For several months, leading UK cinema chain ODEON has provided audiences with their Screen Unseen privileges; public previews of forthcoming pictures – usually around five days in advance of general release. Strangely however, last Monday (22nd June) saw the fifth unveiled picture and shockingly, it was met with rather wide disapproval.
The film showcased was Inside Out – the upcoming major “emotion picture” from director Pete Docter and the geniuses at Pixar Animation Studios. Screened an entire month ahead of general release, attendees have gotten to see the film ahead of most press – myself included – yet some disgruntled audience members had the audacity to complain about the selection, walk out of the various showings across the country and even demand their money back.
As always, the masses took to Twitter to convey their outrage at the ODEON for showing a “kids film” or a “cartoon”; probably two of the most offensive things a person could ever label an animated picture; particularly one from Pixar’s pallet.
I admit it – I am an unfathomably geeky Pixar fanboy – I have been all my life. John Lasseter, Edwin Catmull and Steve Jobs are the reason one fell in love with cinema; appreciated its endless possibilities, understood its artistry. Heck, I even wrote my university dissertation on Toy Story! The company – no co-owned with Lasseter’s managed Walt Disney Studios – have been providing audiences some of the most compelling, compassionate, forward-thinking and most importantly, adult pictures for decades. Early word from festivals such as Cannes and Edinburgh suggests that Inside Out is amongst their greatest achievements, with many praising just how grown-up and thoughtful the film is. And yet the general public on Monday felt the need to whine about it.
Sorry to be blunt, but get off your high horse and stop being so woefully inconsiderate. How dare you label these films as “childish”; by stereotyping a genre merely because of warped social context means you simply have zero respect for the artist, and consequently filmmaking in general. The endless, tedious hours that go into forming, storyboarding, building, rendering, colouring, moulding, lighting and framing a computer animated, or stop-motion, or even hand-drawn, is simply beyond our comprehension. Crafting a live-action feature is difficult enough, but this is another level. Besides the tireless effort provided to conduct Inside Out, just look at what the film is actually about…
It presents in hyper-detail the inner workings of a child’s subconscious; a girl trapped between that complex age where she is past playing with Barbies, but isn’t old enough to start giggling and blushing at cute boys. A girl beginning to understand her body as she slowly shows signs of puberty. A girl whose livelihood has been pulled from underneath her; leaving her friends, home and routine behind at the mercy of her elders. A girl isolated and confused, attempting to maintain throughout such bizarre and unhinged circumstances. Yup, it sounds just like Dora the Explorer on Nick Jr. doesn’t it…give me a damn break.
Apparently some were annoyed because the BBFC classification attached to the booking form for the Screen Unseen stated the picture was a 15 certificate, thus being mislead by the selection of Pixar’s latest. To this I say stop being so silly. Of course they would have to put a pending certificate upon the booking, and of course it would have to be of a higher rating. THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE SHOWING YET. Plus, by selling only to viewers aged 15 or over, you eliminate being stuck next to a crying baby or a nine year-old gobbling popcorn and Skittles like a rabid mutant. It’s actually quite nice to watch a family rated picture (U, PG) in a peaceful, attentive environment – not blooming daycare.
Things like this strike sensational fear into my heart and I imagine many other critics and film lovers also. We live in a society where all audiences do is moan about endless sequels, remakes, reboots, franchise pieces, spin-offs. We crave originality more than ever. Then a film turns up on the doorstep that is utterly alive with unique wonder, visual splendor, palpable emotion and a heart that beats so vibrantly, and some people kick it to the curb.
We are our own worst enemy. Just like the comment in David Nix’s spectacular rant from Tomorrowland: A World Beyond (still the best film of 2015 no matter what anyone says…), we accept things because it is simply easier to do so. We’ll continue to whinge about Terminator Genysis, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, or any other major and recycled studio picture which crashes to our shores over the coming months, but do absolutely nothing about it. We’ll still flock to the multiplexes, consume and then await the inevitable follow-on.
Disney Pixar’s latest will be a global monster-hit no doubt, but when those cast bitter Inside Doubt, that makes me angrier than the flame-headed, button-shirted little man who lives in all our brains.
Inside Out reaches UK cinemas in Disney 3D on 24th July.