So, I haven’t had a chance to talk about it yet, but I saw Inside Out a little over a week ago. I really like it! One of the best Pixar movies in a while–if you go digging in the archives you might find the post from my OLD old site (pre-My Little Po-Mo) where I talked about my issues with Brave, and I didn’t even bother with Monsters University or Cars II. So the last Pixar movies I liked were Up and Toy Story III, and the last one I really liked was Wall-E.
But this was on that caliber, if not quite as good. A buddy road trip movie, because Pixar, but through possibly their most imaginative environment yet, and with two women as their buddies–one of whom was Amy Poehler in what I would call the role she was born to play if she hadn’t already had that as Leslie Knope in Parks and Recreation.
Of course there are flaws, the whitest, straightest San Francisco ever depicted chief among them, but on the other hand we also get one of the best depictions of depression I’ve ever seen: with Joy and Sadness both banished as a result of Riley’s mind’s attempt to protect itself from the trauma of being uprooted and placed in a strange environment, she finds herself incapable of feeling anything but Anger, Fear, and Disgust, and then her personality begins shutting down entirely, her inner landscape turning gray and crumbling. It is, frankly, chillingly familiar–an immediate recognition of “yes, that’s what it’s like” that is all-too rare in mass-media depictions of mental illness.
It is, fortunately, a situational thing, and once Riley permits herself to feel and express Sadness again, she is able to begin healing. I really hope the poor kid gets some therapy, though.