For all the time and money we spend seeking an escape (and calorie consumption) in multiplexes, how often does it really feel like cinema history is unfolding right before our eyes? Well, that's what happens with Inside Out. Hyperbole? Not a bit of it.
With every passing minute of this glorious, life-affirming Disney-Pixar creation, grows the feeling that next year's Best Picture Oscar winner has arrived with loads of viewing time to spare - the first animated movie to win the top gong. Sure, there's a ways to go until February, but Inside Out's rep and what it means to people - movers, shakers, paying punters and their loved ones - is only going to grow and grow in the coming months. As for the years, wow; this film will become an emotional touchstone, handed down the generations and hitting all the right places every time. Don't beat yourself up about blubbing, now or ever.
We're in the mind of 11-year-old Riley (Kaitlyn Dias), as emotions Joy (voiced by the brilliant Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Fear (Bill Hader) and Anger (Lewis Black) try to deal with a family move from Minnesota to San Francisco.
For as long as anyone can remember, Joy has been the bubbly boss in "Headquarters", but now the other four start getting some serious notions. As the problems pile up, so begins an adventure with stop-offs in Long Term Memory, Dream Productions, Imagination Land and the Subconscious, a ride on the Train of Thought and an encounter with Bing Bong. And everyone needs a Bing Bong.
There have always been relationship lessons and real world wisdom nuggets galore for grown-ups in Pixar movies, but Up! director Pete Docter and his team have outdone themselves here. Of course, from characters to visuals to sense of fun and adventure there's loads here for kids, but it's for us adults, whose daily reality involves living with the production of The Wizard of Oz going on in our own heads, that Inside Out will have the most impact.
Time with Riley and her emotions serves to remind that we're all works in progress, no-one is perfect and the problems usually aren't that big; it's the way we react to them. Through the youngster we get the chance to be in better shape when the closing credits roll. For services to mental health, they need to make another gold statuette over in Hollywood.
There's so much going on here that one watch now won't be enough. Lucky us. Christmas has arrived five months early, and the gifts are so precious that you can't help but want to share.