It follows the five emotions inside eleven-year-old Riley's mind as she moves across the country. Joy has always run the show, but when Sadness starts turning happy memories sad, Joy and Sadness wind up getting lost in the depths of Riley's mind. Meanwhile Disgust, Anger and Fear are left running the show, causing all sorts of problems back in the real world for Riley. Joy and Sadness have to save Riley's Core Memories and get back to to headquarters before Riley winds up in serious trouble.
OH MY GOD! THE FEELS!
Seriously. It's just a beautiful, wonderful film. And it just made me feel all the feelings!
To be honest, when I first heard about Inside Out I thought about it in the same way as I thought about WALL-E; interesting concept, I'll pick it up when it comes out. This should have been my first clue that I was making a mistake. The more I read about it though, the more I wanted to see it. I mean, it's such a bizarre and clever concept that I wanted to see it to see how they made it work.
Then my Mum went to see it and told me how amazing it was and so I knew I had to see it.
We had been keeping half an eye out for it at the local cinema when I heard it was on a matinee. So we made a quick decision one Saturday to go see it. I think I was more excited than the children in the cinema. Mr Click and I were the only adults there who hadn't brought at least one small person to see the film.
In short, it gave my Joy and Sadness a work out. The main character, Joy, is responsible for helping to keep Riley happy and Riley is a very happy kid. Unfortunately Joy doesn't seem to realise that it's not enough for a person to be happy all the time, the other emotions are there for a reason and everyone needs a turn to help Riley become well rounded emotionally. Through the film Joy learns that there's actually a place for all of them.
Riley is basically just starting to enter puberty so it's a storyline that pretty much everyone can relate to. In Riley's case the move prompts a change in her personality as she struggles to come to terms with her new surroundings. Everyone's had moments in their lives when they feel conflicted or have unexpected emotional reactions. I challenge anyone who has seen it to not start thinking about the five emotions running riot inside their mind in the following days.
The way that emotions in the Inside Out world seems to work is that one is ultimately the 'lead emotion', so I've been thinking of all the people I know and wondering what their lead emotions are or what emotions might be in charge at any one moment; like when we left Tara at home to go to the cinema her Fear and Sadness were in charge, but when we came back it was her Joy all the way!
It's really clever how they conceived the world inside the mind as well. I especially like the way the memories are stored and Imagination Land. I couldn't help but be reminded of The Sims in the way that the core memories shape the different 'personality islands' but again, it's very clever. I suspect that I must have a 'Bookworm Island' which probably has a connecting bridge to 'Tolkien Island'.
As with all Disney Pixar films, part of the fun of watching it is looking out for the little hidden references to other things. It's one of my favourite things to do on rewatches because even after seeing it three or four times you can still find more. I spotted the birds from a Pixar short right at the beginning, Nemo on a board game, the Luxor ball, and a dinosaur (which I think is a reference to the next Disney Pixar film which is due out later this year).
It's definitely one I'm going to want to see again and again and again. I'm hoping it might be out on blu-ray in time for Christmas. I think it's a film that children and adults can enjoy on different levels and perhaps it'll help some people to talk about their feelings when they don't necessarily have the words to explain how they feel.
Go on, watch it. Give your Joy and Sadness a work out too.