inside out movie popcorn

Here at Empire Popcorn Company we know only too well just how much you love our popcorn. We know that you love it as a late night snack, as a lunch box filler and even as a cheeky treat on your commute home but above all else we know you love our gourmet popcorn when you’re enjoying a Friday night film. Here we have one of our monthly movie reviews to ensure you don’t need to venture anywhere else but Empire for the ultimate movie night.

We won’t just provide you with the much needed snack, we’ll tell you which flavour makes the perfect accompaniment for the latest box office smash. Today at Empire Popcorn Company we’ll be looking at Disney Pixar’s latest release, Inside Out and telling you the perfect popcorn flavour to pair with the emotional roller-coaster ride that looks to be one of the biggest hits this summer.

It’s been nine years since Disney bought Pixar and nine years since the CEO Bob Iger put John Lasseter and Ed Catmull in charge of what was then a flailing animation division for Disney. Back then, it had been over twelve years since Disney had released a hit – something that was described by some as a stunning losing streak for one of the most iconic and world-renowned animation studios in the world. When Lasseter and Catmull took the challenge and came aboard, there were talks of actually closing Disney Animation itself and replacing it with Pixar entirely but this just wasn’t something that Lasseter would agree to thanks to his love of Dumbo; his favourite childhood film.

Catmull wasn’t far different spending hours as a child thinking of a life in the world of Pinocchio and Peter Pan. Despite the pressure from up top to close such doors, they kept them open and took what was to be an enormous challenge. Instead of replacing Disney Animation they rescued it and today it’s safe to say they succeeded in resurrecting Disney’s creative side and once again threw it ahead of its competitors. After what was deemed a very dark decade, Lasseter and Catmull made Disney Animation amazing again and big hits such as Big Hero 6 were the proverbial proof in the pudding and their latest offering isn’t looking to go anywhere but the top of the charts either.

Grab that comforting bowl of popcorn; you’re going to need it

It would appear that Pixar are at the very peak of their heartstring-tugging power with a movie so poignant and joyful that it’s managing to bring adults to tears every time. One of the best things a film can do is to catch your emotions so much that it actually makes you cry. In our lives we go out of our way in order to avoid hurt and upset but when it comes to the cinema, then two hours of heartbreak and dread somehow counts as a good time. This would tend to make the vast majority nod towards an epiphany; realising that the emotions we think of as negative aren’t actually negative at all but more natural and somewhat vital responses.

These are of course every bit as healthy as laughter and happiness. Never has a film managed to grip us tightly and play our emotions out so well since Bambi or even The Notebook - until now. In fact, this latest offering from Disney Pixar hasn’t just taught us that we do have emotions but it’s taught us that it’s ok to feel such emotions. It’s also shown us that Joy and Sadness aren’t opposite but allies. Although the idea may seem alien to some, it’s most certainly been expressed with elegance and warmth in Inside Out, forcing people to hide the tears behind their oversized box of popcorn.

The movie centres around two different places at once (kind of): San Francisco being the place where Riley has recently had to move to with her parents as well as in Riley’s mind where her different emotions are trying to make sense of this new upheaval. The emotions we meet are Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Fear. Joy is the leader of the gang of emotions. With her star like appearance, Joy shoots around the headquarters of Riley’s mind gleaming, dishing out orders and pep talks to her fellow emotions. Joy however clearly looks at the other emotions as assistants but that’s for good reason. From the day since Riley was born, Joy gained an intimate bond with her simply because Riley was always her parents’ happy little girl.

Inside Out starts quite ambitiously at the very beginning of our existence – birth. Joy steps into the spotlight and tentatively clicks a button in the HQ of Riley’s mind causing a reaction in the real world; Riley laughs. Joy watches with anticipation and sees her mother and father’s faces melt with sheer delight. Meanwhile, back in her mind, this reaction causes a golden bowling ball like object to fall down a shoot out of the darkness and fall at Joy’s feet. This is one of Riley’s memories and one of the very first building blocks that’s used to build Riley’s psyche.

The director behind this masterpiece is Pete Docter, who happens to be the genius behind classics like Monsters Inc and Up. Because of his involvement in this latest offering, Inside Out feels very much a sister film to both of these although neither it would seem come quite so close at being able to grip the emotional side of viewers than Inside Out with the majority whaling in full-throated sobs within 30 seconds of the start when the first memory is completed.

Much like the Monstropolis in Monsters Inc, the mind of Riley is joyous and a buzzing ingenious fantasy world. On top of this, it seems to explain to a lot of adults just some of their own memories of childhood and let’s not forget the everyday lives of the younger more child-like viewers who may see their own minds with far more clarity now. It’s due to the move of Sadness (wanting to become more involved with the running within HQ) and a possessive like strop from Joy that they both become accidently exiled from HQ and sent to the very farthest place in Riley’s mind - her long term memory. This leaves fear, anger and disgust left behind to run the show by themselves or in other words: Riley is now left to act like the average stroppy 11 year old girl that we’re all familiar with. Like any decent feel good film, a long journey of difficultly and eventual success evolves with Joy and Sadness trekking home. Their journey takes them through strange corners of Riley’s mind like the Dream Production Studios, the theme park like Imagination Land and the dark corners of the subconscious.

The various stops on this treacherous journey seem to make perfect sense for Riley. Both worlds are beautiful yet very differently realised. San Francisco, despite its actual beauty, is all muted with grey sunlight and fairly low-key occurrences. Riley’s mind however works much like a 1950s musical incorporating the 50’s looks and sounds of Hollywood. In a particularly beautiful sequence we see one of Riley’s favourite happy memories where she skates on the frozen lake with her parents near her old house.

We watch her spin and glide with the grace and ability of Torvill and Dean, whirling through the air. Surprisingly however it isn’t Monsters Inc that Inside Out would necessarily be compared to, rather Hayao Miyazaki’s Oscar winning 2001 film Spirited Away as that too maps out the inner workings and subsequent turmoil of an 11 year old girl. It also happens to do so on a rather unique and fantasy like canvas. Inside Out however is a lot less ambiguous and strange although it’s ending is far from the all American happy ending that we’re used to or that Joy herself wants. The ending of the film gives us all a lesson; the pure bliss and happiness of childhood simply can’t last forever but we’re left with a feeling that actually, that’s ok and simply all a part of growing up.

If you’ve had a particularly stressful week at work then we suggest leaving it until another weekend to take the kids, unless of course you don’t mind blubbing into your popcorn in which case we’ve got a flavour to suit but then again, we have a flavour for every mood. If you’re feeling up to the emotional roller-coaster ride that is Inside Out however then we think the sweet and innocent undertones of the film can only be accompanied by a sweet and innocent popcorn flavour. When it comes to sweetness however, we have a wide variety here at Empire Popcorn Company. For those who have a real sweet tooth then our Toffee Popcorn or our traditional Sweet Popcorn would be the perfect choice.

For those who perhaps want an extra dose of sweetness and child-like appeal for such a heart warming movie then we recommend our Strawberry Pink Sweet Popcorn. Sweetness and light will always win out, even in a film that tells us the sheer happiness of childhood doesn’t always prevail but the fact that we’re reminded that it’s ok is just another reason to dose up on a little sweetness and heart warming feelings for our own satisfaction. So grab that popcorn and prepare yourself for some real heavy tugging on the heartstrings with Inside Out.