Hey, guys. Nice to see you. Let’s review this thing before everyone starts talking about it! Also, let me try and provide some constructive criticism for Pixar before all people say that it’s perfect (that’s my experience with Pixar films, believe me). Also, please go see the movie before you read this, as I don’t have the time to go scene-by-scene. Let’s do this!
Honestly, this is the movie with the best story of the year so far. Unfortunately, I do have some issues with this aspect nonetheless. What are these issues? There’s really only one, and it’s forgiveable, but the movie is structured far too repetitively. The movie could’ve reached the conclusion of Joy realizing that Sadness is a valuable member of Head-Quarters a lot sooner than it did, and two setbacks before it actually happened. I guess that if it had been that way, the movie would’ve been too short, but it’s still pretty annoying. That said, the story is an important one of self-discovery on the part of all the emotions and Riley herself, and, aside from the repetitive nature of the structure, it’s very well-executed.
Story Grade: 90% (A-)
The biggest problem I have with this aspect is the imaginary friend character. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate him (far from it, actually), but he doesn’t contribute enough to the story for his amount of screentime to be totally justified. This is a hard one to explain, but his only contribution to the story seems to come only at the climax, over an hour after his introduction, and, though it’s not a total waste (his sacrifice to get Joy out of the pit is one of the most beautiful moments in the entire film), I can’t help but think that his presence in the movie had more potential than was ultimately acted on. That being said, that’s the only major complaint I have against this area of the film (unless you count Joy being very selfish at the beginning) and, among other things, I like how the emotions (except for Fear, unfortunately) go through other emotions than simply the ones they represent (Joy cries, Sadness shows quiet enthusiasm as she essentially saves the day, Anger becomes very pronouncely worried at various points, and Disgust becomes devilishly jokey near the end in order to set Anger off). Speaking of which, I’d like to get out of the way my favorite emotion in the movie: Anger. Why? I’ll tell you later, but I think he’s absolutely hilarious. Anyway, even putting him aside, their personalities are very engaging, and it’s fun to watch them play off each other. I also wouldn’t be surprised if this movie has people quoting characters who appear for about a minute in the actual film. I could talk about Riley herself (big surprise, I love her), but this has gone on long enough. So, in closing, this aspect is thoroughly enjoyable, even if, like the story, it has its problems.
Character Grade: 92% (A-)
This part, as I said, is thoroughly quotable, even for characters who appear for less than a minute, even if it’s not as quotable as my personal favorite Pixar movie for humor, “Toy Story 2.” This aspect also has some of the best scripted emotional lines for any Pixar movie, especially Riley’s confession that she misses Minnesota, which would’ve brought me to tears if I had the ability to be brought to tears, which I regrettably had surgically removed from me a while ago. 🙂 On top of that, the moral it tries to teach (that Sadness is there when you need it (or her), and so you can know what true happiness is when you find it), is exceptionally well-executed and worded. Admittedly, this has more to do with the fitting of the story to the moral than the scripting, but since I couldn’t fit that anywhere in the Story section, here it is. 🙂 Anyway…
Script Grade: 95% (A)
The animation, which largely is the thing I would need to talk about here given how thoroughly I covered my bases on the subjects of this movie so far, is absolutely outstanding, like we’ve come to expect from Pixar. In fact, I think this is their best looking venture so far. Everything I said prior and from here on out still applies, but that’s the only thing I can say right now without being redundant or spoiling information later in the review. Anyway…
Direction Grade: 95% (A)
Remember how I said Anger is my favorite emotion? The reason seems to largely be because of admiration for “The Daily Show,” where Anger’s voice actor, Lewis Black, has a recurring segment called “Back in Black.” The fact that Lewis Black is able to play the straight man in a fashion that rivals Jon Stewart himself has always impressed me, and I’ve been an admirer of his ever since I saw his segment for the first time. I love Lewis Black to death, and “Inside Out” is the first time I’ve seen him in a movie. It’s telling when, despite his shtick on “The Daily Show” requiring him to swear a lot, that the writing of his lines is so skillful that I don’t miss it one bit. The others are really good, too (Mindy Khaling needs to stop playing a loser in the dating scene and take roles that respect her talent in the same way as Disgust), but I think I’ve said my piece here, so let’s give it a grade and move on.
Acting Grade: 95% (A)
It’s funny, not anything else to say. Next!
Humor Grade: 90% (A-)
Everything on this level is how it should be, and I love as many minutes of it as the repetitive storytelling will allow.
Execution Grade: 95% (A)
This movie is Pixar’s return to form in every since of the word. While it has some hiccups here and there, and could be a lot better paced, people who grew up on Pixar’s masterpieces should rejoice at the return of their old creative spark, even if the story runs out steam in the long run. Not much more to say, except put the grades in the averager, and come out with a final grade.
Final Grade: 93% (A)
Well, thanks to all three of my readers for hearing me ramble on and on about a movie that will be fondly remembered by all who see it, warts and all. I can’t believe I wrote this long of a review at all, but I did it. I hope it pleases everyone who’s related to me, as well as anyone who happens to stumble across it in their search for new blogs. See you next time!