Ode to Inside Out

When we decided on doing a Pixar Week, I knew that I wanted to write about Inside Out. I struggled with what I wanted to say though. Do I want to write about a scene, a character, how I felt, etc? I didn’t feel confident in any of those, so I’ve decided to simply tell the story of when I first watched Inside Out…

It was a warm, sunny Saturday morning in early June 2016 when I first watched Inside Out. I was a little hungover from the night before and just wanted to sit on the couch and watch something meaningless before a family party I had to attend later in the afternoon. I was scrolling for a show or a movie I had seen a bunch of times to throw on in the background with plans to crush a nap. It was then that I saw Inside Out was starting at noon. Okay, I thought, I’ve heard about this movie. I’ll put this on, settle into my corner of the couch and just drift in and out of sleep. It’s a kids movie after all, how much could I enjoy it? Little did I know what I was in for, for the next 102 minutes.

My brother joined me on the couch shortly after the movie was underway and kind of shot me a look like what are you watching and why? I just shrugged and said I thought it looked good but wasn’t committed to it. A couple minutes pass and we’ve had a few laughs, we’re interested in the characters, so we’re committed. About 30 minutes in, I’m sitting up (blowing right through naptime), really into this movie like I haven’t been with a children’s movie in a very long time. The story is now officially getting somewhere- it’s a little complicated, but very intriguing… Enter Bing Bong. I don’t know exactly how best to explain what my brother and I thought of Bing Bong, an imaginary friend voiced by Richard Kind, so I’m just going to tell you what happened. There’s this scene when Bing Bong, and others travel to the girl’s’ “Dream Productions” with plans to wake her up. There’s a classroom, balloons, confetti, a dog, dancing – and Bing Bong causes so much hilarious chaos and then ultimately tries to insert himself into her dream as kind of a reminder (because he’s been forgotten) and the plan just goes incredibly awry. The next thing you know my brother and I are in actual tears crying laughing. I’m on the floor now, he’s peeled over on the couch, simply not being able to contain our laughter. The two of us, grown men, literally crying at this one scene in a children’s movie like we had just seen the funniest stand up routine ever.

After that, I knew were were not moving until we finished this movie. By now it’s around lunch time and we haven’t eaten. We agreed to order food, but I had to go pick it up. I don’t know that I’ve done this for anything other than a sporting event, but I told my brother we had to pause the movie so I could get our lunch. Yes, he sat in silence, with a paused movie while I was gone for probably 15 minutes. That’s how much we were enjoying Inside Out. Even more, we still had a family party to get to. In fact, we were late to that party so that we could finish and even watched the final two minutes of closing credits!

If you have not seen Inside Out, take my word for it, it’s a must watch. Of course it’s funny and delightful, but perhaps even more than that it’s thought-provoking. It’s difficult for me to explain, and it’s way easier to write about the light-hearted parts of the movie. I know you couldn’t tell from this post, but the movie speaks to you in ways I personally was not expecting. Like most Pixar movies, it’s emotional, but this one actually dives into those emotions. It’s just honestly a terrific story. You’ve seen toys, monsters, animals, robots, etc. all have feelings but you’ve never before seen feelings have feelings. Pixar has always been so good at mixing laughter and tears, happy and sad. And Inside Out, a movie centered around how one little girl behaves and deals with her five elemental emotions is something I think we can all relate to. 

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