Overly Reductive Plot Summary
A sugar-buzzed, introspective meditation on how developing young-adult psyches adjust to the increasingly complex emotions they are experiencing. It's basically Herman's Head but... You know... for kids!
Being a kids movie that speaks honestly about the necessity of sadness in life, that eschews fart jokes for Chinatown jokes and that allows a main character to die without bringing him back to life. (Spoiler alert: a main character dies and doesn't come back).
The Entire Film In 3 Images
Elements Of The Film (Ranked On An Outwardly Emotional Scale of 1 to 5)
- For a film about abstract thought, a lot of the story-telling is very pat. It's a free-form romp through the conscious and sub-conscious mind that fits Blake Snyder's prescription to the page number. There's a reason that Pixar moves more units than Charlie Kaufman but this is the first time the crowd-pleaser format that they're masters of has felt a bit at odds to the subject matter.
- The film strongly echoes the sentiments of the "When Somebody Loves You" sequence in Toy Story 2: Havana Nights. This isn't a bad thing as the complexity of emotions in that sequence is wholly overwhelming. But, the film feels familiar and slower because of the closeness in conceit.
- Pixar has an uncanny ability to populate their films with celebrity and not-so-celebrity voices without any of them overpowering each other or distracting from the characterisation and story. Every voice is perfect for the character and every character feels whole and strong in their emotional convictions.
- The design of the film is stunning. Every shot is overflowing with detail and creativity. Repeat viewers are sure to be rewarded for their efforts.
- Pete Docter (who also directed Monster's Inc.) and his team are terrifically in tune with how the experience of emoting changes in young teens. They're also in tune with what annoys, inspires and terrifies parents. The emotional sensitivity creates a story that is very well balanced and compassionate to all the characters, young and old.
Oh, for heaven's sake! It's a Pixar film about how it feels to feel feelings. Just watch it. You know it's going to be amazing.