Pixar have an outstanding history of making
me people burst into tears. Which is why prior to watching this movie, I made a solemn promise with myself that I am not going to cry no matter what. I should’ve known better because Lava – the opening short movie – alone was enough to got me cooing. Then Inside Out started and I guess it shouldn’t surprise me, how I ended up mulling over life with traitorous tears down my cheeks.
Riley (Kaitlyn Dias)’s life turned upside down when she and her family move from Minnesota to San Fransisco. Her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), and Disgust (Mindy Kaling) – tried their best to navigate through the change.
Unfortunately, their desperate attempts to keep Riley happy ended up with Joy and Sadness being sucked out of Headquarter, leaving Fear, Anger, and Disgust in charge.
I admit that I more than often look at movies with intricate storyline like they hung the moon. But there’s a certain pleasure from a simple story with strong message that resonate deeply, and that is what Pixar is about. It is easy to dismiss Inside Out as a child movie who focus on a little girl who made a big deal out of moving town, yet Riley’s uncertainty is something that we’ve all been through or at least could associate with. The circumstances might be different, but growing up, having to be strong against all odds, and being overwhelmed with changes? Her turmoil of emotions is something we’ve been acquainted with at the very least once. Basically, Inside Out is everything that I’ve expected from Pixar and it has easily become my favorite.
I wasn’t sold at first, because my skeptical self quickly found Joy too obnoxious and domineering. To the point that I think it’s simply wrong to forced yourself to be happy and positive all the time, because you need to give way and experience all other emotions to properly appreciate all the good in life. And her way of treating Sadness exasperated me, especially because she underestimate her capabilities and usefulness. Yet halfway through her journey, I begun to see that she just want the best for Riley, and she was wired to think it means Riley have to be bright and happy no matter what. Luckily, her journey back to Headquarter got her to appreciate the importance of yielding and getting in touch with those negative feelings she have tried so hard to shelved. She grow up, and I got the chance to grow and learn alongside her.
Because it never is easy, admitting the sadness, anger, hollowness, and even the bit of depression you’ve got hidden in the back of your closet. Dealing with them is an even harder matter. But Inside Out reminds me that if I haven’t actually got hurt and embraced the pain, I haven’t life my life to the fullest. It’s a journey that allow me to mature alongside Joy, acknowledging every facet of emotions that I’ve experienced in my everyday life. At the same time, it got me reminiscing the joyful abandon of childhood, the thrill of playing with imaginary friends in a world where everything is possible. It reminds me of the importance of dreaming and, most importantly, knowing when to come down back on earth. Because Bing Bong set a great example of knowing when to back down and made a needed sacrifice.
And I guess it’s a testament to not only how great the story is, but also how captivating their voice actors are. Amy Poehler managed to convey all the glee and positivism Joy consist of without sounding fake or far too annoying. Phyllis Smith is just adorable and made me want to cuddle her until she feels better. Richard Kind stole my heart as Bing Bong and suddenly I want him as my personal imaginary friend. Bill Hader is adorable in his constant state of fear while Lewis Black’s burst of anger put a smile on my face, even if he’s infuriating at time. But Mindy Kaling caught my attention as Disgust and I ended up cooing and almost worshiping her cool persona. Kaitlyn Dias’ Riley was also nice, even if she got a bit out-shined by the voices inside her head. But still, it’s a solid cast.
It’s brilliant, how Inside Out incorporated various facet of emotional and psychological problem into one: moving town. Through that, they showed Riley dealing with issues like anxiety, loneliness, jealousy, being abandoned, and losing faith in herself. It’s a nice picture of how the slightest bit of unprecedented change could ruin everything you’ve built and overwhelmed you to the point of losing your senses and ultimately yourself. And the packaging was easy to understand too, leaving more than enough space for personal reflection. Despite revolving around the emotions of a kid, the message could still resonate through all ages. In a way, it’s enlightening.
Directors: Pete Docter & Ronaldo Del Carmen. Writers: Pete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen, Meg LeFauve, & Josh Cooley. Released on: 19 August 2015 (Indonesia). Casts: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Kaitlyn Dias.