Welcome to the Rotoscopers Roundtable, a new weekly feature in which the Rotoscopers crew takes one question and gives their answers to it. If you have a question you’d like us to answer, ask in the comments below!
**You’ll find spoilers in this article. Proceed at your own risk!**
This week’s question: What did you think of Inside Out?
‘Inside Out’ is beautiful. It’s hilarious and heartbreaking. It’s inventive and wonderful. It is human.
That’s ultimately what makes Pixar so great. Their movies can star toys, bugs, fish or emotions but all of their movies feel very human. ‘Inside Out’ is the perfect example. Here you have a movie that tells kids and parents, friends and partners all about the importance of sadness. How beautiful is that? People are scared of sadness, they don’t want to feel it. And yet it’s an essential part of humans. It shapes and molds us. So it’s just an incredibly beautiful and important message to have in a mainstream movie.
I haven’t even talked about how original and fun everything is. I don’t need to. The movie could be fun and crazy and memorable based on its concept. But what makes it special is its beautiful theme about accepting and embracing sadness. It’s teaching us how to be better humans. I really do love Pixar.
I went to see ‘Inside Out’ the night it was released, albeit rather skeptically. I hadn’t been particularly impressed with Pixar’s last few films, and when I first started seeing trailers for ‘Inside Out’ I wasn’t very excited at its premise.
Holy heck. I was blown away. It’s been some time since a movie inspired so many feelings in me. It came at a critical point–the night I saw ‘Inside Out’ was also the night before I left home for college. Let’s just say there were many tears.
‘Inside Out’ presents a very simple way of understanding the very complex emotions that drive our actions. It made me stop and think about which of my emotions most frequently take the wheel. It was gorgeous, timeless, and has restored my faith in Pixar.
While I don’t necessarily think ‘Inside Out’ is my favorite movie released by Pixar, I really, really like it! It is creative, original, and clever. I love that ‘Inside Out’ is an original story and not a remake, sequel, or prequel. Before I saw ‘Inside Out,’ I was starting to forget what it’s like to see a film without already being overly familiar with the characters or plot.
The characters in ‘Inside Out’ are excellent. Riley is relatable, Joy is endearing, and Fear, Anger, and Disgust have some really funny moments. Sadness was the character I least expected to take center stage, but she ended up being the character I cared about the most.
In my mind (and this could just be my emotions talking), there are two things that make ‘Inside Out’ a success: its message and its ending. The movie’s message – that one should accept sadness as an essential part of life – is beautiful. And the end of the movie really got me. I feel like the end of ‘Inside Out’ is truly Pixar at its best. When Riley started to cry, I started to cry. And, of course, the wonderful end credit scenes made me cry some more (but that was just because I was laughing so hard)!
‘Inside Out’ is genius. That’s what I tell everyone who wonders about the movie. ‘Inside Out’ is pure genius from beginning to end. I’m not going to try to recap the whole thing here, there are plenty of other places on the web for that, instead, I’m going to tell you my favorite parts of this movie, and why I liked them.
My favorite thing about this movie was the characters, and how well they represent different aspects of ourselves. Did anyone else start psychoanalyzing themselves after seeing this movie? I know I did. After the movie, I started thinking of my actions in terms of who I had given control to at that moment, and who I related to most of all. My answer is almost always, Joy. She is the embodiment of everything I try to be, for better or for worse.
I don’t know if I’ll get hate for this or not, but I loved the “death” of Bing Bong. Not because he was annoying, though I do understand why that criticism has been leveled at him, (I don’t agree) but because he is a perfect example of the best way to kill off a character. Too often people want to kill off a character for shock value, and a lot of times, that’s their only reason. I think if you’re going to kill someone off, there needs to be a solid reason for the death. It needs to serve an important purpose to the plot, and it needs to be an emotional gut punch in the best possible way. Bing Bong’s sacrifice was everything I look for in an on-screen death. Joy would not have ever made it back to headquarters if he had not lightened the load by jumping out of the wagon, so his death literally saved her life, and by extension, saved Riley’s life. Plus, by that time, (almost) everyone loved him, so to see him fade into oblivion was an emotional gut-punch, in the best possible way. It was heartbreaking, and I loved it. Is there something wrong with me?
I also loved the humor in this movie, and aside from the detailed world that the writers have created, the humor is the other main reason that I call this film genius. While the stereotypical portrayals of the parents brains during the big dinner scene was very funny, it was easy, and the use of that scene in the trailers does not even begin to prepare you for just how smart this film is. Hands down my favorite joke in the movie, is the scene on the train when the crates of “Facts” and “Opinions” are spilled and mixed up. Bing Bong tells them not to worry about it, it happens all the time. It was genius, and I’m still laughing at it two days later.
