#52: Inside Out (2015)

When and how did I watch this?

January 26th, 2017, on DVD.

Had I seen this film already?

Only a few pieces.  We featured it at a babysitting fundraiser night at the dance studio. Very little attention was paid to the film on all fronts, as you might imagine.

What did I know about the movie before watching it?

This is the highest ranking Disney/Pixar release on the list. I snuck in a few reads about where it stands among the best, since it’s apparently slightly “better” than The Lion King.  Pixar constantly outdoes itself on nearly every release; someone compared it to Wall-E in terms of innovation and screenplay. Being sort of a purist and old-head, I wasn’t looking forward to seeing this, and looked more to get it out of the way.

What do I know about it now?

One of the chief attributes of a Pixar film is their ability to make you forget you’re watching a computer-generated film.  They make you fall in love with characters, ideas, and often inanimate objects and, as I’ve said in other Pixar entries, you begin to identify with them. Why did Inside Out make me cry?  Because it reminded me of my own childhood, and the unconditional love I have for my own daughter.  Inside Out is not concerned about a story as much as it is analyzing lofty ideas and the things in life we value most: family, memories, ideals, and our precious emotions. Without feeling, we cannot convey the beauty around us — and the film addresses this over and over again. As the “islands” crumble and memories fade away (Bing Bong, oy), we think about the passing of our youth and the bittersweet yet profound impact of our past and how it has shaped us. What I found most clever, amidst all this, is how Pixar creates a film with almost no plot, without a central protagonist, which is more so a concept than anything tangible.

What are some themes in the film?

Memory, family, coming of age/loss of innocence

Did this affect me personally?

Bing Bong.

Why is this ranked #52?

This film was released in 2015 when I copied/pasted this list.  I already knew it was ranked too high, sandwiched between Alien and The Prestige. It’s Pixar, and it is highly emotional — and those voters came home and gave the film an emotional 10 stars. As of today (January 27th), it’s ranked #128, between Chinatown and Pan’s Labyrinth, and that’s where it belongs.

Did my wife watch/like it?

She cried exactly 352% more than I did.

Would I watch it again?

Oy, I’m not sure.  It was a nice canvas to behold, but it moved me too much at times to make me want to see it again.

Would I recommend it to a friend?

I think everyone with kids, or anyone who has fallen out of love with life, might benefit from this film.

Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?

Yes.  I thought perhaps it was boosted by hype, but the film, as unusual in construct as it is, works on a level I didn’t expect. It isn’t really similar to anything on the list, which alone makes it a compelling case for greatness. But it’s not weird or overtly conceptual; it does the same things live action films or cunning, intelligent screenplays achieve without the need for a solid plot.  It takes you outside of reality and into the depths of your own imagination and memories, not discreetly, but at the same time in a surprising fashion.

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