• ‘Inside Out’ is fresh, moving and clever

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    Ronnie del Carmen and Pete Docter PHOTO COURTESY OF EDDIE BOY ESCUD

    Ronnie del Carmen and Pete Docter PHOTO COURTESY OF EDDIE BOY ESCUD

    What else is there to say but to echo all the positive buzz Pixar’s 15th film, Inside Out is getting? It’s at 98-percent on the website Rotten Tomatoes and has made over $630 million at the box office so far.

    The film opened in the US on June 19, and it will finally screen here on August 19.

    The beauty of this film is that it is short, sweet, simple and yet it has much depth. Eleven year-old Riley must make the move from Minnesota to San Francisco with her mom and dad who just got a job there. She misses her old life and struggles to adjust to a new house, school, city, and to new people.

    Part of the movie plays in the “real world” and the other plays out in the mind. Enter Riley’s Emotions: Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness. They all operate out of Headquarters, trying to protect Riley and “do” what’s best for her.

    Throughout the film, we also see the areas of Long Term Memory, Imagination Land, Abstract Thought and Dream Production—all visualized as places in the mind. Writer-directors Pete Doc-ter (Up, Monsters Inc.) and Ronnie del Carmen did consult with scientists, neurologists and psychologists to shape and imagine Inside Out.

    Uh oh—something doesn’t seem right at ‘Headquarters’

    Uh oh—something doesn’t seem right at ‘Headquarters’

    From a maximum of 27 emotions (including schadenfreude, ennui, hope and pride), they “distilled” it down to the five to effectively tell the tale. One journalist asked why depression was not included—to which the authors qualified, “Depression is an illness, an absence of emotion, it is something clinical. You can’t just be happy and wish it away.”

    In many ways, the movie is made for parents. “It’s bittersweet and a little sad when childhood passes by,” says Docter whose 16-year-old daughter was Riley’s age when work began on Inside Out. Leave it to Pixar to tug at a parent’s heartstrings. My seatmate cried several times during Up and another good friend cried at the end of Toy Story 3. Just like the best Pixar films—this one has the power to connect with its audience and as usual, explore (among other things) parent child relationships.

    Last year, I watched some 12-year-old kids do spoken word performances, and just as Pete Docter reminded us at the Inside Out press conference here: “Kids are smart and quick and are much more intelligent than we give them credit for.” They are capable of being silly but they can certainly have very interesting, sometimes serious thoughts.”

    It’s a side of them sometimes parents don’t want to acknowledge so soon which Pixar so wonderfully brings out.

    Inside Out opens in Metro Manila cinemas next Wednesday.

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