I had the opportunity to attend an advanced screening of Inside Out last night where the director and producer took us on a virtual tour of the Pixar studios (yes, Finding Dory and Toy Story 4 are actually happening). My strong desire to visit Pixar in Emeryville, CA only deepened.
The short film before the movie, Lava, was kind of weird, but also really breathtaking both visually and audibly. I won’t give anything away other than you’ll be saving your money to go to Hawaii ASAP.
And now let’s talk about Inside Out, Pixar’s first original movie since Brave. There are no spoilers.
Being quite possibly the biggest Pixar nut on the planet I have been dying to see this movie for a long time. And let me just say, like Jurassic World, the wait was worth it. But unlike Jurassic World, the payoff was much, much deeper – and emotional.
Go ahead and search the web for any bad review about Inside Out. As of the writing of this post, you won’t find one, and you certainly won’t find it here.
Let me just first start off by saying that if you’re a parent of little ones, this movie is going to absolutely wreck you, as it did me. I saw my 18 month old in Riley growing up – they actually look similar. And the hardest part about the movie was realizing that, like Joy, I won’t be able to keep my little girl happy all the time, and that realization tore me up.
Much deeper still, echoing the themes of Toy Story 2, I also was reminded that I can’t stop my kids from growing up.
Though the main characters look silly and cartoony, there are very few jokes in the movie – however, they’re very well placed and sharply hilarious. The movie is filled with clowns and hockey and unicorns and rainbows and characters made out of cotton candy – yet it’s one of the darkest movies out of the Pixar canon, save for maybe Toy Story 3.
The movie is faceted with so many layers that it not only makes me reflect as a father but causes me to look inside myself and I wonder, with deep sadness, when did my childhood end? What memories have I forgotten? And whatever happened to my imaginary friend (he was a mouse in overall suspenders named Chucky)?
Inside Out isn’t primarily about growing up, per se. It goes a step beyond that. It’s about the death of childhood. And it hits hard. Yeah, it’s Toy Story-sad and comes very close to being as sad as Up, and on some days, if you watch it at the right time, it can be sadder, I’m sure.
I don’t use the word masterpiece flippantly or ever, really. But Inside Out is just that. And I can tell without a doubt it’s going to be one of those movies that gets better with age.
Oh, and you know how Woody is my favorite Pixar character of all time? Well, he’s got a contender, and her name is Joy.
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