Inside Out Review
Directed by Pete Docter
Starring Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling
Pixar have been meddling with our emotions for years. From the heartwarming Toy Story trilogy, to the ocean adventure Finding Nemo, to the heartbreaking opening sequence of Up. Toys have had emotions, fish have had emotions, as have monsters and bugs. This time, Pixar have really pushed the boundaries, by giving emotions emotions – culminating in one of their best works yet.
Inside Out is the coming of age tale of the emotions inside a girl’s (Riley) head; Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust. All of these ‘characters’ are voiced expertly, in particular Amy Poehler as Joy and Phyllis Smith as Sadness, who both give empathy and emotion to their emotions! The emotions begin to struggle as Riley begins to grow up, making their job harder and harder to do, especially as she begins to go through bouts of depression after moving house.
Doesn’t sound much like a children’s animation, does it? That’s because it isn’t! Inside Out is Pixar’s most grown up film to date, and undoubtedly brings anybody who’s lived these years, to tears. But even for kids, there are still plenty of adventure and fun characters to keep them invested.
The most incredible thing about the film is how we’ve all experienced some of the themes being explored. Some may have experienced depression, the feeling of moving away from friends, and we’ve all grown up and gone through our teenage spells. This is such a very real movie, that could really only work as an animation.
It’s not all doom and gloom – there a lot of funny moments when it comes to interaction between the emotions. Any argument between the emotions on how Riley should feel at a given moment often brings light moments. The funniest scene in the film features Riley’s parents, and what their emotions are doing inside their heads! Riley’s mother is still hung up on an ex-lover, whilst Riley’s father is too busy thinking about sports to pay attention to what is going on at the dinner table!
Among all of the emotional punches, the heaviest involves Riley’s imaginary friend – Bing Bong – who is struggling with the concept of Riley letting him go as she grows up. There’s so much sadness within this character, a pink elephant, and as somebody who had an imaginary friend when I was younger, this particular character really grew on me.
As per-discussed, the voice performances are exceptional, and this may be one of the best voice ensembles since Toy Story. Everyone brings something unique to their emotion, but to give these emotions feelings is a brilliant achievement for all involved.
Of course, Michael Giacchino is a master when it comes to scoring Pixar, and this is no exception, Like Up’s opening sequence, there’s so much sadness in this score, fitting considering its main theme. It is also visually stunning, with so many vibrant colours. There is a nice contrast between the scenes within Riley’s head, especially the colourful memories, and the scenes in reality, which are murky and grey as she battles depression.
Inside Out is one of Pixar’s greatest achievements. Anybody who watches this when they are young will grow up to appreciate the film, and especially the realism of it. It may be an animation, but it hits very very close to home. With Christmas approaching, this would make a great gift!
Rating 5 out of 5 Review by Bradley Weir