I loved how different this movie, and its message, were from just about anything else being put out these days. So many movies have the same messages, on standing up for what you believe in, or being yourself. Don’t get me wrong, those are great messages, and important ones, but they are easy, and you usually know them going into the film. ‘Inside Out’s message, on the importance of sadness, is in stark contrast to pretty much every other “kids” movie I’ve ever seen, and it doesn’t become clear until the end, and when it becomes clear, it becomes crystal clear. It was so refreshing to see a movie with a new message, and one that makes you think so much, long after you’ve left the theater.
I might catch some flak for this, but here goes:
I like ‘Inside Out.’ I really do. However, I didn’t LOVE it, the way everybody else I know seems to. There are a lot of things that ‘Inside Out’ does well, and I respect the film for that. However, in my mind, it doesn’t quite achieve the majesty of ‘Toy Story 3’ or ‘Ratatouille’ (both five-star films in my book).
The main reason I can’t rate ‘Inside Out’ above four stars is this: it was really hard for me to make an emotional connection with the movie. I could intellectually understand why Riley was struggling with her family’s move to San Francisco, but I guess it’s too far outside my own emotional intelligence to really connect with Riley on that specific subject. (I actually LIKE moving; I think it’s an adventure!) On that same token, I found it hard to relate to any of Riley’s emotions. I guess that’s because it’s hard for me to relate with a character who primarily feels only one emotion. Actually, the character I related with most was Riley’s dad. If the movie had been told from his point of view, I think I would have liked it more. I guess we already have that movie, though, with ‘Finding Nemo’!
That being said, I have to say that I absolutely LOVED the scene where Joy revisits Riley’s hockey game memory. The moment where Joy realizes the vital role that Sadness plays in Riley’s life was a really touching one for me. From that moment on, I was totally involved in the movie. I just wish that scene had come sooner!
There were a few other things I loved, too. I thought the voice acting was top-notch, particularly Amy Poehler as Joy. I thought the moment where Anger, Fear and Disgust realize that they’ve been steering Riley wrong was really well-done. I thought the scene where Joy & Sadness disrupt Riley’s dream was hilarious. There are a lot of things I liked.
However, ‘Inside Out’ doesn’t quite rise above the four-star level for me.
I love ‘Inside Out’ and I can’t wait to watch it again. It’s moving, dazzling and startling, all at the same time. The themes of growing up truly resonated with me, and this film has some images I’ll never be able to forget. For example, the shattering and destruction of Riley’s personality islands. What a brilliant portrayal of the literal shattering of childhood!
And then there’s the scene where Joy is sitting amidst the forgotten memories, many of these memories being her own work. I can’t get over the fact that the very embodiment of Joy could feel sad, broken and helpless.
Finally, the realization of the fact that we all need sadness in our lives in order to feel true joy is a poignant message that the world needs to remember through tough times. Indeed, sadness and joy go hand in hand.
‘Inside Out’ didn’t reach the heights of Pixar’s absolute best for me (it didn’t even make me cry). I did feel like there was something missing, maybe it was the fast pace or that I couldn’t feel for the characters very strongly. But it definitely ranks among the best animated films of all time. Its the perfect celebration of the power and possibilities of imagination.
‘Inside Out’ was a great film. Personally, something about it fell short of ‘Inside Out’ being a phenomenal film. The animation was beautiful, and the sheer genius of the idea was amazing, however, when I left the film I just felt like it was missing something. Perhaps I had set my expectations too high. I had walked into the theater fully expecting this to blow me away (was this finally going to be the movie that would make me cry?) And then I left, feeling mildly disappointed.
This was by no means a bad film. In many ways, it resonated greatly with all the emotions I had felt on the cusp of being a teenager. However, I would have liked to have seen more of all of the characters. I had listened to a news story about why Pixar chose the emotions that they had, but in the end, I felt like I hadn’t seen any of them enough to be fully attached (and this includes Joy, the most dominant of all of the characters.) Much of the movie felt like exposition, setting up this truly innovative world, but without ever really getting into the story.
I may seem overly negative but, in the end, I am just nitpicking. This was a great movie. The voice actors were all on point (Mindy Kaling and Amy Poehler in a movie together? Dream come true!) and Pixar did what Pixar does best, and incorporated so many minute and brilliant details to make the world feel whole and fully fleshed out, with a wonderful message about growing up. In the end, I will still see this movie again (just maybe not pay for another $12 movie ticket.) Pixar has definitely created another great film. 4/5 stars.
What about you? What did you think of ‘Inside Out’? What questions would you like us to answer in future Roundtables?
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes