So, I have finally gotten around to writing this review and I’ll be posting a few more updates, specifically about Comic Con which I was lucky enough to attend.
Inside Out tells the story of Riley, a young girl whose family is moving from Minnesota to San Francisco. Riley’s emotional state is personified through humanoid beings. They work together to lead Riley through her life and each have their own functions. The emotional characters are Anger, Disgust, Fear, Sadness and Joy. Joy is the main character and has directed Riley through the majority of her life. The move sees Sadness and Joy taken away from the Headquarters of Riley’s mind and need to find a way back to HQ before all is lost.
First, this film has so much to it. The concept is very cool; seeing the interactions of all these emotions controlling this character is amazing. They play off each other so well with entertaining banter and insightful conversations. Even though we know the bulk of what these characters represent (it says so in their name), they each develop into more well-rounded, deep characters with attributes essential for everyone. Anger isn’t just angry; anger is also determination, investment and caring. Disgust keeps us from being slobs; we care for our well-being and how we present ourselves to the world. Fear is safety as well, making sure we don’t take too big a risk. But Fear also provides us with thinking things though. Joy brings us happiness but also is optimism and self-confidence. Finally, Sadness isn’t just being blue and down. Sadness is also empathy and the ability to relate to other people. All of these emotions plus experiences help create who we are and what we value in life. This film does a fantastic job at balancing all of that out.
The world that is inside Riley’s brain is ingenious and relatable. Throughout the film I found myself thinking about my own imaginary friends, my play time as a kid and how I have changed as well. It’s a very intrapersonal film. It brings the conversation back to us.
The amount of heart in this film really hits at the climax. I became so invested in all of these characters (both inside and out) that it made my tears water up (I would like to think it’s because I brought an onion into the theater… No, really, I did. I DON’T CRY, DAMMIT!). I absolutely fell in love with this film.
Then there is the voice acting which was great. Every emotion was perfectly cast and acted out. Lewis Black as Anger was one of the best castings in a Pixar film ever. Amy Poehler was fantastic as Joy. Phyllis Smith was very convincing as Sadness. Then there was Bill Hader (Fear) and Mindy Kaling (Disgust) who each brought these characters to life.
The concept and the progression between what was happening inside Riley’s brain and what was going on with her on the outside was done so smoothly. The editing and direction was very spot on.
Honestly, there isn’t much I can find to criticize about this film. It was creative, inventive, entertaining, heartwarming and one of the best films I’ve seen in a while. If I were to rank the top 10 Pixar films, Inside Out would be in the top 5 easily.
- Toy Story
- Toy Story 3
- The Incredibles
- Inside Out
- Toy Story 2
- Finding Nemo
- Monsters, Inc.
Rating: Watch it ‘til you memorize it