1: Inside Out
Directed by: Pete Docter
People often ask the question: “Why do Pixar movies (or animated films in general) make us cry?” Inside Out is the cinematic answer to that question. In doing so, it is, fittingly, Pixar’s deepest and saddest film to date.
Inside Out tells two connecting stories. The focus of these stories is an eleven-year old girl named Riley, whose family has recently moved, leaving her old life behind. One story revolves around Riley herself, while the other takes place inside of her head, where her emotions of Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger take the forms of characters, and try to handle Riley’s situation.
The story takes many unexpected turns, and travels to surprisingly deep territory, dealing with subjects like depression, the hardship of growing up, and the importance of all emotions in our lives, whether we find them pleasant or not.
It’s also Pixar’s most imaginative feature. Whereas other Pixar films have revolved around subjects like fish or cars, Inside Out has a far more abstract concept, leaving the Pixar animators to get creative like they never have before. It’s a wonderfully weird movie that can get pretty surreal, with beautiful scenery, wacky character designs, and bizarre situations.
It can be a heartbreaking movie, and it has a strong understanding of the complexity of emotion. It is an embracing, heartfelt experience. One whose understanding of childhood and imagination are topped solely by some of Miyazaki’s efforts in the world of animation.
Inside Out is Pixar’s saddest, deepest, and most imaginative film. It’s also their best. That is saying something.