Tom Basham

Inside Out

In This Just OUT on June 20, 2015 at 1:24 pm

inside-out-poster-2I just saw “Inside Out” and it turned me… into a kid again. A happy kid, so see if you can catch my choo-choo train of thought.

Riley (Kaitlyn Dias from “The Shifting”) is 11 years old and has led a great life in Minneapolis. When her parents move to San Francisco, she has to leave her friends and cope with a new house, school and city. Fortunately, Riley’s command center of five emotions is usually run by Joy (Amy Poehler from “They Came Together“), who keeps her smiling and able to deal with just about anything. Still, this move has the other emotions on alert, and Sadness (Phyllis Smith from “Bad Teacher“) is acting very strange. Nobody likes Sadness, as she always brings everyone down, and this just makes Sadness, well, sad.

When Joy and Sadness are mistakenly thrown out of the command center, Riley has only Fear (Bill Hader from “The Skeleton Twins“), Anger (Lewis Black from “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles“) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling from “This Is the End“) to rely upon. This is much easier to follow in the movie, unless Disgust is at your controls. The movie does such a clever job of showing what makes a child stable. How a personality is formed and the pillars that hold a person together are explained so well we all can see the blueprint of ourselves.

This overall concept has been done before, but never like this. To show what is going on in a child’s mind is a clinical and cinematic feat for a feature film. Kids will enjoy the comical calamity of Joy being lost and Sadness feeling like she doesn’t belong. Adults will know what the loss of Joy in our life means, and when we express ourselves with Anger, Disgust and Fear instead of Sadness. We are all like Riley, going through life with this mix of emotions who don’t always play well together.

Writer/Director Pete Docter (“Up”) pulled at our heartstrings with balloons in the past, and I was worried the concept of a depressed child would be too harsh for the animated screen. After seeing it in a theater packed with a lot of laughing little rug rats, I can see the magic in his medicine. For a medium like this to provide a means of communication between kids and their parents is a marvel – and a marvelous thing. For that reason I must give this movie 4 ½ stars out of 5. And by the way, it is laugh out loud hilarious.

Tom Basham is an indie filmmaker. Here is a link to his movie review site:
 https://bashmovies.wordpress.com

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