As luck would have it, The Wife, The Daughter and I attended the same Sunday afternoon showing of the new, animated Disney/Pixar film Inside Out at the Spectrum Theatre in Albany as our friend Jon with his kids.
Afterward, we went to eat supper, and Jon, who is a therapist, noted how well the movie did in capturing the various human feelings, as understood by the psychological community. This is because Pixar used consultants to infuse what scientists have learned about the mind, emotion, and memory and worked to get those childhood emotions just right.
Everything was going great for an 11-year-old girl named Riley (voiced by Kaitlyn Dias) until she has to leave her beloved Minnesota when her father (Kyle MacLachlan) gets a new job in San Francisco. Mom (Diane Lane) and Dad try to make the transition easier, but the emotions in Riley’s mind get off-kilter.
The emotion voice actors were fabulous: Amy Poehler (Joy), Phyllis Smith from the US version of The Office (Sadness), Bill Hader (Fear), Mindy Kaling (Disgust), and, appropriately, Lewis Black (Anger). Props too to Richard Kind as Bing Bong.
About halfway through, I heard some bored or perhaps scared three-year-old behind me who was ready to leave, but the kudos for this movie, and great box office to boot, are well deserved. In fact the Daughter has already seen it a second time, she liked it so much.
In that conversation with friend Jon, I hit upon a fundamental truth being expressed in the film, something even we nice adult people unfortunately tend to do a lot. The few critics who did not like the film totally missed the point of the journey, which came from a real, recognizable place, of dislocation.
This movie isn’t as bright and shiny as some other PIXAR films, which I realized only in retrospect. We saw the 2D version, so I can’t speak to what enhancements the 3D version might have brought.
The preview movie was Lava, about two singing volcanoes, which my daughter thought was “cheesy,” my wife thought it was too long at seven minutes, but I thought was cute, clever, and geologically informative.