Disney and Pixar's original movie "Inside Out" (2015) opened a couple of weeks ago, and not only was it a big box office hit, it also received many favorable reviews from critics (for a fairly detailed description and review of the movie read this article from The Atlantic). While I will probably not see the movie in a theater, I will certainly seek it out when it is released on DVD. Pixar has created some of my favorite animated movies in recent years, including "Monsters, Inc." (2001), "The Incredibles" (2004), and "Up" (2009), and by all accounts this latest offering will not disappoint!
The concept of exploring the inner workings of a young girl's mind as represented by individual emotions is fascinating, but I have seen a similar idea before, and in another Disney animation. Check out this YouTube video of Disney's 1943 anti-Nazi short film called "Reason and Emotion":
As a young girl, I saw the first half of this cartoon on the Walt Disney television series, a children's program popular since the mid-1950s. The beginning portion of the original short was incorporated into a new episode for the show called "Man Is His Own Worst Enemy", which aired on October 21, 1962. While I can't remember the rest of the episode, for some reason this part has stuck in my mind even after all these years, possibly because it was so original as well as funny.
Many people have mentioned online that they recall a television sitcom from the 1990s called "Herman's Head" starring William Ragsdale that used a similar technique of viewing one man's world from inside his head. All episodes from all three seasons of the series are on YouTube (view Season 1, Season 2, and Season 3). I never saw this series, so I recently watched the pilot episode. While it was okay, but I did not find it to be an especially exceptional show. You can watch for yourself and see what you think:
Even though the idea of depicting the human mind as a control center populated by tiny homunculi in charge of different functions is not new, "Inside Out" is the first full-length movie to use this concept. It is also the first to more fully explore the mind of a child, and the choice of a female character has been praised as an important step for Disney in moving away from the tendency to feature only princess-type female figures in its animated films. This is a movie I am looking forward to seeing, and I will do so the first chance I get! You can view the trailer right now: