This movie begins with the perfect hook, Have you ever looked at someone and wondered What is going on in their head?. Those words are then accompanied by the first emotion, Joy (Amy Poehler). She is the first emotion that is born due to the fact that this film begins with the very beginning of Riley (Kaitlyn Dias).
As the first few minutes of the movie progress we witness a growth montage of Riley, going from toddler to the 11-year-old she is for the rest of the film. Not only do we see what goes on Outside we see what goes on Inside, this is where most of the film takes place. Inside of Rileys head with all of her emotions; her emotions dictate the way she interacts and the actions she takes. Joy is the leader of the emotions, mainly focusing on keeping Riley happy. And though it seems like everything is going to continue in its perfect state, the worst thing happens. Riley and her parents move, and on the car ride to their new home we get the title card. By then, the movie has already established a foundation and an intrigue of exactly what happens inside and out.
The story continues with the first day of their new home. Riley being primarily controlled by Joy tries to be as optimistic and as happy as possible, but because of the events that happen outside, Joy is not needed and not appropriate for what Riley was supposed to feel. So, the other emotions take control for the day, we then witness the first day of school. This is where everything goes bad. Sadness touched one of the Core Memories (important memories that dictate a persons personality) and Joy rushes to try and fix it. One thing leads to another and Joy and Sadness, alongside all of the Core Memories get sucked out of HQ and placed into Long Term Memory.
The only emotions that are available, Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hader), and Disgust (Mindy Kaling) try their best to maintain Riley happy, but because they are who they are, that is just impossible. Meanwhile, Joy and Sadness find Bing Bong, this was Rileys imaginary friend back when she was toddler. He helps them get back to HQ but ends up having to sacrifice himself.
Back in HQ, Anger has an idea, the idea of Riley running away to make more Core Memories back in Minnesota. Once, the idea was put into fruition there was no stopping it. All of the Islands of Personality crumbled and in one final swoop Joy and Sadness return to HQ. It is all up to Sadness to remove the idea and in doing so, Riley comes back to her senses and returns home. There is where the film tugs most heart strings, where Riley finally breaks down and cries in front of her parents. She tells them exactly how she feels, she misses home, her mother and father hold her tightly and make her feel safe and not alone. The story only continues for a bit more, showing a happier Riley at a hockey game with her parents. The story ends there and all in all, it was a spectacle to behold.
Automatically when I hear the words Disney or Pixar, I know that the animation will be impeccable. The cast was very good as well, each actor/actress really nailed their roles right. I also enjoyed the attention to detail and the way color was used. An example of this would be when the Islands of Personality crumble and the world outside is bleak and colorless, then once Sadness successfully ejected the idea the world regained its color. I also enjoy the small nods and jokes this film has. The Islands of Personality, Abstract Thought, the Subconscious, the (literal) Train of Thought, the Dream Studio, etc.
I believe that for a person to enjoy this film the person must simply have emotions and feelings. I, personally, cried when Bing Bong sacrifices himself in order to save Joy. He allowed himself to be forgotten, which that by itself is done wonderfully. The fact that he does not just pop out of existence and instead fades away is a superb way of showing something greater and of more value: the message behind the film. The message behind this film is not one of that signifies an order, the message is not GROW UP, its Every emotion is fundamental to making us who we are and in our growth. And though we may forget the pieces that made us the puzzle we once were, new pieces will come and fit fine. For that is what it means to be human.
This is my favorite film and I recommend it to absolutely anyone and everyone.