Movie Review: Inside Out

Warning: This review contains mild spoilers!

I’ve always loved animated movies. Even now as a college student, I still get just as excited about animated movies as I did when I was younger. I believe that there’s no age limit for animated movies. I’ve heard before that adults are too old to go see animated movies and that they’re only geared towards children. I don’t think this is true. While animated movies definitely have characters and themes that are meant to be enjoyed by children, these movies often contain other themes that can only be understood by adults. Tangled represents an abusive mother-daughter relationship, Frozen represents a teenager dealing with depression and Inside Out also contained its own themes meant for an older audience.

The first trailer I saw for Inside Out seemed to be geared toward older audiences, as it contained clips from older Disney Pixar movies like Cars, Ratatouille and Finding Nemo. It left me feeling extremely nostalgic and I wanted to see the movie from that moment on.

Inside Out was all I expected it would be and more. I expected it to have some sort of moral at the end, but I didn’t expect it to get as deep as it did. The movie follows an 11-year-old girl named Riley Anderson who moves with her parents from Minnesota to California. A lot of Riley’s experiences are projected through the five emotions inside her head and how they operate to make sure Riley is safe and happy.

However, when Joy and Sadness, along with Riley’s core memories which make up a large part of her personality, get sucked into long term memory and are no longer there to help her, things start to go terribly wrong. The other emotions, Fear, Anger, and Disgust, try to act like Joy but their responses only come out as rude and sarcastic. Throughout the entire movie, everyone is focused on Joy’s absence since they’re convinced that Joy is the emotion that is vital to Riley’s well-being.

Towards the end, however, when Sadness tells a sad story about a hockey game that Joy remembers as a happy memory, she realizes that some memories can contain more than one emotion. Up until this moment, all the core memories were only happy and all of Riley’s memories were broken up into the five categories that each emotion represents. Joy realizes that if Riley wasn’t sad the day of the hockey game, then she never would have been able to turn that into a happy memory. She was sad about losing the game, which allowed her parents to go and comfort her. A memory that Joy remembers as a happy one, only became that way because it started out sad.

At the end, the emotions realize that there can be happiness if they all mix together. During the entire movie, they tried to push away Sadness, but at the end she was the one who saved Riley from becoming completely devoid of emotion and running away from home. Sometimes being sad is the only way to get over something.

Children’s movies usually show sadness as something that is negative and only happens when something bad happens. However, Inside Out shows that being sad is okay and perfectly healthy. I thought this was a really good moral to impart on viewers both young and old alike. This movie was funny, sad, dramatic and relatable all wrapped up into one. It was a unique idea unlike anything I’ve ever seen done before and I really enjoyed it. Go see Inside Out, it’s a good example that you’re never too old for an animated movie.

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