Inside Out is about a young girl Riley and her Emotions, Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust as they rule her brain and run her life. However, things change as she and her family move from Minnesota to San Francisco, California. After they move, something happens as Joy and Sadness are accidentally sucked out of the control room of Riley’s brain and have to find their way from long-term memory back to Riley’s consciousness as Fear, Disgust, and Anger do their best to keep control of Riley’s mind without her main emotion of happiness.
What I like about this movie is that Pixar is making something original again and isn’t just forcing out more sequels, which, aside from the Toy Story franchise (so far…), haven’t really been very good. This is a totally original story, however, that has a similar flow to the first Toy Story film. Much like that film, it’s a Hero’s Journey, though instead of being flung out into the world by crazy forces, it’s a group forced into the furthest reaches of Riley’s mind (by crazy forces).
The voice acting is very good in this movie. Especially from Amy Poehler (Joy), Phyllis Smith (Sadness) and Richard Kind (Riley’s childhood imaginary friend, Bing-Bong). Though it is good all around really, even the minor characters in minor scenes, such as Frank Oz and Dave Goelz arguing about whose hat is whose as they stand guard outside of Riley’s worst fears, capture the essence of the characters they possess to a nearly perfect degree.
The part I don’t like in this movie is the first half-hour. This is about how long any movie’s first act is supposed to be, and first acts are meant to be introductions to the characters and to the world, but this introduces us to everything with Voice-Over Narration while also showing us everything Joy is narrating. Now, the phrase “show don’t tell” isn’t entirely right. Show things when you can but tell things when you need to, however, do your very best to not show and tell at the same time, pick one and stick with it. Here, I think this movie could have cut all the V.O. Narration (along with maybe ten minutes out of the first act) and the movie would have been better for it.
Just a Rant: This section is a part I started in the beginning to explain why I thought movies I watched were on the list of 1001 Movies to Watch Before You Die, but I realized that there wasn’t much reason outside of the company that makes it wants to sell books. I mean, some movies deserve to be on said list, but a lot don’t. Also, things like Three Days of the Condor or American Psycho are surprisingly absent, while other things like Dangerous Liaisons or Black Narcissus are on there. The first two movies are wholly original and do things I haven’t seen anywhere else in quite the same way, the second two are things that some people might like, but they’re not prime examples of either what films were like at the time nor are they the best examples in what each film tries to accomplish in terms of genre or plot. You can argue these films are objectively good, and you might like them, but I would argue against you that just because some people thought a movie was good, doesn’t mean everyone should watch it. Unless these films are ones that are historically significant (they aren’t) I would not put them on a list of this nature. That’s why I switch to the “Why you should watch it before you die” prompt for those movies. Recently I realized that I should change my list items to be the “Why it’s on my list” because I can explain the reasoning behind it even if I can’t for the other list. Now, for my Random movies list I changed it to “Random Thoughts” as those movies aren’t always of a nature that I could really recommend them (sometimes just not always) and it is better just to reserve them for other thoughts I might have about the movie, or thoughts the movie made me think, you know, whatever. I don’t know what to do here though for something that’s just a normal movie that isn’t on one list and I wouldn’t put on mine. I’ll probably experiment with this in the future.
TL;DR: I don’t know what to put here for “normal” movies but I’ll try different things moving forward.
+7.5: Good Kids movie and a return to original content from Pixar
+1: Terrific Voice acting all around
-1: First act is a bit long and voice-over is unnecessary