I don’t recall ever seeing my 11-year-old daughter cry at the end of a movie, but we both had tears streaming down our faces during the climactic scene of the new Disney Pixar movie “Inside Out.” They were happy tears, of course, kind of like at the end of “Homeward Bound.”
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As a baby, Riley Anderson first feels Joy, but Joy is soon joined by Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Fear. Joy (voiced by Amy Poehler) tries to put a positive spin on everything and, with good intentions, does her best to control Riley’s other emotions. She finds Sadness (Phillis Smith) particularly troublesome, since Sadness keeps tainting Riley’s important “core memories,” making them sad, rather than happy.
Joy seems to dominate Riley’s life until her family moves from Minnesota to San Francisco. They leave behind Riley’s best friend, her hockey team and a nice house with a big yard – a place where Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) has made many happy memories with her loving parents (Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan).
In San Francisco, Riley feels lonely and confused, spending nights in a sleeping bag on the floor of her strange new bedroom since the moving truck keeps running into delay after delay. She sees her dad stressing about his job and feels overwhelmed by all of the sudden changes in her life.
Amid the turmoil, Joy and Sadness become lost inside Riley’s head, leaving only Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hader) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling) to man the controls. Without Joy or Sadness, Riley becomes a dull, confused and depressed girl, causing Anger to grab the reins and take drastic action that sets Riley on a dangerous path.
Meanwhile, Joy and Sadness desperately try to get back to Riley’s control room to make things right. Along the way, they come across Riley’s imaginary friend, Bing Bong (Richard Kind), from her three-year-old days. Seeing the good in most every situation, Joy brings Bing Bong along, and he ends up helping her in unexpected ways.
Can Joy and Sadness ever get back to Headquarters, and will they be able to keep Riley from making a terrible mistake?
Can they ever help Riley rebuild the happy places in her mind and get her life back on track? And will it be Joy or Sadness who ends up saving the day?
“Inside Out” explores complex emotions from the perspective of an 11-year-old in an exquisitely moving and thought-provoking way. It accomplishes this feat without ever losing its wit and charm.
***Buy the Inside Out (Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack + Digital Copy) now!***
“Inside Out” creatively shows us how all of our emotions have value and can work together successfully (as they do inside the grown-up minds of Mom and Dad). Disney doesn’t need princesses, queens or super heroes to make an exciting and enchanting film.
We didn’t enjoy the short film rolled before the movie, “Lava,” nearly as much as we did the Oscar-winning “Feast,” which played alongside “Big Hero 6.”
We attended an advance screening of “Inside Out” courtesy of N&O Zone Rewards. “Inside Out” begins its U.S. theatrical release on Friday, June 19, 2015. View the “Inside Out” trailer here.
“Inside Out” Parental Information: “Inside Out” is rated PG. There’s very little I’d consider scary or upsetting, but the thematic elements would probably be lost on most younger kids. While “Inside Out” is every bit as entertaining and well done as “Big Hero 6” and “Frozen,” I don’t expect it to create a huge merchandising phenomenon among the preschool set like “Frozen” did.
What are your favorite Disney movies?
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