Inside Out ★★★★½

Pixar continues to make beautiful and charming films complete with very real stakes and, in this film, literal emotions.

A young girl, Riley, goes through a very difficult move, and we see the inside working of how that changes her personality. The choice of the five emotions is very interesting because only one of them, Joy, is positive. Or so we think. We learn how critical each of these lenses for seeing the world is, as the main character gains emotional depth and maturity.

When Joy and Sadness get lost in the huge expanse of the brain structure, the stakes seem to be that these two characters become lost or forgotten. But upon closer examination, we realize that that would result in a huge psychological affair for Riley, that would be with her the rest of her life. If these two emotions became forgotten in the abyss, then she might grow up to be a psychopath or sociopath. It’s a very dark underbelly that lies just below the surface of this film.

Yet it is a children’s movie, so we know that this isn’t going to happen. There is loss and sadness in this movie, and these stakes build to an even greater finale that has us rooting for Riley. It’s almost impossible to not see our child selves in her struggles.

My favorite parts include the goofy dialogue from the bean-like cop characters. This film is very clever, and an excellent entry to the Pixar franchise.