Quick Takes: Hulk Vs. INSIDE OUT

Hulk loves this coming-of-age masterpiece.

WE HAVE ANOTHER ENTRY TO THE PANTHEON OF GREAT COMING OF AGE FILMS.

MAKE NO MISTAKE, THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT THIS IS; A FILM ABOUT THE DAWN OF MATURITY, EVEN IF THAT DAWN IS REALLY JUST CONTAINED WITHIN A SINGLE MOMENT. BUT WHAT IS SO AMAZING ABOUT INSIDE OUT IS THAT IT HAS SUCH CLARITY WHEN IT COMES TO THE THINGS THAT MAKE US ERUPT OUT OF CHILDHOOD AND INTO THE WORLD OF ADOLESCENCE. FOR IT FOCUSES ON THE SIMPLY STUPENDOUS IDEA THAT WHAT MAKES US TRULY GROW UP IS THE IDEA THAT MEMORY CAN BE COMPLEX.

IT HAS THE INSIGHT TO SHOW HOW THE WAY WE REMEMBER OUR LIVES IS WHAT SHAPES OUR VERY IDENTITY. AND AS OUR EMOTIONS CHANGE WITH THOSE MEMORIES AND ASSOCIATIONS WE THEREFORE CHANGE OURSELVES. WHEN WE'RE YOUNG, WE SEE OUR MEMORIES IN STARK BLACK AND WHITE CLARITY, EACH WITH A SINGULAR AND DISPARATE EMOTION ATTACHED TO IT. BUT TO UNLOCK THAT GROWTH, WE SEE OUR EMOTIONS LEARN TO WORK TOGETHER OVER TIME, INSTEAD OF SIMPLY TRYING TO DOMINATE EACH OTHER BASED ON PERCEIVED THREATS. AND SOMEHOW, THE FILM KNOWS EXACTLY HOW TO PAIR ALL THIS DOWN TO CLEAR DRAMATIC LANGUAGE OF WHAT IS OSTENSIBLY "AN ACCESSIBLE KIDS FILM." AND IT VERY MUCH IS THAT THING. IT'S FUNNY, TOUCHING AND LOVELY. BUT MOSTLY IT IS SO DAMN SMART. HECK, HULK KNEW WE WERE IN GOOD HANDS THE MOMENT THEY IDENTIFIED THE INVARIABLE AND IMPORTANT USES OF FEAR, DISGUST AND ANGER. BUT OF COURSE, BOTH THE FILM'S BEATING HEART AND GRANDEST CEREBRAL STATEMENT REST IN THE INTERLOCKING JOURNEY OF JOY AND SADNESS. FOR IT IS JOY THAT GIVES US ENERGY, BUT IT IS SADNESS THAT WE LEARN IS ACTUALLY THE SOURCE OF OUR EMPATHY. THE THING THAT ALLOWS US TO CONNECT WITH THE PLIGHT OF THOSE AROUND US. THE THING THAT ALLOWS US TO SEE MORE THAN THE IMPULSIVE JOY WITHIN US.

AND IT IS HOW HULK CANNOT GET ANY FURTHER WITHOUT TALKING ABOUT THE INCREDIBLE VOCAL PERFORMANCE OF PHYLLIS SMITH. MAKE NO MISTAKE. SHE IS DOWNRIGHT INCREDIBLE IN THIS FILM. HER PERSONIFICATION OF SADNESS IS ODDLY ONE OF THE MOST AMUSING, ENDEARING AND TOUCHING PERFORMANCES HULK CAN IMAGINE.

