Every nine months or so New Yorker film columnist Richard Brody will tap out something marvelous, which is to say an opinion I agree with. The topic this time is Inside Out, which drove Brody crazy for reasons that are much more specifically explained and dissected than I cared to get into in my little piffle reviews. I didn’t care that much; I just can’t stand the oppresively peppy energy of mainstream animated features. But Brody, man…Brody goes into the mouth of the leviathan with a scalpel and slides down the gullet and eventually finds the giant Pixar heart and stabs, slices and severs with precision…covering himself in whale blood.
Excerpt #1: “Since the subject of Inside Out is life lived in the grip of emotions, let me admit to mine: I emerged from the theatre feeling like W. C. Fields, hating children, all children, even my children, because of what those who purport to make movies for them have been doing, both to movies and to children.
Excerpt #2: “For all the cleverness of Inside Out I was jolted from the start by its deformation of children and of mental life. I saw a feature-length sales pitch — or, worse, an indoctrination — to mold kids into beings as artificial and uniform as those created, by computer graphics, in the movie. In effect, Inside Out is a feature-length training manual for seeing life like a Pixar movie, an imprint machine for creating its own consumers.
Excerpt #3: “The dull one-liners and conspicuous C.G.I. camera-mugging seem calculated by the filmmakers to keep the tone and the import of Inside Out from spilling over the boundaries of their carefully devised meaning and clearly delineated messages. The worst thing in children’s films — and the curse of the Pixar universe — is insipid virtue.”
Whatever, man. The point is that somebody besides myself felt unhappy — was forced to feel unhappy — by the experience of watching Inside Out. That’s enough to brighten my Sunday and then some.