I can’t lie, I am a sucker for animated movies, and not many studios can produce higher quality animation than Pixar and Disney.
It’s been a number of years since these two animation powerhouses have joined forces to create a true spectacle, but the stars have aligned once more and we have been given “Inside Out”; a complex, compelling and most of all, entertaining film emotions and memories.
Inside Out literally puts you inside the head of the main character. Here it is Riley Anderson (voiced by Kaitlyn Dias), an 11 year old girl who has just moved house with her parents (Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan) due to her father’s work.
The premise of the film is simple; the struggles of a young girl dealing with change, however, the way in which the film handles and portrays these concepts is what makes it truly special.
Whilst the story is about Riley, most of the action takes place inside of her mind. Here the embodiments of Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling) determine how Riley reacts and the memories she creates.
Joy, the first emotion Riley ever witnesses, is determined to ensure that each and every day of Riley’s life is full of fun and happiness. Through working with the other emotions (and limiting Sadness’s influences), Joy handles this personal mission successfully, however, after moving from her quiet family life in Minnesota to the busy and glum San Francisco, everything starts to change.
Through a series of events, both Joy and Sadness become separated from the main emotion control centre, taking with them Riley’s Core memories. These core memories are essentially what makes Riley, Riley and without them, Riley begins to lose all of her personality.
It is now Joy’s main task to return to the hub with these memories before Anger, Fear and Disgust make any poor decisions for Riley.
This movie is a perfect example of Pixar and Disney’s strengths. Although clearly marketed towards kids with the bright colours and brilliantly expressive voice acting, there are elements included which can be appreciated by all ages.
The humour is clever, with some jokes clear, while others are very subtle but no less amusing.
Another main stay of Pixar’s animation is the quality of the visuals. Although the character designs were not overly complicated, their presentation is beautiful. Close ups show that the emotions’ skin actually has a soft, fuzzy texture to it, and you can even see a couple of single messy hairs on their head!
The feels though.
So many feels.
As expected with a movie dealing with emotions, there are a few heart wrenching scenes and I was definitely not left dry eyed. Riley deals with loss and longing, and Joy also struggles to come to terms with Sadness.
Whilst this movie is nearly perfect, there are a few flaws. The pacing was a little bit off, and Joy and Sadness’ journey back to “Headquarters” felt a little long and fraught with too many setbacks.
Additionally, I couldn’t help but feel I’d seen a lot of similar tropes used in other Pixar movies before, such as Nemo and Toy Story. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but made it feel slightly less original to me.
Overall, Disney and Pixar have created a beautiful and funny movie which also subtly looks into mental health. And understandably so, the movie took 5 ½ years to produce! The few downsides are definitely made up by the engaging overall plot, colourful cast and stunning visuals, leaving the audience tearful, yet happy.
If you haven’t seen “Inside Out” yet, what are you doing?! This is a near perfect movie and I strongly recommend seeing it whilst it’s still showing in cinemas.