Inside Out, the newest film from Pixar, opens today nationwide. We attended a preview, and I am so excited I can finally tell you all about it!
As the story begins, we meet Joy, voiced by Amy Poehler. Joy is an emotion belonging to newborn baby Riley. As Riley, voiced by Kaitlyn Dias, grows and has various experiences, she develops new emotions: There’s Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hader), and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions help Riley figure out her world, keep her safe, and most importantly they help sort her memories.
When Riley’s parents announce a big change, her world–and her emotions–get thrown into upheaval. The emotions, especially Joy who’s been at the helm throughout Riley’s childhood, try to get her through the hard parts by keeping her happy. But it becomes apparent that something is different about Riley’s emotions lately, and things aren’t going so smoothly anymore.
Told with the trademark wit and poignancy that Pixar does so well, Inside Out is a highly creative story that had me cracking up one minute and near tears the next. It does a perfect job of portraying the emotional changes that take place as kids grow up. Despite being so imaginative, it was very relatable and certainly reminded me of my own tween years! As a mom, it reminded me that my kids aren’t always in total control of their feelings.
Inside Out seems to be made especially with tweens in mind, rather than the usual, much younger audience. What makes it a really special film is that it isn’t afraid to show realistic childhood struggles without portraying the adults as “evil” or sterotypical. Having strong female characters earned bonus points with me, and I’d have expected nothing less from Poehler and Kaling.
I can honestly say this is my favorite Pixar film to date. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Not only is it hysterically funny and incredibly well-animated, but it’s an important reminder to all of us not to fear or avoid difficult emotions. That emotions–even the tricky ones–are what makes life rich, and when things get tough we need to express it and ask for support. And that putting on a “happy face” when it’s not genuine can do more harm than good.
While there were a few suspenseful moments, there was nothing particularly scary, although the “nightmare scene” contains some imagery that might be too much for the very youngest kids. The humor is classic Pixar–slapstick for the kids, double entendres for the grownups. There’s a small amount of implied profanity, but nothing that would make me cringe if my kids repeated it. It is truly an all-ages film that the whole family will love!
Inside Out opens June 19th in theaters everywhere. Rated PG.
We received complimentary passes to a preview of Inside Out. No other compensation was made, all text and opinions are my own and are honest. Images copyright Pixar 2015.