Movie Review: Inside Out (2015)

We don’t often watch movies at the cinema because there are a lot of us and tickets are expensive, especially at the regular-priced cinemas. Also, we don’t mind waiting until the DVD comes out and borrowing it from the library when we can watch it with subtitles and the Special Features.

That said, when I saw the trailer for Inside Out, I thought it might be nice to watch it at the cinema. I’m still reluctant to fork out big bucks, though, so we watched it at the budget cinema — half the price of ticket prices at the regular cinemas, but no 3D option.

Friday being the last day of the school term, I thought it wise to grab the opportunity to go before the crowds flock to the cinemas during the Term Break. We went for the 1.45 p.m. showing and there were so few people, we had free seating! (LOVE Free Seating, but only if we get in early.)

Inside Out

WARNING: Contains Spoilers!! Proceed at your own risk.

Well, what can I say? Disney/Pixar has done it again! They’ve worked hard to give us a movie that not only entertains — and entertains stupendously — but takes us on an emotional journey from one end of the spectrum to the other seamlessly and effortlessly. And makes us think about life after leaving the theatre and quite a while afterwards. This computer animation has depth (pun fully intended).

Inside Out takes a look inside the mind of Riley Anderson, an eleven-year-old girl who has just moved with her parents from Minnesota to San Francisco, the adjustments she has to make and the accompanying emotions that go with it.

Although there are a plethora of emotions humans can feel, the makers of the film decided to narrow it down to just five: Joy, Anger, Fear, Disgust and Sadness.

When I first saw the trailer, it had a slight Herman’s Head-esque feel about it, but with a Disney spin.

In case you are not familiar with Herman’s Head.

Anyway, back to Inside Out. I absolutely LOVE how the inner workings of the mind — how memories are made, and the emotions attached to those memories — are visually represented in the film.

When one is young, feelings are clear, simple and easily classified into neat categories represented by coloured orbs. Each memory has a definite emotional colour attached to it. Naturally, Joy is determined that most of Riley’s memories be joyful ones. Up to this point, everything has been working just fine, but for some inexplicable reason some of the earlier happy memories are being tinged with sadness. What the heck is happening?

Well, Riley’s growing up.

In a moment of power tussle, both Joy and Sadness get sucked into a different part of the brain leaving Anger, Disgust, and Fear at Headquarters. Without Joy in HQ, Riley may never feel happy again. Joy and Sadness must make the long journey back to HQ and along the way, enter different Lands and meet different characters.

There are some laugh-out-loud moments such as when we see what memories are discarded (all those music pieces we learned except for a select few) and what memories are retained (such as that annoying commercial jingle).

There is an interesting detour into Abstract Thought and the different dimensions therein. Very cleverly and imaginatively portrayed.

There is a re-acquaintance with an old Imaginary Friend, Bing Bong, and his role in helping Joy and Sadness get back to HQ had me pressing my fingertips to my lips lest I make too much noise with my weeping, my eight-year-old hugging her knees and moaning, and as I glanced over, I saw my sixteen-year-old’s eyes glistening. Pixar’s films often have a tears-inducing scene, but this one probably tops them all. If you have ever gotten teary at a Pixar film, you know that’s saying a lot!

In a moment of epiphany, as Joy tenderly holds a Core Memory orb and rotates it fully, she realises that the memory was not purely a happy one as she had previously thought. It was mingled with — you guessed it — sadness.

Inside Out celebrates Life and all the emotional ups and downs that go with it and that shape and define us as we grow and make sense of the world.

Rating: 5/5

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A note on ticket prices here in Melbourne, Australia
In case you’re wondering, prices at regular cinemas are as follows:
Adult: AUD$20.00
Student/Concession: AUD$17.00
Child: AUD$15.00
Senior: AUD$11.50

The budget cinema: AUD$8.00 for all.

Which would you choose? Srsly.

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Posted on Saturday, June 27th, 2015, in Films and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. What impressed me the most about this movie is how it focuses on the internal struggle. Think about it — no one is trying to take over the world, no one is out to kill the protagonist or her family or threaten innocent individuals . . . there’s not even a villain in the classic sense of the word. Yet the movie is so compelling, I think because everyone can relate to that inner struggle.

    Also, that voice cast! So strong.

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  2. Excellent points, hktelemacher! I didn’t even notice the lack of in-your-face villains.

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  3. Good review. I forgot to mention the stupid jingle in my review, but that was hilarious – and way too true. (Why, WHY do I remember that stuff from my childhood but can’t recall the names of some friends I haven’t seen in decades? Life isn’t fair!)

    Another thing that occurs to me is that your tickets are a good bit more expensive than ours, even after adjusting for the exchange rate. Who knew?

    The “villain free” movie – or book – is fascinating. I tend to gravitate toward those in my own reading (which is why I love Anthony Trollope, as an example). Somehow, the internal struggle seems more compelling than the external as I get older.

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  4. A few years ago, I received a generous gift card for the cinema. I very naively thought I could buy tickets for five of us AND popcorn. I NEVER buy popcorn, so this was going to be a real treat. No deal. The gift card wasn’t enough to cover our tickets. I had gotten so used to prices at the budget cinema that I had forgotten how expensive the regular cinema is in comparison. Talk about a repressed memory!

    Some things are a lot more expensive here. Books, games, and toys are relatively more expensive. An online US friend once raised funds to buy games for the children’s hospital. He announced how much he had raised ($50) and that he bought the following: Scrabble, Yahtzee, Monopoly, and a couple others. I remember feeling slightly indignant that we would not be able to buy even two games on that list at our stores here! Life really isn’t fair.

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, fiddlrts!

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