Since the beginning, I've been a huge fan of Pixar movies, starting with Toy Story and its three sequels (although funnily enough, I saw Toy Story 2 first, then Toy Story 1 and finally Toy Story 3). Their cute 3D animation style and heartwarming stories always keep me eagerly waiting for the next production, and so I'm always keeping close watch for whatever they'll delight me and my family with next. So when I heard that Pixar was coming up with "Inside Out", it surprised me greatly, because this wasn't like anything Pixar had done before.
Riley Henderson is a hockey-crazy 11-year-old girl who one day moves from her childhood Minnesota home to far-off San Francisco, California to start a new life. Her emotions - Anger, Sadness, Disgust, Joy and Fear - try as hard as they can to keep her in order while she deals with the uncertainties that growing up and moving to a new home throws into her path. But one day, the worst happens as Joy and Sadness are accidentally sucked out of Headquarters into the Long-Term Memory bank. With only Anger, Disgust and Fear at the helms, the once-cheerful Riley becomes moody, irritable and lonely, even fighting with her parents and having no friends at her new school to talk to and play with. Joy and Sadness must embark on the long journey back up to Headquarters, along with an unexpected partner in Riley's childhood imaginary friend Bing-Bong, to help get Riley back to her former happy self while also realizing that life isn't always as full of joy as we want it to.
As with any Pixar film, Inside Out manages to pack both some funny moments - the "Triple-Dent Gum" advertisement that keeps playing and annoying people, for example - and some sad moments, where a certain somebody "fades away" into the oblivion of the Memory Dump. (You've been warned, the tears will come up...) The emotions are cute and colourful, with Joy radiating an ever-bright sunshiny glow.
Since seeing Inside Out, I've been using it as a framework to explain my own emotions using just those five characters from the film. I always like to imagine I have my own "control centre", "Headquarters", memory banks and orbs and "Personality Islands" just like Riley and everybody else does!
There should be a sequel that focuses on how Riley's emotions deal with her hitting her teens and the extreme ups-and-downs that come with adolescence, because the ending left a huge hook for this. Get on to it, Pixar - you know you can do this!
As Joy would say: "I love it!!"
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