Pixar has a knack for keeping their stories timeless. It must be hard for their writers to avoid using pop culture references for an easy chuckle. “Toy Story” is still an extremely enjoyable movie 20 years later, and I’m sure “Inside Out” will still be a hilarious visual delight in 2035.
Indeed, “Inside Out” is funny. In a fashion very much like 2009’s “Up,” “Inside Out” will build up an emotional and fragile moment, then punch it with a Hulk fist of laughter. Maybe the jokes are really funny on their own, or maybe I only laughed so hard at them because I wanted to escape so badly from the deep moments that these characters dragged me toward.
Anger, Joy, Sadness, Disgust and Fear — all characters in the movie — don’t really control the girl like a giant robot, but they strongly influence her actions by deciding which emotions she should feel at which times.
Honestly, that alone is a weird concept that still makes a ton of sense. Doesn’t it seem so often that we have no control over how we feel? “Why am I mad at her? I shouldn’t be mad.” “Why am I so afraid to ask my boss for a raise? This is stupid!”
My favorite character had to be Sadness, played by Phyllis Smith. I loved Smith in the early episodes of “The Office” because her soft spoken and timid character was so sad and pathetic that it was kind of funny in a really dark way. Sadness in “Inside Out” is very similar and plays a big role. The big question that kicks the plot into gear is, why do we need sadness? And so begins an odyssey across the human psyche.
Yeah, “Inside Out” is a philosophical piece. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll probably start analyzing yourself as the ending credits roll.
By the end of the film, I had had about 12 good belly laughs and my eyes only got watery twice. I won this time, Pixar.