Remember Inside Out?

Minions guffaw

Seems like ages ago that everyone was gushing over Pixar’s latest hit, doesn’t it?

Now Minions is the movie on everyone’s lips. The hit of the land! A tremendous opening weekend! Almost $400,000,000 grossed worldwide!!! Illumination/Universal does it yet again! Can nothing stop them???

Wait, what’s that you say?

They’re working on a Wreck-It-Ralph sequel!?*

Well if they don’t call it Super Wreck-It-Ralph someone should be fired.†

Etc. etc.

* MovieNews | John C. Reilly confirms at Galway Film Fleadh that he’s signed on for Wreck-It Ralph 2 –

† As quipped by Redditor /u/lpjunior999

Frozen contributed to my disillusionment with animation last year.

Inside Out is the catalyst this time around.

The cranial dynamo ran out of steam, and it’s no easy task to get it spinning again.

Ideally you shouldn’t have to start rebuilding a passion from scratch, and yet here we are.

With that in mind, the focus now is on creating something new,  and in order to do that, you can’t focus on the old.

11 thoughts on “Remember Inside Out?”

  1. I remember Inside Out. Why shouldn’t I? It’s still in theaters. Oh right, because I didn’t see Minions and have no intention too because it doesn’t look like it’s my taste.

  2. I’m finally off to see Inside Out tonight, but I know what you mean. It DOES seem like “a long time ago” of a release. How weird. Well, that’s the world now, I guess. New new new new new, no room for anything days old.

      1. Do you want the thesis version?

        -The character designs looked like a half-assed homework assignment done by a freshman in the Calarts Character Animation program.
        -Amy Poehler’s depiction of Joy is insultingly disingenuous.
        -The movie is so weirdly shiny and badly colored, it looks like their computers broke down halfway through the rendering process and they had to make the rest of it real-time on a six-year-old PS3.
        -Bing Bong’s death was the most emotionally manipulative scene in recent animation history. It’s as if Pixar was like “let’s see if we can get all the 20-something ABC Family viewers in the audience to cry without actually exerting any effort!”
        -Joy has that bizarre emotional breakdown in the last act of the film…so emotions have emotions?
        -Riley’s depression seems way too severe for what happens to her, and escalates way too quickly.
        -Her parents are so one-dimensional as characters, the filmmakers could have substituted them for pillows with faces drawn on and the movie wouldn’t have played any differently.
        -That scene at the dinner table where the dad is preoccupied by sports and the mom is acting the part of the nurturing nag is horrendous. The 80s called, they want their gender roles back.
        -I really liked the scene where Riley is underwhelmed with the family’s new house…the first time I saw it, in Coraline.
        -And while we’re on the subject of better movies that had really likeable little girl characters that you could actually get emotionally invested in….why is Riley such a boring, dimensionless character with no believability? Her personality is liking hockey and…telling the truth? And she’s afraid of clowns? There’s nothing to her! And I’m honestly supposed to believe that human beings are just blank robots when they don’t have annoying technicolor cliches at the wheel?
        -Pixar can act like they’re the classy, intellectual version of Disney, but if that control room in Riley’s mind is any indication, at least some of their artists have watched Osmosis Jones.
        -The scene where Riley runs away is bizarre to the point of discomfort. First of all…shaky cam? Really? Second of all, in the build-up to the “button that should never be pressed”, when the emotions give her the idea to run away…I mean, did the filmmakers wanna make it a suicide attempt, but thought it was too dark and changed it last minute? Because the emotions act like it’s the end of the world. If you’re gonna go with her running away, it would’ve been more interesting if, instead of the emotions making her do it, the emotions lose control of her and *she* decides to run away herself. That would really raise the tension, because it would shatter the assumed status-quo of the movie’s world.

