Inside Out is Pixar’s greatest achievement. To many, this will come across as a bold statement; after all, it’s only been about a week since the film’s release. However, I’ve had fruitful discussions with friends about the picture and put much careful thought into it, and while it may be early to say it, I’m quite confident in my opinion. The film rivals Toy Story as the best feature film to date from the studio, and it’s also its most ambitious, creative, moving, and smartly written one to boot. But above all, what makes it such a tremendous film is its empathy.
I’ve been compromised; I admit that I cannot completely enter into a critic’s state of mind when reviewing the long-anticipated Jurassic World. I watched a ton of movies when growing up, but Jurassic Park was one of the three that anchored my childhood (with Star Wars and Free Willy being the other two). Watching dinosaurs come to life was a magical experience like no other, and that had me hooked for the rest of my life. I bought the toys, I played make-believe Jurassic Park and video games with my friends, I wanted to be a paleontologist, I don’t fully hate the sequels, and I caught the film’s re-release back in 2013.
Emotional attachment is a funny thing, as it clouds judgment and evokes fond, personal experiences and memories, and it’s difficult to resist. It’s like telling your child that you loved his or her performance in the school play, even though it actually wasn’t great. That’s exactly how I feel about Jurassic World. It’s tailor-made for the fans who were shaped by the franchise, and I suspect that they will react to so strongly such that the act of being transported to this familiar world outweighs the film’s flaws.