Often times the best and wisest things that can be said aren’t particularly new, they simply provide a fresh voice to things we already know. A couple of amazing movies I’ve seen over the past few days have really driven this home.
Note: Spoilers Ahead
Pixar’s latest movie, Inside Out, is a fun and beautifully crafted story. Somewhere a friend had posted a line that the movie showed “feelings with feelings”, just like how previous movies had “toys with feelings”, “monsters with feelings”, “cars with feelings” and so on. One of the big points (if not the main point) that the movie drives home is that our most impactful feelings and memories (our “core memories”) aren’t packaged into one single instance of joy, or sadness, or something else. They are complex: made up of multiple feelings at once. Sometimes these core memories start with one feeling, lead to another, and then come back or go somewhere else. It is very important that we recognize this and not try to shut out one feeling for another. The worst thing possible isn’t to have one feeling to excess (which admittedly can cause its own set of problems), but to shut down and avoid having any feelings at all.
Did you see how Joy’s hair and patterns on her dress had the same color match as Sadness?! I didn’t really notice this until about three quarters of the way through the movie as the pair started working together more. I found it particularly interesting how during our first encounter with other “insides” we get so see mom and her “leader” is Sadness. But she wasn’t the mopey, unsure sadness that we see in Riley, but a wiser and mature emotion, who appears to have a better grasp on the big picture. It would be really intersting to start looking into these “feeling leaders” and see how these blends affect our life and perspective.
The Peanuts Movie was a wonderful jaunt back into a world a lot of us grew up with, and still do thanks to the continued reruns of the comics. Having seen nearly every movie that had come out, it was great to see a lot of the classic “themes” or “stories” played out in the movies and comics. Charlie Brown still has issues with kites (and that kite eating tree). Snoopy has the best imagination out there. Lucy still loves her nickels. Linus is a good friend. Charlie Brown makes another go at it with the football. We get a nod to the original Christmas movie and a few other small things, like Snoopy’s extended family. For the most part I could figure out where each scene was going in the movie, and the eventual climax.
In a lot of ways, I think that was the best part of the movie. Despite all of his goofs, blunders, and mishaps through the movie, “Good ‘ol Charlie Brown” is honest, and compassionate. He doesn’t give up and can be a little funny at times too. It is those things that ultimately we love about Charlie Brown and should seek to instill in our own lives.
Ultimately we should know all of this already, and for kids, these are things they should start to learn and embrace early on. Having movies like this, which take advantage of new storytelling techniques (movies, CGI, etc) but still reflect upon old ideas and principles are a great way for “new comers” and “old farts” to come together and explore the same thing.