But first, let's talk about the short that precedes it, LAVA, which I had already seen at SFIFF. Back then, I called it "Kinda cute. But mostly sappy." But as soon as the title appeared, my heart sank. It turns out, really, this short sucks. And there's plenty of corroborating opinions on the Internet, and if I wrote this right away I would advise everyone to estimate ~15 minutes of trailers + 7 minutes for this short and step into the theater 22 minutes after the posted showtime. But then I've also heard from people who thought LAVA was adorably cute and loved it. So...to each her own, I guess. Don't miss it on my account, but also don't blame me if you see it and hate it. For what it's worth, my complaints about LAVA:
- There's no action, it's a song that's entirely exposition. Movies are a visual medium, so why is it all told, not shown (because showing a volcano sitting around for eons is boring, I suppose.)
- Besides exposition, the song is based around one pun (lava = love) which isn't a very good pun (if there is such thing as a "very good pun") to begin with and is then repeated ad nauseam.
- It's incredibly sappy, emotionally manipulation.
- The last Pixar short that annoyed me nearly as much was BOUNDIN' (2003) but at least I could see that was a study in motion. I don't think there was anything in LAVA that broke ground in the technical side of animation.
Okay, enough of that, on to the feature!
INSIDE OUT is a hilarious, charming, and pretty smart movie. WALL-E is still my favorite Pixar film (sometimes I'd call it my favorite animated film...or maybe even favorite film) but INSIDE OUT is up there with the best. It takes place mostly inside a little girl's head, as she deals with her family moving from...[crud, I can't remember if it was Minnesota or Wisconsin...anyway, a hockey-playing northern midwest place]...to San Francisco. Her emotions are characters, with Joy ruling central command and Fear, Anger, Disgust, and Sadness backing her up. Well, they try not to let Sadness control too much, but that's not always possible. And actually Joy's attempts to suppress Sadness lead to a whole mess of problems. There are lots of clever jokes and insights into how the mind works, and it's all very entertaining. And without giving anything away (I think) it's ultimately a story about the important process of growing up and how life isn't about being happy, but about being you. And that's a pretty cool subject for a kid's movie.
Total Running Time: 101 minutes
My Total Minutes: 402,084