‘Inside Out’ is Psychologically Deep and Rich Beyond Words

Pixar and Disney have returned to do an animated big screen update of that 90’s Fox Comedy, Herman’s Head. Does anyone else remember Herman’s Head? Am I the only one who actually watched it?

I thought it was pretty good.

But you know what’s really good? Inside Out… it’s really good. It’s beyond good, it’s great. It’s great like the movies Pixar used to pump out every few years before Cars came along and messed everything up. Inside Out is psychologically deep, rich beyond words, beautifully animated, and an emotional romp that will have you laughing one minute and crying the next.

Inside Out takes place largely in the mind of a little girl named Riley Anderson where facets of her emotions: Joy, Anger, Sadness, Disgust and Fear help her through her daily life which has gotten a lot more complicated since she’s moved to San Francisco. But when her core memories (these little ball things) accidentally get lost (along with Joy and Sadness), her little life falls apart and Joy and Sadness, two polar opposites, must work together to put everything back on track.

Wow. For a movie I wasn’t too sure about, Inside Out really wrecked my expectations. This movie is deep, moving, and full of energy and vibrancy. What’s more, it’s so unlike anything else I’ve ever seen before. Sure, we’ve seen similar plots from movies like Osmosis Jones or from Herman’s Head (seriously, no one?) but it has never been pulled off this well or this intelligently.

The thing that I most respect about Inside Out is that it is one of those movies that works so well against all age groups. The bright colors and characters will appeal to kids while the adults, at least the moderately educated ones, will appreciate just how intelligent and true the story actually is.

It’s something that I’ve always loved about Pixar that it is not afraid to be smart and to try as hard as they can in crafting stories. Some studios feel the need to dumb the material down or not try that hard as it’s just for kids, but Pixar respects the audience’s intelligence and has come up with a unique story that only gets better with age as you pick up on things that you never understood before.

At its core, though, is a truth… precious and wonderful that not only makes this movie a human adventure, but could also seriously change the way people think about the way their own emotions work. In a society that seems to treat mild depression as a mark of shame, it’s a refreshing and honest take.

I loved this movie. Loved, loved, loved this movie. It’s seriously one of Pixar’s best and, given the studio’s output (again, not counting Cars or Cars 2), that is probably some of the highest praise I can offer.

Seriously? No one?

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