AND WHAT SPEAKS TO THE POWER OF SUCH PERSONIFICATION IS HOW MUCH THIS FILM HAS GOTTEN HULK TO THINK ABOUT THE WAY HULK'S OWN PSYCHOLOGY WORKS. IT MAY SOUND SILLY, BUT THE FILM SEEMS TO BE REALLY AFFECTING HOW PEOPLE THINK. JUST ABOUT EVERYONE HULK KNOWS HAS BEGUN THINKING ABOUT THE PERSONIFICATION OF THEIR OWN EMOTIONS: JOY, FEAR, SADNESS, ANGER AND DISGUST. WE'VE BEGUN TALKING ABOUT WHO MANS THE CONTROLS AND HOW THEY INTERACT AND HOW THEY ALL PIECE TOGETHER. HULK KNOWS IT'S SILLY AND TRUNCATED, BUT HULK SWEARS IT'S A MUCH-NEEDED DEVICE THAT ALLOWS US TO REALLY CLARIFY THE DAMNING ABSTRACTION THAT IS THE HUMAN MIND.

AND IT'S WHY ANALYSIS IS SO GOSH DARN IMPORTANT TO THE HUMAN SOUL, TOO. BEING ABLE TO LOOK AT A MOVIE, A FRIEND'S PLIGHT AND ESPECIALLY OUR OWN MIND AND COME TO A SENSE OF UNDERSTANDING OF HOW IT ALL WORKS IS JUST COMPLETELY CRITICAL TO BEING IN TUNE WITH OUR CONTENTMENT. AS SUCH, YOU REALIZE SOMETHING CRITICAL:

ANALYSIS ISN'T WHAT BLOCKS OUR EMOTIONS...

ANALYSIS IS WHAT ALLOWS US TO UNDERSTAND OUR EMOTIONS.

AND IT'S PRECISELY THIS PHILOSOPHY THAT GOT HULK IN A DISCUSSION WITH SOMEONE OVER WHETHER OR NOT "REASON" SHOULD HAVE BEEN PERSONIFIED IN THE MOVIE. PUT SIMPLY: THIS IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS WITH HOW MEN THINK OF BOTH INTELLIGENCE AND EMOTION. THEY LOOK AT "REASON" AS SOME OTHER ABSTRACT THING THAT CAN COME IN AND GIVE OUR EMOTIONS A GOOD TALKING TO IN ORDER TO SET THEM STRAIGHT. BUT "REASON" DOESN'T EXIST. AT LEAST NOT LIKE THAT. BECAUSE REASON IS NOTHING MORE THAN THE LEVEL OF COHERENCE BETWEEN OUR VERY REAL EMOTIONS. AND IT'S PRECISELY WHY MOST PEOPLE WHO HOLD UP "REASON" OR "LOGIC" AS THE PARAGON OF HUMAN CONDITIONS TEND TO BE PEOPLE WHOSE DISGUST IS PILOTING THEIR MENTAL HEADQUARTERS.

SO NO, OUR UNDERSTANDING OF OUR EMOTIONS IS SO MUCH MORE THAN THE BASIC APPLICATION OF REASON. IT IS INSTEAD AN ACT BORN FROM EMPATHY, A WILLINGNESS TO EMBRACE OUR SADNESS, ACKNOWLEDGE OUR ANGER AND TEMPER OUR DISGUST. AND IT IS THIS SOULFUL, MATURE CHARACTERIZATION, ALONG WITH JUST ABOUT EVERY OTHER THING ABOUT THE MOVIE, THAT MAKES HULK HAVE A DIFFERENT FEELING WHEN COMPARED TO EVERY OTHER FILM IN THE PIXAR CANON. BECAUSE THIS WAS ABSOLUTELY THE FIRST TIME HULK WANTED TO GO BACK TO THE WORLD OF THE FILM AND KEEP EXPLORING. BECAUSE HULK WANTS TO SEE RILEY CHANGE. HULK WANTS TO SEE INSIDE MORE PEOPLE. HULK WANTS SO MUCH MORE INSIGHT INTO LIFE... WHY DOES THE CANVAS OF INSIDE OUT'S POSSIBLE STORY FEELS SO EPIC?

BECAUSE IT IS AS EXPANSIVE AS THE HUMAN MIND ITSELF.

AND AS FULL AS THE HUMAN HEART.

<3 HULK

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