by: Lizzy Ferro
I was a sad kid. I didn’t understand why and I certainly didn’t want to talk about it with anyone. As a result it made me feel terribly alone. Inside Out is a film I would have wanted needed as a child. A beautiful and entirely unique film about a little girl named Riley and the emotions going on inside of her, voiced by Amy Poehler (Joy), Phyllis Smith (Sadness), Bill Hader (Fear), Mindy Kaling (Disgust) and Lewis Black (Anger). The casting was perfect – I could feel the disgust in Kaling’s voice – but the two stand outs are Poehler (who let’s be honest, is the actual personification of Joy anyway) and Smith. These two voices made me feel so many things, so many emotions beyond their ‘joy’ and ‘sadness’ rolls – and honestly, this former sad kid can now put some faces to the emotions that move within her.
Yes, Inside Out is stunning to look at, yes it is amazingly creative and a the story is a large undertaking that probably shouldn’t work, but IT DOES and does really well. Beyond those things, this movie is important for children and adults alike – hopefully it will help people be more comfortable talking about what’s going on inside them, not only to help them identify those feelings and not be embarrassed by them, but to help them embrace the feelings and let other people in. This movie would have made all the difference in the world to me as a kid – it
would have helped me understand my feelings and be able to verbalize them to the people that needed to know how I was feeling. Every child should see this movie – because ultimately, happy or sad – it’s important to understand that sometimes joy and sadness go hand in hand and that’s perfectly okay.
Now, I’m not going to get into the plot, it’s pretty obvious from the trailer – what I will say that the run time of this film is 94 minutes which strangely is also the length of time I that I cried – though, I don’t know that it’s fair to say that I cried, more as I just had tears constantly dripping. It is an emotional film, at one point everyone (adults and children) let out an audible gasp of sadness. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all sad. This is a Pixar film so expect a large amount of delight and silliness mixed in there liberally.
And now, of course, we’re going to talk about my emotional reaction to Ms. Poehler. Twice in the past eight months I have looked at Jay, Mr. Indie Revolver, and said “Where was Amy Poehler when I was a kid?” The first was after her book Yes Please came out – my teenage self could have taken large amounts of advice from that book (not that my adult self didn’t) and now my childhood self would have found great comfort in this movie. Anyone familiar with Amy’s work knows she a bright ball of enthusiasm and happiness – especially if you’ve ever heard her laugh (cackle), it’s the equivalent of a million angels singing, but to see (hear) her actually PERSONIFY Joy? It made me emotional, it made me weepy and gloriously happy all at the same time. You better believe I picture a tiny Amy Poehler trying to keep me joyful all the time – so, thank you, again, Amy.