Directors: Pete Docter, Ronaldo del Carmen
Stars: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Kaitlyn Dias, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan
Ever thought they were voices in your head? Inside Out gives us a look inside Riley’s head. She’s an 11 year old girl who has just been uprooted from her home in Minnesota to go to San Francisco where she knows no-one and the pizza has broccoli on it. Joy, Fear, Sadness, Disgust, and Anger try to help Riley through the transition but when Joy and Sadness get lost in the recesses of Riley’s mind, the young girl starts having a crisis.
Okay, so obviously Inside Out does simplify the working of the mind but I liked how it showed how things work, and it was interesting to get a window into Riley’s head. Most of the film takes place there and it’s strange because the main characters are Riley’s emotions, so although we don’t really spend much time with Riley per se, we actually know her intimately well through her emotions. I also liked how the emotions are the same in everyone, yet some are more dominant than others.
The story is actually fairly dark, and yes, there were moments that I found extremely emotional. Many people automatically give Pixar films a great rating but I don’t think they hit it out of the park as much as some people seem to think, and I still think that Up is so overrated, but Inside Out is a gem. It’s helped by a score from Michael Giacchino that will swell the heart, but it’s a clever look at the balance of emotions, and how even ones that seem negative can serve their purpose.
The visuals are incredible and there’s one sequence in particular which struck me as amazing, and the animation is superb. There’s a lot of in-jokes that only adults will get, and some nice visual gags. This is definitely up there with the upper echelon of Pixar films. I laughed, I cried, and I enjoyed this one a lot.