Original 'Inside Out' hits all the emotional buttons
Inside Out hits all of the right emotional buttons. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll feel good about yourself. The story about 11-year old Riley and the emotions that rule her head is being hailed as a masterpiece, but that probably has more to say about the lack of new material in Hollywood than it does about the film itself. While dinosaurs in a recycled storyline are devouring the box office, well-meaning critics are hoping beyond hope that a high concept film of competent story-telling can have the same or better impact as WALL-E, a film that resonated with audiences far more than could have been expected given its lack of words.
While Inside Out is good as far as it goes, it is missing that one undefinable thing that makes many Pixar movies so good. It is the same thing that made Cars so lackluster in spite of its box office success. It might be that the emotions are too one dimensional. Fear is fearful, anger is angry, disgust is disgusted (but not disgusting) – only sadness and joy get any treatment beyond being who they are. This makes the most compelling character in the film, not the main one – Riley – but rather Riley’s imaginary friend who is everything that an imaginary friend should be, including cotton candy and elephant.
Inside Out is a great example of Pixar doing what they do best and still leaving something on the table. There is a feeling that the creative minds at Pixar didn’t want to challenge the status quo too much, especially since they use stereotypes throughout the film as shorthand. It is an easy, cheap and humorous way of getting the point across – the dad is clueless, the mom is overly sensitive, the teacher just wants to get to summer…
In spite of this, Inside Out is a nice exploration of the need for all emotions. The vignettes just at the end of the film, really are priceless. CATS! And there is hint at a sequel as long as it doesn’t get lost in Jurassic World over the weekend.
Short Film ‘Lava’
The short “Lava” accompanies the film and delivers no surprises. It is beautifully drawn and tells a love tale that would have ended better just one stanza earlier, at least for those who are jaded. For the rest of the movie going audience, it delivers what America expects and what every other short coming out of the Disney Studio conglomerate has delivered for the past several films. It really should have had a button labeled “Stop me if you’ve seen this before.”
Read about 'Inside Out' and stereotypes
Hear Romney's Review of Inside Out on Movie Pilot