“After all Riley is 11 now, what could happen?”
11 year old Riley is a little girl with a happy childhood. Inside out is a surreal tale of Riley and her feelings, literally. Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust, there are five of them we come across. Joy leads the pack, she makes sure Riley is having a good time and tries to end her day on a good note. Anger, Disgust and Fear sticks around but never takes charge. The kid is driven by joy and so Joy is in charge here. Sadness keeps it low, minds her own business, after all what could possibly a feeling as depressing as sadness has to do with an 11 year old little kid. Collectively they all make sure that Riley is filled with ‘joy’.
In her 12th year, Riley and her parents move to San Francisco leaving their beloved home Minnesota. This is the time of her life when the ‘bundle of joy’ comes across a reality check, called life. Life is full of surprises, but surprises aren’t always happy and joyful, some of them are driven by sadness. They try to suppress it, but it isn’t really possible to suppress a feeling, is it? In an attempt to not let sadness take over, both joy and sadness ends up being out of Riley’s Head and are lost somewhere in her subconscious from where they cannot access Riley’s activities.
Joy and Sadness embarks on a journey back home [or headquarters, as they say] to inject life in Riley again, because without Joy, she can never be happy again. It is in this journey; Joy realizes the importance of the presence of Sadness in one’s life. The subplot of characters getting away and needs to return where they belong also reminded me of ‘Finding Nemo’ and ‘Toy Story’, it is perhaps a Pixar trademark.
Sadness, like Joy, needs to be in your life. Only it took 12 years for Joy and the other friendlier feelings to understand that. Exactly the kind of age, you expect a kid to understand the wiser things of the adult. Joy is a kid here, Sadness on the other hand is the grieving old adult but it is mature and wise and patient. And only when Joy embraces Sadness, we can have the ‘Tears of Happiness’. After all embracing our pain is what makes us human.
This is definitely not a film for little kids and its target audience is probably smart and thoughtful adults. I’d call it an enlightening experience but harsh for kids [little kids], because it gives you the very truth about sadness in life. You just don’t get sad by accident, you need to be sad. I am not a great fan of Pixar, I often find their films technically brilliant but very clinical if we talk about how they portray emotions but ‘Inside Out’ is nothing like that. The film’s major achievement is how emotionally relevant this film truly is. It is Pixar’s best film since Ratatouille.