), Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live), Phyllis Smith and Mindy Kaling (The Office) plus a slew of other TV personalities that include Richard Kind, Lewis Black, and Rashida Jones. I was kind of hoping the guy who played Al Borland on Home Improvement would make a cameo as “Bewilderment” but what can I say? Not all dreams come true.

Inside Out was directed by Pete Docter (the man behind Up) and you can tell. It has a similarly simple but original storyline, though the movie does drag a little bit in the middle. Overall, however, it was very clever, entertaining, and worth the watch.

OH, SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW: I’ve been trying this whole time to come up with a really good emotion/brain pun, but I came up empty… I hope you don’t MIND. [Ba-dun-tshhhhh]

sadness inside outInside Out is a very sweet film. It has such a simple story line about an ordinary family, and yet it really dives deep into the turbulent emotions we all go through, especially as kids.

Sadness is one of those emotions we all experience but usually don’t like talking about. The director had initially undervalued Sadness as a character, but later described his epiphany about why this emotion was key to the story:

“In modern-day U.S., we associate sadness with negativity. We try to avoid it…But really sadness is a response to loss. It forces you to slow down and reboot. When you see someone crying, it’s a signal to other people. I realized that Joy needed to let Sadness forward.”

Sadness does have an important role to play in our lives. We do not know the taste of true joy without having first taken a swallow of sadness.

The ultimate goal is to have all our emotions aligned and in control so that we may learn from and cherish the memories and experiences that shape our lives.

“Wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery…Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” — 2 Nephi 2:23-25

 

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