Have you ever wondered what was going on inside someone’s head? Well take a look inside Riley’s, and you’ll find the personification of five emotions: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust. These emotions guide her actions each in their own special way. But when 11 year old Riley ends up moving from her home in the Midwest to San Francsico and leaving everything else behind, her mind ends up a disaster, eventually resulting in Joy and Sadness being thrown out of ‘headquarters’ and having to make a journey all through the rest of her mind, from her imagination to her subconscious, racing against the clock to get back in control before Riley does something she can’t take back.
This film was incredible. Pixar has always been good at coming up with unique ideas to base their films around, and this may well be the most innovative since Toy Story. The concept of half the movie taking place inside a metaphorical representation of someone’s mind is something I haven’t seen before. They pulled it off so well with such a level of depth it was amazing. They very much tried to answer the question “What is going on people’s heads?” as well as comprehensively as possible, tying everything together perfectly. I can’t go on about this enough, because I fundamentally believe that the ambition they showed with this concept and how well they nailed it has resulted in the film with the largest impact on the viewer they have created yet.
Now, as a solid concept and setting isn’t enough to hold up a movie, it should be evident that I believe that the plot around it was excellent as well. It wasn’t predictable, which is to be expected considering how unique of a setting it is. But even beyond that, it was just very well done. It had its emotional highs, and its emotional lows, and all of it was great to watch unfold. The underlying moral, that sadness isn’t something that’s bad necessarily, and that you need a balance of every emotion in order to properly live ones life as a complete human being is something that I personally hadn’t seen done before. The themes of the difficulties of growing up being hard, especially with so many other sources of change, is also something I could sympathize with. The plot was a perfect fit for the concept, and concept was a perfect fit for the plot, and it all tied together marvelously.
As usual, Pixar’s animation quality is top notch, and they really got to flex their muscles with the characters and designs inside the mind, which were all artistically great as well. The soundtrack was also very good as is expected of Pixar.
Now the question, as it often is, is should there be a sequel? Personally, I think they should definitely do one. They should do it not of Riley grown up, but of someone completely different going through a very different situation and facing very different challenges, that introduces some new mechanics behind the way the mind functions. I think there’s tremendous potential for several sequels going along that line actually. The part at the end of the film with quick looks into everyone else really made me want this.