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Movie Review: ‘Inside Out’ not Disney•Pixar’s best film, but worth seeing

by Matt Roseboom

Inside Out joy and sadness

By Matt Roseboom

“Inside Out” is the newest movie from Disney•Pixar. It’s definitely not one of their best, but it’s certainly enjoyable and worth seeing.

The movie is about Riley (Kaitlyn Dias), an 11-year-old who unwillingly has to move to another state because of her dad’s new job. But Riley isn’t really the main character. The emotions in her head are the real stars.

image001According to Inside Out, each of us are controlled by our emotions: Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith), and the movie portrays them as actual characters inside the movie characters’ heads. These personified emotions control the day-to-day actions inside their headquarters. But that’s just one small part of our huge brains. There’s a lot more to explore out in the long term memory area. Each memory rolls through headquarters as a glowing ball. Some are filed away in long term and a few become core memories that power personality islands that, of course, make up your personality. If all that sounds a bit complicated, it is. But you don’t really need to fully understand it to enjoy the movie.

For Riley, Joy has always been the lead emotion, but things start to change when Riley moves away from her friends and old home to a new one. Sadness starts to become more dominate. Through a mishap, Joy and Sadness get sucked out of Headquarters and into Long Term Memory. The majority of the movie is about their journey to find a way back, the characters they meet along the way, and how it affects Riley in her new life.

Although it may go over young kids’ heads, older kids and adults will notice how the film touches on some serious topics such as depression. It may lead to some grown-up discussions after the movie is over.

There are some very funny moments and some sad scenes in this fun journey of a little girl dealing with some serious issues, from inside her head. It wasn’t one of Pixar’s best movies, but it’s enjoyable and worth seeing.

• “Inside Out” runs about an hour and a half long and is rated PG for some adult issues and mildly scary scenes. It’s available in 3D, but it doesn’t really add a lot to it. There’s no after-credits scene, but there are some funny moments at the start of the credits.

Lava
Before you see “Inside Out”, you’ll see a new Pixar short called “Lava”. It’s a cute love story with a catchy tune about two volcanos’ life near each other. Like the feature, “Lava” is good but not great.

In The Parks
“Inside Out” doesn’t have a big presence in the Disney theme parks yet. Besides merchandise, and seeing a preview of the movie at the Magic Eye theater at Epcot (with effects), there’s a production art gallery in the Art of Animation at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (below).

We’ve seen walk-around characters of Joy and Sadness at a Disney Parks Blog Meet-up and at the movie’s Hollywood premier (below). But there are no plans for them at Walt Disney World right now.

Here’s a look in the Animation Gallery:

Disney Pixar's Inside Out movie Production Gallery at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Here are the Joy and Sadness characters at the Hollywood Premier:

Inside Out Joy and Sadness characters at Hollywood Red Carpet Premier

Here’s our interview with Phyllis Smith, who plays Sadness:

Phyllis Smith Interview about playing Sadness in Disney Pixar's Inside Out

Here’s the latest movie trailer:

Inside Out - Official US Trailer 2

Here are some Easter Eggs to look for when you see the film:

PICTURE THIS – The background memories on shelves inside or outside of Headquarters are shots from the Married Life scene in “Up.”

ROAD TRIP – As Riley and her parents trek to San Francisco, they come across birds on a telephone wire from production designer Ralph Eggleston’s 2000 short film “For the Birds.”

GLOBAL DÉCOR – The globe in the Riley’s classroom has been used in all the “Toy Story” films.

FAMILIAR FASHION – One of Riley’s classmates is wearing a camo pattern made up of “Toy Story” characters.

STUCK ON YOU – Some of the background city cars of San Francisco have bumper stickers from “Cars.”

TECH SAVVY – Dad’s company, Brang, is a nonsense word intended to sound like a startup that would fit in in the San Francisco tech scene.

SIGN HERE – A sign on a parking meter in San Francisco reads, “Quarters and Dollar Coins or Barter During Burning Man.”

IT’S ALL ABOUT LOCATION – As a tribute to the Walt Disney Family Museum, the filmmakers set Riley’s hockey rink in the exact spot the museum is located in San Francisco.   

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