Saturday, July 11, 2015

Take her to the moon for me, okay?

It sucks growing up.

Every morning, as I'm sleepily brushing my teeth, I've noticed something strange is happening to my body. The hairs on the top of my head are quietly retreating into my scalp, only to reemerge on my jawline. But somehow, along the way through my skull, they've lost all that dark-brown sexiness and turned whiter than a dentist's smile. And while this phenomenon has been occurring somewhat steadily for some time, the last two years the increase has been exponential. Which is weird, you know? I daughter is about to turn two.

Totally unrelated, right? What could be stressful about a little girl?

I feel really bad about Guilt not being on here.
Inside Out is yet another brilliant animated film from the master storytellers at Disney PIXAR. Set inside the mind of an eleven-year-old girl, the film cleverly captures the unrelenting turmoil as we clamber from the carefree days of our youth to the murky waters of adulthood. It's witty, heartfelt, and at times, hysterical, with every frame presented in a wonderfully primary color palette.

My only hesitation in seeing Inside Out was when word spread that it was a real tear-jerker. Knowing that I'm prone to the waterworks with very little provocation, I was convinced a public viewing wouldn't end well. I imagined my almost six-year-old son telling me it'll be okay, Daddy, as he and my wife dragged me out of the theater. But full-disclosure? No tears were shed. It's certainly an emotional movie (misty eyes/lumpy throat for sure), just not as much as I'd expected. 

Joy just realized that even at it's best moments, life totally sucks.
As impossibly clever (and charming) as just about every frame of Inside Out is, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the excellent voice work from top to bottom. I can't imagine anyone ever saying no to PIXAR, but it really seems that every selected actor was quite literally born for the very purpose of being in this film. Most notably, of course, the stars of the movie (and the emotions steering the ship) Joy and Sadness, played by Amy Poehler and Phyllis Smith, respectively. Poehler has such a relentlessly positive tone, you can't help but love and empathize with her throughout. But the real star of the show may be Smith's Sadness, as she routinely can't help ruining everything. We probably shouldn't like her so much, but it's just about impossible not to. 

I really don't want a sequel, but I'd love to spend more time with these characters. Hmm. Maybe I'll just go buy some of the toys or something. I've got kids and a I can totally pull this off.

What I can't pull off, not even a little bit, is yet another doling out of the Yays and Boos. I probably should suppress these two way down, but at this rate, they're the ones running this. I'm just here for punch and pie.

I have to grow a mustache asap.
My Anger probably looks like a fatter Ray Romano.
  • Sure it baffled most of the crowd, but the preceeding short-film Lava was 100% fantastic. So agreed the lone clapper, I'm sure of it.
  • My goodness, memory storage was beautiful. At least, I think it was (it's been over two weeks).
  • There are no bears in San Francisco. Oh, PIXAR, you so crazy.
  • I laughed, sure, but my son has steadily been reminding me of Anger yelling Toot! Toot! Toooot! I think it was something about the 'Mom train'? Either way, it gets a Yay.
  • Dream Production! Am I too old to intern there? (and was that a zombie Remy?)
  • That Brazilian helicopter pilot was pretty dreamy. As was Imaginary Canadian Boyfriend.
  • I've already told you how brilliant this movie is, but there are so many flawless little touches, it almost killed me. The things we don't need anymore (phone numbers, doll names, etc) were awesome, but the things we can't forget (that gum jingle!) were even better.
  • Bing Bong. I wanted to hate him, but it was impossible. His final gesture was perfect. If only I spoke dolphin, I'd tell him.
  • This film probably has the best in-credits sequences ever. Teenage boy's brain was hilariously spot-on. But the look inside a teacher cracked me up even more.
  • And finally, the film's ultimate lesson: Eventually, even the good things will make you sad. I usually don't stay all the way through the credits anymore, but this time I glad I did. Tucked away at the end was the perfect little message the filmmakers left to their children: Please don't grow up. Ever. Life's going to hurt, kiddos. Hopefully not too much.
This scene will forever kill my dreams to relocate.
No, seriously.
  • Sadness. I love you and all, but c'mon! I almost said something aloud.
  • There was a minute where this flick reminded me of college. Scary clowns ain't got nothing on Psych 101 professor. Yikes.
  • Which leads me to another concern. Um, did this movie get a little too deep? The theater was packed with wee ones which is scary enough. But having a collective freak out? No thanks.
  • Stealing mom's credit card? Not cool, Riley. Even if I once took a five myself (but I bought toys with it, not a bus ticket).
  • Ans speaking of the bus, what the heck, Bus Driver? Is it policy to let a little kid off wherever they feel like it? Where's Jack Traven when we need him. 
  • And finally, the turning point in young Riley's outlook on life. While a very real moment, and totally heart-breaking, let me just Boo the fact that I'm on the front lines of that every time a new student steps into my class room. I'd like to be part of a general sadness, sure, but not the exact moment where someone's life was ruined forever. They don't pay me enough for that. Um, or anything.
As much as I worry about my daughter Violet growing up and going through all the things that girls do, I'm probably even more worried that she'll do it just fine ( but without me). My son, well, that kid would probably like to be surgically sewn into my stomach, where we could form a Kuato-esque relationship (and totally hold down Mars). But my daughter? She's not even two and she already knows everything.

Maybe she'll have some tips for my hair problem.

Assuming, of course, I have any left by then.


  1. I'm so glad you loved this...but...NO TEARS!?!?! Dude, I was a mess the minute Joy hit the button and baby Riley cooed looking at her parents. Like...get up and stand in the hallways and watch the movie alone so no one would look at me funny 'mess'.

    This movie was so good...SO GOOD. You are so right about the voice cast...perfect for each role...

    But...I didn't stay through the credits! WHAT THE HELL!?!?!?! I mean, sure, I probably would have cried even harder and by that point I was back at the seats with the wife and kids, but NO!!!!!!

    And don't worry about your daughter knowing everything and not needing you. I've got two of those little angels (5 and 8) and as smart as they are, they always want daddy to reassure them of what they know...

    1. Yeah, man. I was as surprised after your heads-up, but for whatever shriveled Grinch heart wasn't that effected. (but when Riley came home? Different story) And the 'hallway' remark is priceless.

      I didn't mention Richard Kind, but is there anyone else on the planet that could have voiced Bing Bong? No. No there isn't.

      Are you sure you didn't see the credits sequence? It was pretty much RIGHT AFTER the movie ended. Maybe I worded that wrong....

      Dude, my daughter is a force. My son was a pretty easy-going toddler, as long as you were close to him. My daughter? That chick is ready to move to California and choose her major.

  2. Great review. I am yet to see the film, I had my reservations about it - the emotional route wasn't an issue - but the whole black and white of emotions represented were. Only 5? I can see why the made these colour coded characters but I'm yet to be convinced. We'll see when I actually get to see it.

    1. Thank you! Even though there are only five emotions, Disgust actually seems superfluous in the story as it is. Any more probably would have been there just to sell toys, so I actually commend their restraint!

      Come back when you see, as I'd love to hear what you think about it.

  3. I want to see it, but I bet unlike you I'm gonna have full blown nervous breakdown :)

    1. Ha. I generally try to use my my wife as the female barometer, but even she left the theater fully-composed. But, that may be because she can actually control her emotions in public. Me? Not a f--king chance. I'm ridiculous.

      Take a day off and do like a triple feature? Sounds fun to me.