Sure, the story of Riley and her folks muddling through their new life in San Francisco is riveting on its own, but does Inside Out hold up without them? See for yourself in the video below, as a rather industrious editor has removed all of the "emotion" from Inside Out, leaving the following short film behind.
Jordan Hanzon is the editor you have to thank for what he's dubbed, "The Outside Edition" of Inside Out, which was recently featured by the good folks over at Dorkly. Clocking in at a really short 15 minutes and change, this new cut of the film shows just how much the story depends on the plot-line that follows Joy and Sadness throughout Riley's subconscious. Yet, strangely enough, it also highlights how Inside Out could have worked as a straight drama in its own right.
Forgiving the inherent awkwardness that even the best fan edits eventually run across, the recut version of Inside Out manages to still weave a tale of young Riley's woes and joys in her new life. If anything, the cuts and jumps in the film's new way of storytelling lend some added dimension to the rapid shifts in our protagonist's mindset. The best way to describe this version of the film is that it's the perfect version to watch if you expected Inside Out to feel like more of an art installation, rather than a narrative film.
With these newfound perks comes some drawbacks, mainly that of the audience the film is aiming its message to changes drastically. Despite the universal nature of Inside Out's ultimate message, the personification of emotions like Joy and Sadness are required to sell that message properly to kids. Much like any good Pixar film worth its salt, the mature message is the medicine at the center, while the delivery vehicle is the candy coating that helps it go down smoothly. Also, it helps give the adults in the room a bit of a break from crying about the real world antics that remind them of their own children, which is always a plus.
However, if you're still not convinced that Inside Out needs the inner emotional components to really work, there's someone you've totally forgotten about. That's right, no emotions means no Bing Bong. If you lose everyone's friend who loves to play, you're missing possibly the most emotional moment of the film. It's his sacrifice that ultimately sobers Joy to the reality that anyone is expendable in Riley's mind, and sometimes you have to think outside of yourself in order to see the bigger picture.
No matter how you choose to enjoy Inside Out, the same basic message remains: kids are as complicated as adults, and they're equally as fragile too. Luckily, you now have two different choices as to how you enjoy that message; but if we have a choice, we'll take the version with Bing Bong. It would be rude not to give him the respect he deserves.