So recently two new animated movies came out, being a large bearded male in my mid-20s with no children (that I know of) I ‘borrowed’ a friend’s children for the day and saw Inside Out and Minions.
I’m always scared whenever a new Pixar film comes out; almost all of them have done what most movies fail to do and make me feel emotions, hell one of them made me cry (those who watched Toy Story 1 and 2 when they were young only for #3 to come out when they were in their late teens know exactly what I’m talking about.)
Despicable Me on the other hand, while amusing never really lit me on fire. Perhaps it was due to the fact that I was dating a girl at the time who thought it the height of hilarity to quote the minions in a squeaky voice (Yes dear it’s funny when the yellow blob in the movie says “Bottom”, not when the white blob in my bedroom says it) But enough about romance. Will the new movie in the series finally sell me on the franchise?
Since both movies came out in the same week, I thought it would be fun host a competition between both films, awarding them points in a variety of categories. Is this reductionist way of reviewing movies particularly effective or accurate? Probably not, but it’s my website so sod off.
Both films animation is at the highest standard, with nothing feeling wrong or out of place. Gee what an insightful paragraph, glad I opened with it.
Verdict - Tie
Inside Out’s characters each represent a different emotion, each one is distinct, easily recognisable, and shows without telling. Pixar once again gives a masterclass in visual storytelling.
Minions is about yellow things that have to be given props such as guitars so the audience can tell who is who. Almost like they decided to produce a movie centred on the background comic relief characters from another film.
Verdict- Inside Out.
Ok, yeah this is probably the pettiest thing I have ever judged something over. (Excepting the time I blocked someone on Facebook for looking too happy in his profile picture) Inside Out’s trailer opens with Boston’s classic dad-rock hit More Than a Feeling, which is immediately drowned out by me turning up Minion’s trailer so I can listen to Foxy Lady.
Verdict- Jimi is still the king. Minions.
Critisicm could be levelled at Minions for most of its jokes being derivative of the minion’s lack of social awareness and utter incompetence. Personally I don’t care, funny is funny. And Minions is funny, I was giggling for much of its runtime. Inside Out on the other hand had fewer, yet funnier jokes. So it’s a quality vs quantity argument, is it better to eat a single piece of Lindt or a family size block of Cadbury’s cooking chocolate?
Verdict – Tie.
Bigger celeb voice actors
Minions boasts the likes of Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, and Allison Janney. With Sandra Bullock doing an excellent job as the big bad (and why wouldn’t she be good at being bad? That huge mouth of hers has scared me for as long as I can remember.)
Inside Out has the Delightful Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader and the ever good Richard Kind.
Verdict- Another tie.
Need an excuse to not talk to your shitty kids for an afternoon? I’m not here to judge, I’m here to help. Minion’s running time comes in at 91min while Inside Out is a slightly longer 94mins.
Verdict – Inside Out allows for you to avoid dealing with that expensive thing that ruined your party lifestyle for another 3mins!
Ok so I had some beef with Inside Out’s depiction of how the brain worked. Firstly we don’t have a central command centre, the closest thing we have is the frontal lobes. Secondly, the emotions seem to have direct control over behaviour, this does away with the idea of executive functions which would otherwise regulate thinking and behaviour. (See Mum, told you I’d use my psychology degree). I do worry that some adults will take these ideas at face value rather than the metaphors to explain the brain to children that they are.
Minions on the other hand is about a race of immortal yellow things.
Verdict – Inside Out gets the points for having the ambitious goal of introducing complex ideas to children and mostly pulling it off. At the very least, it will get kids thinking.
Range of emotions
As previously mentioned, Minions had me giggling throughout.
Fittingly for a film about emotions; Inside Out had me at various times; happy, scared, worried, amused and sad, really sad. I mean seriously one of the kids coming out of the cinema had the same 1000 yard stare on their face as WW1 trench soldiers or refugee children on Nauru.
Verdict- Inside Out’s balances out its emotional peaks and troughs almost perfectly.
Both films are rated PG but for different reasons.
Minions is rather violent with many deaths both depicted and implied.
Inside Out on the other side will crush younger children. You know that scene? You know THAT one? The scene that comes around every generation or so, Bambi’s mum getting shot, Jessie’s previous owner in Toy Story 2. Well Inside out has one of those scenes.
Verdict – Yeah thanks a fucking bunch Pixar, as if I needed another reason to cry on a Monday.
Ultimately these points are meaningless. If you’re looking for dumb bubble gum to kill an afternoon see the Minions. If however you are looking for an experience that will stay with you long after the credits have rolled, see Inside Out. It will be not only the best animated film of the year, but one of the best films of 2015.