BY Molly Congdon
Many Disney movies fall in the classic category; no matter how old you are, somehow they are still enjoyable.
When we are little we get to experience “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin,” and “The Fox and the Hound” for the first time through innocent eyes. We see the movie in the broad sense, never failing to notice the colors, the addictive musical numbers and the basic plot. This is phase one of falling in love with this distinctive form of animation.
The next phase comes much later in life — a time when you think that Disney can no longer cast its magical power over you, like pixie dust sprinkled by Tinkerbell. Here lies the true genius of Disney — and Pixar as well. As adults, we are able to take pleasure in these films in a dissimilar way than when we sat too close to the screen in braids, pigtails and bowl hair-dos.
You may think that you’re going to watch “Inside Out,” the latest creation of Pixar and Disney, for the benefit of your child, little cousin or younger sibling, but it won’t be long before you realize that you may actually be enjoying the movie more than the tiny human seated next to you.
“Inside Out” focuses on one girl — 11-year-old Riley, who resides in Minnesota with her parents. She lives a pretty normal life full of friendship, sports, fun and — of course — a bit of imagination. The very essence of her being has been created by a specific set of Core Memories; these are recollections that are more significant than the average memories. They are special.
There are five emotions that are in the control room of Riley in a sense, guiding her through life. Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phillis Smith), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Fear (Bill Hader) are the central characters to this tale. They exist within her body but she doesn’t know they exist — only the viewer can see them in their psychedelic control room. Also, it must be said, that these actors who were selected to do the voices couldn’t have been a better cast. Well done, Disney, well done!
Everything is working like clockwork; that is, until Riley’s family moves to San Francisco. She finds herself at a new school — an intimidating prospect at any age. Fortunately Joy is by her side, and when Riley is asked to introduce herself in front of a classroom of staring strangers, Joy conjures up a pleasant memory for her to discuss with the group.
This is when it all goes terribly wrong. Sadness reaches out and touches the memory, transforming it from happy to sad. The result is disastrous: Riley cries in front of her classmates. Joy — who let’s just say it, is a bit of a type A personality — tries, in vain, to stop the new sad Core Memory from jiving with the happy ones, but she ends up spilling all of the stored memories on the floor. In attempts to gather them back up, Joy and Sadness get sucked into the tube heading toward long-term storage of memories.
The emotional tug of war is interesting to watch, and the message this movie sends is poetic and beautiful. We all travel on different paths as we grow and mature through our various stages of life, but the one thing that we all have in common is that we are shaped and molded by certain moments of impact; it’s these moments that allow us to spread our wings and fly in the direction of our dreams.
In the end, it’s clear that we all relish a good story. “Inside Out” is one that you will want to experience over and over again, for many years to come.