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Pixar’s Best: Inside Out Review

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To answer the question you have all been asking:  Yes, Inside Out is the best Pixar movie I’ve ever seen.

Toy Story 3?  Pfft… child’s play.

Up?  They were just getting started.

Bring tissues: this one is all about emotions and you will really have #allthefeels.  Even those of you that hate that phrase.  You WILL have them.

inside out 1

I cried through the whole dang thing.  Good, solid mom-crying.

Inside Out is emotional, exhausting, hilarious, smart- no wait, BRILLIANT– and wonderful.

I was lucky to hear the fantastic Jonas Rivera, Pixar legend and Inside Out producer, at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. He shared the background of how this movie came to be.


Jonas Rivera, Pixar, talking about Inside Out at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration.

The story went like this: one day director Pete Docter came to work talking about his pre-teen daughter’s emotional roller coaster ride.  Wouldn’t it be great to know what was going on inside her head?

And BAM- inspiration.  A movie idea was born.

With that bit of background, and having a few moody tweens at home myself, I fell in love with this concept.

Inside Out is the fabulously detailed story of 11-year-old Riley and what happens inside her head.  We learn about Riley’s life from the emotions that drive her: Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Anger, and Fear.


A quick note on the actors portraying the emotions:  nailed it.  There’s no way this cast could be improved.  I love them all.

Joy is the main emotion for Riley.  She’s a happy girl with a happy life- until her family makes a life altering move cross-country.

On the outside, Riley’s challenges are pretty predictable: new home, new school, new hockey team.  A whole lot of “new” going on.  Inside her mind, however, is where the real change happens.

Sadness takes a more active role in Riley’s mind, leaving Joy confused and scrambling to set things right.  From the get-go, it’s obvious that Joy has a hard time understanding and relating to Sadness.  She spends much of the movie trying to control and contain the other emotion to keep Riley from feeling any pain.

Through a series of events, the two emotions find themselves on a journey that teaches Joy the value of Sadness.


This movie is clever and funny with jokes that will delight adults and children alike- though I’m sure some will fly other their heads.

A friend said the movie was exhausting- and I have to agree.  But not in a negative way; it’s just a movie that makes you think.

I left the theater saying, “whoa… and that one part… oh… and whoa… that other time…“.

Yeah, there was a lot of processing going on after this movie. It was more human than an animated film should be.

Or maybe they should all be this human.

I loved how Pixar visualized and mapped out Riley’s mind, exploring how our personalities are formed and even showing us how some of those old memories are “forgotten” over time.


We visit the Train of Thought, deja vu, our biggest phobias, imaginary friends, deja vu, long-term memory, deja vu…

I’m telling you: this movie is brilliantly crafted and executed.

My 10-year-old daughter watched the movie with me.

inside out claire

Claire’s favorite character was Joy (phew!) but she thought Disgust had the funniest lines.

She did not have quite the emotional reaction that I did (no crying from the pre-teen) but agreed that Riley’s move and reactions felt very familiar to her.  As it should: we just made that same transition a year ago.


Riley’s first day of school was a tough one. Been there.

I plan on taking the whole family to see the movie this weekend.

And hope I can keep it together during the second viewing.

Inside Out is rated PG and is suitable for the whole family.  Kids will be amused and entertained, as long as they aren’t watching their parents sobbing softly next to them.  

Media tickets to an advanced screening were provided in exchange for an honest review.

ETA: I forgot to mention the short playing before Inside Out.  And I’m ashamed to admit I overlooked it in this review before now.


Lava is the sweetest love story inspired by the beauty of tropical islands.  It’s told from the point of view of a lonely volcano, looking for someone to “lava.”

True love is worth waiting a million years for.

So sweet- and so true!  Make sure you’re on time for the movie so you don’t miss this gorgeous short film.

Images courtesy Walt Disney Studios. Used with permission.

Are you looking forward to Inside Out?  Which emotion do you most relate to?

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Friday 19th of June 2015

Great review! Great movie! Still melancholy that I couldn't meet you at the DSMMC!


Friday 19th of June 2015

I know. Maybe next year? :)

Jennifer Kaufman

Friday 19th of June 2015

Taking my mom and grandma with us today as my kids and I see it for the third time. I teared up just reading your review! :)


Friday 19th of June 2015

I love this one so much- need to see it again! And Again!

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