By Hannah Mason, Assistant Editor
Pixar is no stranger to telling stories from unusual perspectives. Some of the animation studio’s best-loved and most successful movies have been not-so-unusual tales told from the point-of-view of unexpected characters—like a story of growing up told from the forgotten toys in the bottom of the toy box in the “Toy Story” movies, or the story of a celebrity athlete learning life’s not all about living in the fast lane, told from the perspective of a racecar in “Cars.”
This summer, Pixar did it again with its newest film, “Inside Out.”
“Inside Out” is the story of an eleven-year-old girl named Riley who moves with her parents from Minnesota to San Francisco… but it’s Riley’s story told through the lens of her five animated emotions—Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust—who live inside her brain.
The movie creates a whole, intricate world inside the brain, from Headquarters, where the emotions sit at the controls and watch the outside world through Riley’s eyes, to the maze of shelves known as Long-Term Memory, to Imagination Land. There’s also the production studio where actors and filmmakers create Riley’s dreams, islands which make up Riley’s personality, and a Train of Thought traveling through it all. The world-building and animation skills displayed here are impressive and expansive, to say the least.
As Riley deals with the inevitable effects of leaving her childhood home, such as leaving behind friends and her hockey team, having to start over in a new place, and struggling to fit in, her emotions are tasked with figuring out how she should feel about each new development and how she should react to it all. But in the midst of all of this, there’s conflict from within as the emotions Joy and Sadness disagree over how Riley should view her situation and the set of vital, personality-forming memories known as core memories.
Shortly into the film, Joy and Sadness get themselves trapped outside of Headquarters and stuck in Long-Term Memory. They have to find their way back before the remaining emotions ruin Riley’s life, while settling their differences and coming to terms with the complexity of emotions and memories that a girl faces while growing up.
Pixar succeeded in creating yet another imaginative world, heart-warming story, and memorable set of characters to enchant both kids and kids-at-heart. According to an article from Business Insider, “Inside Out,” for the most part, even got the psychology of memories and emotions right, with some creative license taken, of course.
Already a hit and a record-breaker at the box office, “Inside Out” is an impressive and captivating, must-see addition to the Pixar canon. Both entertaining and thought-provoking, this film once again showcases Pixar’s ability to tell a relatable story from a unique perspective.
“Inside Out” is now showing in theaters, including Marquee Cinemas at the Highlands.