I am huge fan of Disney Pixar movies. The animation is amazing. The story lines are (usually) complex. And without fail, the films almost always make me cry. I heard “Inside Out” was a tear jerker, so I came prepared with an ample supply of tissues in my purse. And, boy, did I need them!
If you have watched Disney Channel or listened to Radio Disney over the past few weeks, you likely know that “Inside Out,” the latest Disney Pixar movie released June 19, is about the emotions inside an 11-year-old girl named Riley. But, Riley is not the main character. Joy, voiced by the always witty Amy Poehler, takes the lead as the main emotion. She is with Riley from the very start — birth actually. Other emotions soon join Joy inside Riley’s mind (aka “control center”), including Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Fear (Bill Hader), and Anger (Lewis Black).
The emotions control all of Riley’s thoughts and actions. They watch her grow from a happy baby into a young girl who loves to play hockey with her friends on the frozen lakes of Minnesota and act goofy with her loving parents. Then, suddenly, Riley and her family moves from the midwest to San Francisco and life as Riley knows it changes forever.
This is when the chaos begins as Joy and Sadness find themselves trapped outside of the control center and inside other parts of Riley’s mind. Disgust, Fear, and Anger aren’t quite sure what to do, since Joy usually runs the show. The film follows Joy’s and Sadness’ struggles to get back to the control center, all the while Riley is living without these important emotions. They meet up with some interesting elements of Riley’s mind along the way, including a key character named Bing Bong, who was Riley’s one-time imaginary friend. Spoiler alert: In my opinion, Bing Bong steals one of the most poignant scenes of the movie. He loves Riley so much that he is willing to give his own life for her happiness. Cue the first strong sobs and grab the tissues!
Another spoiler alert: There is a powerful message of this movie, for children and adults alike. You cannot have joy without sadness. And while, hopefully, the joyful experiences and memories outnumber the sad ones, the two emotions go hand-in-hand. In fact, they end the movie hand-in-hand.
I LOVED “Inside Out.” I know I am biased, as I enjoy all things Disney, but this movie really touched me. More than any other Disney Pixar film I have seen. It has many touching moments that really hit home for me. Riley is 11. Hallie is 11. Riley’s family moved across country for her father’s job. We moved from Memphis to Nashville a few years ago for my job. Riley is taken away from everything she know and is familiar with… well you get the point.
“Inside Out” certainly has its hysterical moments, as well. And how could it not with Poehler, Hader, Black, and Kaling as the voices. I am a big Lewis Black fan, and his comedic personality really comes through as Anger. A few times during the movie I thought, “I’ve seen this routine on ‘The Daily Show.'” I am not as familiar with Phyllis Smith, but she is known for her role as Phyllis Vance on “The Office.” Her low energy Sadness played masterfully off of Poehler’s Joy.
I highly, highly recommend this movie for kids and adults of all ages. Its message touches everyone. Old and young alike. You will not be disappointed with “Inside Out.”
p.s. I am already thinking of how I can incorporate the “Inside Out” characters into a runDisney race. I can see myself running as Joy, and my sister running as Disgust (she loves Mindy Kaling) in the Enchanted 10K during the 2016 Princess Half Marathon Weekend. I will be searching for a blue wig this Halloween!