I have to admit that I missed Pixar’s Inside Out when it first came out in Theaters, because we’re not really a theatre-going kind of country these days on account of both ticket prices and the theatres themselves not being as accessible as they used to be. But I heard only good things about the CG animated film and have made it a point to avoid spoilers. So with Pixar’s 3D Blu-Ray release of Inside Out last November 3, it was finally my chance to see what all the fuss is about.
The story of Inside Out revolves around an 11 year old girl named Riley and the anthropomorphic representations of her core emotions: Joy, Anger, Sadness, Fear, and Disgust. Riley’s family moved from Minnesota to San Francisco and it proved to be a big change for the 11 year old – the sudden loss of connection with her friends, her hockey team, and familiar surroundings turned her life upside down. The movie shifts back and forth between what’s going on in Riley’s life and how the core memory characters both react and change according to the situation.
In a way, Inside Out treads a slightly similar ground as the last installment in the Toy Story franchise; a young person going through big life changes and things from the perspective of a group of zany characters representing his (or her) childhood. The difference is that Inside Out’s narrative is much tighter. Woody and the gang suffered through a crisis that’s merely a side effect of the changes in Andy’s life, while Joy and crew’s predicament is a direct result of whatever’s happening in Riley’s life. Basically, Toy Story is the story of the toys and Andy is just a big overarching plot device, whereas Inside Out is the story of Riley, her core emotions, and how things in one world affect the other.
The phrase “masterful storytelling” is thrown around so much these days that it has already turned into a marketing buzzword, but in Inside Out’s case, the phrase (or praise) can be used without the slightest hint of irony: Pixar took a very simple premise such as a kid moving into a new city, fleshed it out and turned it into a complex yarn full of animated characters, colorful fantasy worlds, and a heartbreaking plot twist, then presented the complex plot in a way that allows even kids to comprehend and enjoy the story.
On a final note, I have mentioned that I haven’t watched the movie in the theaters so I can’t comment on the original quality, but the 3D Blu-Ray shows just how good the visuals is. The core emotions are color coded, resulting in a bright and colorful film with top-notch animation. It’s also one of the few films that look real good when using a TV’s motion interpolation feature. If your TV has one, enable it and watch the characters come to life.