Rachel Paige
June 17, 2015 10:50 am
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I don’t want to get anyone too excited but, you guys, it sounds like Pixar’s Inside Out is an amazing, ground-breaking, one-of-a-kind, critical masterpiece. That’s basically what EVERY REVIEW is saying. Exhibit A: It’s earned an incredibly rare 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Forbes calls it “perfection.” ScreenCrush says it’s a “masterpiece.” Entertainment Weekly sums it up in a word: “transcendent.”

While the Pixar name might suggest Inside Out is for kids, it’s absolutely for adults, too. As Entertainment Weekly writes, the movie’s “so smart and psychologically clever, it may leave little ones scratching their heads wondering why their parents are laughing so hard and getting so choked up.” It also sounds like Pixar has managed to re-invent itself with the movie. The Boston Globe notes that, Inside Out is a “complete work that seems calculated to re-establish the company’s ambition and creative dominance.”

Prepare yourselves: the movie’s also going to make us cry. A lot. The New York Daily News notes that, “Inside Out is not only about how joy and sadness — the emotions, not the character — work best because they compliment each other, but about how growing up is an often melancholy process of recognizing that who we once were isn’t who are now.” New York Magazine echoes that sentiment, calling it “tear-duct-draining.”

Inside Out, if you don’t already know, tells the story of Riley, an 11-year old girl who finds herself moving across the country to San Francisco. The story isn’t just about Riley, though, but also about the little voice inside her head that control her emotions. There’s Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling).

Remember how with Monsters, Inc., the curtain was pulled back showing us what our nightmares were really all about (monsters who work in Monstropolis and come through our bedroom doors each night, of course). With Inside Out, we learn that Riley’s memories are stored in glowing orbs, and if altered, can lead to pretty big emotional consequences for an 11-year old. No spoilers, I promise, but after things got a little bit haywire with Riley’s emotions, Joy and Sadness find themselves navigating Riley’s mind alone, leaving Fear, Anger, and Disgust in charge.

The film is the brainchild of Pete Docter, a long-time Pixar veteran. He started as an animator on Toy Story, eventually working his way up to direct Monsters, Inc.. He also wrote Wall-E, and wrote and directed Up. This guy has done a lot. Now, he’s done it again, possibly even raising Pixar’s gold standard. And Docter did his research, consulting extensively with psychological experts to incorporate theories of the mind’s complicated mechanics.

In an interview with the Atlantic, Docter shared his initial pitch for the movie:

Docter admits he also took inspiration from his own daughter, Elie, who he watched endure the weirdness and solitary conflicts of adolescence.

“I think the secret source to animation, like anything, is truth,” Docter told CNN.  “It’s an opportunity to bring people to somewhere everyone has thought about, but no one’s seen before with their eyes, and that’s the world inside your head.”

Inside Out opens this Friday in theaters nationwide. Go see it, and then come back here so we can discuss our favorite parts and emotions.

(Images via here and here.)