The Dramatic Layer Cake of Inside Out

It’s interesting how fan communities often lionize the idea of “thematic depth” in stories, as if fiction with an underlying philosophical message is somehow more worthy than works that are largely concerned with having a good time. It makes sense for a few reasons – we see complexity as an inherent good, we see works that are trying to change the viewers’ minds as more challenging or morally profound, we more deeply connect with the works that taught us something new, etcetera. But it’s also a little funny to me, since there’s no type of art more prone to sermonizing than family entertainment.

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