Inside Out Review

Inside Out is a Pixar movie and that’s really all I have to say about it. It’s basically perfect. I don’t know what I’m going to write about. I suppose there are things that I think could have been done a bit better but I don’t think I’d call those complaints. It was successful because it made me empathize with its characters and become completely invested in it. I think a few scenes in the middle dragged slightly but that’s like saying a house is bad because you saw a fly in it once or something. Pixar is annoyingly good.

The movie depicts emotions as people inside our heads who act like TV studio executives, planning our next moves according to what they think is best. The main characters are Joy and Sadness in the brain of a girl moving house. The girl’s struggles in moving are internalized as an adventure through her mind with a lot of action and humor. It’s great.

The concept is immediately appealing because it plays with how a lot of us colloquially talk about our feelings. The cast and crew did a great job at making me emotionally invested in these emotions by giving them great personalities. They’re well written and never become grating. I think the best voice acting in animation is when you don’t hear the actor when the character speaks. I was surprised that there were so many actors I recognized when I saw the credits. Even more, their animation is amazing. Like you’d expect from Pixar the characters have incredibly controlled performances with a lot of subtlety. It made me wonder if CGI characters have supervising animators like in cel animation.

A roundtable discussion of screenwriters. It has one of the writers of Inside Out, Meg LeFauve, talking about how Inside Out, and Pixar movies in general, are made.

There are a lot of clever gags about songs getting stuck in your head or the logic of dreams. I also loved the personalities of the mind workers. My favourite scene might be the dinner conversation that was shown (edited) in trailers.

A couple of scenes in the middle aren’t as effective as the rest of the movie I think. Some scenes just feel like connecting pieces to tie the beginning and the end together. There are funny gags in those parts but there could have been anything there really, it wouldn’t affect the overall story much. There’s a rush to make the main character have a dream that will scare her awake for example. It isn’t fully explained why they have to wake her up, but some great moments come out of that idea. Also the way they set up Sadness’ character makes it a little obvious as to what her arc will be. I felt a little disappointed that some of the 2nd act wasn’t as strong as the 1st and 3rd, but again I’m almost having to make things up I thought were wrong to talk about.

Disney had a similar idea to Inside Out before with “Reason and Emotion”. It depicts Reason and Emotion as people in our heads deciding our actions. Ollie Johnston, one of Disney’s nine old men, did the animation for Emotion in the mind of the woman. I’m not sure who animated the other characters. It’s short but interesting and has some great animation. Plug for the great blog I found this on.

Pixar movies are interesting to me. Overall I like 2D animation more than CG animation, but I think just about all Pixar movies are perfect. They’re also a lot more diverse in subject matter than most Disney ones. If it wasn’t for the Cars films the studio would be basically perfect.

There could be a lot of reasons for this but I didn’t feel like the characters in Inside Out were that memorable. They worked perfectly in the film and I can’t think of any complaints about them, they just didn’t make as much of an impression as I thought they would. I feel like the characters in Wreck It Ralph, even, were somehow more memorable despite it being a worse movie. It might be because they’re anthropomorphized versions of someone’s emotions and therefore weird to think about as characters though.

Inside Out is too perfect. Something’s going on in Pixar. I don’t know what, but it’s getting out of hand. I guess Pixar movies are just the great films nowadays. Don’t think there are any other films studios in the world as consistently good aside from possibly Ghibli. Man, even then John Lasseter supervises the dubbing of Ghibli films. It’s almost like they own them in some way. Scary.

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