How “Inside out” made me give animation a second chance

I have always been kind of a childish girl. I am the youngest of three sisters, which pretty much makes my Mother a kind of Grandmother (at least that’s what I used to tell her as a joke — she doesn’t usually smile a lot — i guess now I know why) and I suppose everyone kind of thinks of me as the smaller child (which I also am), the poorer child (which I sadly am), the fatter child (which I tragically am)… Summing it up: the most-in-need-of-help-in-order-to-grow-up-and-become-a-strong-adult child (which I definately am).

As any normal human being, I tried to live up to other people’s expectations, remaining up until today the Baby Sister (even though I will be 29 in 28 days). I could make an effort to become a “serious grownup”, I know, but throwing tantrums can be such a tempting escape sometimes… ❤

As an official Baby Sister, I must have watched cartoons on TV up until I was about 17 or 18 years old (which in my life book is pretty old — by that age everyone was already on their second boy/girlfriend, smoking cigarettes and going out to clubs every Friday and Saturday). Not me, though. I grew up on a Cartoon Network binging diet. Tom & Jerry, Johnny Bravo, Dexter’s Lab, Cow and Chicken, The Flintstones, they were my bestest pals (I didn’t really build all those going out, flirting with boys, picking sexy tops to put on kind of skills). I really was a baby.

Strangely enough, I grew out of cartoons. I say strangely, because I kept on being the Baby Sister, so it wasn’t some kind of global growing up epiphany. I just didn’t watch cartoons anymore. I watched movies, lots of them. I watched so many that it became impossible for me to tolerate any form of cartoon, whether it’d be a short sketch on TV or a full feature film from Disney or any other animation studio. I could not get over how childish the dialogs were, how classically morale-ish the stories turned out to be. I simply grew out of it (I guess that was me becoming an adult in my own lonely way).

This means that I did not join that apparently huge group of grownups (with no kids, baby siblings, nephews or cousins) that actually goes to the cinema and watches animation movies (I say this with no judgment). This means that in the last 12 years I must have watched no more than three of four animation movies. In fact, I can only clearly remember being dragged on to a “Shrek the Third” screening around 2007 and watching a “Despicable Me 2” DVD in 2013 or 2014.

This week, however, I decided to go and see “Inside Out”. I like Mindy Kaling’s humor, so I went along with the innocent thought “if she’s on it, it must not be too bad”.

I liked “Inside Out”. It is deeply insightful and it truly feels like it portraits reality (I guess it is the typical distance between animation movies’ stories and real life that makes this kind of features less appealing to me).

This is not a kid’s movie. Surely, they will like it and they will laugh during the screening, but I don’t think they will grasp the full depth of it.

“Inside Out” shows how complex the human mind is and how this complexity takes its time to develop. It also shows you the effect other people and their actions have over the construction of one’s personality. It does not excuse one’s genes for also contributing to a person’s character foundation, but it clearly shows how everything one experiences during one’s life is likely to have an effect on future decisions and behaviors.

It’s a great movie to learn more about humans and to help us understand non-innate things such as accepting that sometimes being sad for a little while just might be OK.

Maybe there are many other animated movies out there that are similarly insightful and heartfelt. I just happened to pick this particular one and it ended up making me think that maybe there is a little more to animated movies. Maybe some of them are less “movies for children” and more “animated helpful lessons for somewhat-still-childish-adults”.

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