Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Inside Out

This past Sunday evening I saw “Inside Out” with my two favorite red heads at the East Bethel theater.  I had heard so many favorable comments about the movie that I couldn’t wait to find the time to watch it.

I wasn’t disappointed.  Most of the story is set inside the brain of Riley, a 11 year old girl.   Five characters play five different emotions—joy, sadness, fear, disgust and anger.  The emotions live in a headquarters inside of Riley’s mind.  The characters control how Riley responds to situations.  They create core memories that reflect her personality.  These core memories power five islands that reflects a different aspect of her personality.  Riley’s memories are color-coded by one of the five emotions and then sent to  short-term or long-term memory or are forgotten in an abyss.

The movie was able to go very deep in explaining the brain in a way that was stunning and entertaining.  As I was watching I kept thinking that whoever came up with these ideas to explain the brain was brilliant.  

Oh—and the movie had a plot.  When Riley’s parents move the family from Minnesota to San Francisco Riley’s emotions fight each other to determine who will be in control.  As Riley introduces herself at her new school in San Francisco, sadness fights joy.  The two knock themselves out of headquarters leaving fear, anger, and disgust in charge. 

Riley is thrown into an emotional funk—some might call it depression or even teenage angst. 

Inside of Riley joy and sadness have to figure out how to get back to headquarters.  It seemed like taking the yellow brick road to Oz—lots of danger and scary parts to the journey.

Pixar is part of Disney, so it doesn’t take a person with a college degree to know if joy and sadness make it back to headquarters.  But on the journey joy discovered that she needed sadness.  Some of Riley’s most joyous memories started with sadness. 

Inside Out is a movie that appeals to all ages.  On the same day I had my mind blown away by the movie’s depiction of the brain, many children in the theater were laughing about the animation.

I could quibble about why joy, sadness, fear, anger and disgust were chosen for the five emotions.  We certainly experience more emotions than this.

The wider public has certainly embraced the movie.  According to Wikipedia as of this past Sunday the movie has grossed $266 million.  Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a rating of 98 percent based on hundreds of reviews.

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