        But beyond all of that, the thing that made me the angriest about this movie- I’m talking angry and hurt nearly to the point of tears- is how insulting Pixar’s depiction of Depression is. It’s so inaccurate, it’s so simplified, and it’s so…idiotic. Depression is something I struggle with really badly, and something many people in my family have struggled with even worse all my life. And to see these NorCal, cloistered assholes get it so wrong was just absolutely the worst movie experience I’ve ever had. I wanted to storm out of the theater. I wanted to throw something at the screen. I wanted the movie to just stop playing.

        And worse than Inside Out being bad, worse than it being insulting to anyone with mental illness, it’s a betrayal. My family and I used to go see every Pixar movie in theaters, from Toy Story all the way through to Toy Story 3. I loved Pixar…it was the studio that inspired me to become an animator. But then they had that awful string of cash-grab sequels the past few years, and suddenly we didn’t want to see their movies any more. The tradition went away. And maybe I should have been more skeptical, but I honestly though Inside Out would be different. At the very least, I thought my family would have a good time at the movies. But instead all four of us went home that night miserable and angry.

        Pixar’s claim to usefulness is that their movies uplift and entertain. But this one not only failed to entertain, it brought me down. It made me feel like I would have been better off if I hadn’t seen it. And any movie that can make someone in the audience feel that badly has failed on a fundamental level.

        But honestly though, it doesn’t matter that I thought Inside Out sucked. Loads of people- including, I’m sure, the studio itself- think that Pixar’s dry spell is over. Loads of people think it’s a masterpiece, and that’s probably how it’s gonna be remembered. Just like Frozen. Just like Big Hero 6. Hell, now that Iger’s figured out that Disney can put out anything and have it take home awards and bring in billions of dollars, I wouldn’t be surprised if Disney’s next hit is 86 minutes of a dancing condom. What do they care if one girl in the middle of east jesus nowhere thought their movie was bad? It’s the Animation Revival, baby.

        1. Wow! Thanks for taking the time to write that; lots of food for thought and I can’t say I disagree with any of the points you raise.

          Pixar has become a shadow of its former self given into believing their own hype. I honestly haven’t been genuinely excited about any of their films for years for many reasons that are similar to what you touch on above. There is a feeling of betrayal, but then it’s the cold, hard truth of reality that reminds us that films are never made with the artist in mind, but rather the ignorant masses who gladly swallow what they’re fed because for them, animated films are entertainment, not a way of life.

          What I’ve had to keep reminding myself lately though, is that Pixar are but one studio, and just because most of the noise is about them doesn’t mean that you have to actually listen. The same goes for the other big studios. There’s far more animation being made elsewhere that is better, more artistic, and more innovative and if you look in the right places, you can find immense rewards. Doing that really helped motivate me to continue working on my shorts, because I realised that it gives me the freedom to create what I want to create without being distracted by whatever hype-train surrounds the latest big-budget release.

          If there is one thing that I think you can take away from the experience, its that when Pixar eventually does stumble (and the time is drawing ever closer), it will be even larger and more magnificent than any of us have ever imagined.

          1. What? I like other Disney and Pixar movies. But I don’t like the ones they are making right now.

            Pinocchio is beautiful and moving, and is one of my favorite movies period. Snow White is an incredible watershed achievement in context, and a pleasant movie with enchanting visuals and music out of context. Dumbo is fantastic, with gorgeous animation, gorgeous backgrounds, and truly iconic sequences. The Little Mermaid and Beauty and The Beast- really any of the Menken/Ashman collaborations- are charming and magical and, despite having inconsistent animation, boast amazing soundtracks that have stuck with me my entire life. On Pixar’s side: Toy Story, The Incredibles, WALL E: all of them are well-written, well-animated home runs that I still love to this day. Not to mention Disney-influenced films like Iron Giant (a masterpiece that is very dear to my heart and has influenced my own work greatly).

            I wouldn’t be this angry over the current state of feature animation if I didn’t have a deep love in my heart for the Disney legacy.

        2. Mariano Rodríguez

          You are speaking the very truth. They will peddle the same mediocre shit forever, and receive glorious feedback and tones of cash for it.

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