DVD Review: ‘Inside Out’ takes viewers on a rollercoaster of emotions

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Disney/Pixar

Joy Gentil, Staff Writer

The Pixar animation movie “Inside Out” could possibly be the most witty and informative childrens movie ever produced. This film, originally released in theaters on June 19, 2015, was directed by Pete Docter (“Monsters Inc.” and “Up”) and co-directed by Ronnie Del Carmen.

“Inside Out” starts from an unusually unique storyline: the protagonist is an 11-year-old girl named Riley (Kaitlyn Dias), whose narrative plays throughout the movie, with the film’s characters as her feelings.

When Riley is born, Joy, the emotion and the character (voiced by Amy Poehler), almost magically appears, pulling in the audience’s attention. In this film, Joy is portrayed as a dazzling and perky fairy who sees Riley’s perspective of the world on a screen inside her mind.

As Riley grows up, Joy is soon accompanied by other emotions in Riley’s life: Fear (Bill Hader), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Anger (Lewis Black), and Sadness (Phyllis Smith), each emotion being very tangible and identifiable for young viewers.

These five emotions oversee Riley’s life and, accordingly, produce responses with the use of buttons and technology that represent Riley’s brain. The plot of this film revolves around young Riley becoming depressed about her mom and dad’s decision to move them from Minnesota to San Francisco. This move means Riley is separated from her friends, and has to settle into a new life and a new city.

At this point in Riley’s life, Sadness is obviously a very prominent emotion, but throughout the movie, Joy continuously tries to cheer Riley up, and tries to keep Sadness busy with small tasks so that she does not make Riley focus on the hard parts of their move.

Riley’s memories are represented by the use of small color-coded balls that move from one part of her brain to another through a system inside her head. The color-coded balls are then classified as either long-term memories or as short-term memories, or tossed into a deep dark hole, vanishing forever.
The first scene where several emotions really come into play is when Riley attends her new school in San Francisco. Her mind lingers to a memory in Minnesota that represents Joy, but soon enough, she recalls that she won’t ever experience memories of living in Minnesota again, and Sadness takes over, causing Riley to cry right in front of her new classmates.

Joy and Sadness are the most dominant emotions in this film, which creates a strong sense of nostalgia that Riley experiences as she continues to have recollections of her old life in Minnesota.
Throughout the rest of the film, all of Riley’s emotion characters go through an adventurous ride to ensure that these memories that Riley loves so much, never get thrown into the dark abyss where memories vanish forever.

Written by Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley, “Inside Out” contains a relatable sense of humor that children, teenagers, and adults of any age will enjoy. What makes this movie a must see however, is not its humor. It’s the simple fact that the filmmakers have actually studied psychology and are able to teach essential life lessons to the viewers through the use of animated emoticons and an eleven-year-old girl.

Although this film seems to portray Joy as the real heroine, it comes to show how our memories can be triggered with joy, sadness, anger, fear, or disgust, depending on where we are in our lives and what part of the memory we focus on, which is a stupendous lesson for all viewers.

There is no doubt; you cannot miss this film, especially if you have a soft spot for children’s movies. Be prepared to feel nostalgic, to laugh unexpectedly, and to sympathize with Riley.

Our Grade: A
“Inside Out”
Rated: PG
Length: 102 minutes
Genre: Fantasy/Comedy/Drama
Directed by: Pete Docter & Ronnie Del Carmen
Starring: Kaitlyn Dias, Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black, Bill Hader