Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life.
As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school. (Pixar)
Between the sequels and one prequel which Pixar has given us in recent years were many people who began questioning if the studio had anything left. In the past five years, only one film based on an original idea was released (Brave), and although its a good film by Pixar standards, it might not have measured up to some of their earlier original work. Well let it be known that Pixar has indeed returned to form.
Inside Out is a highly imaginative, fun, and emotionally telling way of our everyday actions and experiences, and the roles our emotions play. Watching this film as an adult, it felt like I was being explained why I felt certain ways about life as a child and what it looked like on the inside, and I loved it.
The creative idea of emotions as the internal characters is something I’ve been on board to see, and the end result was pure fun. You have Joy (Amy Poehler), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hader), and Sadness (Phyllis Smith) who play a role in defining who Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) is as a person.
When Joy and Sadness are accidentally sent away from the central headquarters were Riley’s emotions are controlled, is where the unbalance is finally revealed. They are the two most important emotions during a time of transition for Riley’s family. Suddenly, Riley is feeling less excited and enthusiastic about her new home, as Anger, Fear, and Disgust are left in control. Joy and Sadness begin their quest to return to the headquarters, and that’s where the film gets to explore the mind and the memories it holds. It does so in such a fun and imaginative way. Like imagine the traits that define your personality having their own island.
Inside Out hits on an emotional level in more ways than one. Do you recall the time when you finally grew up and said goodbye to your longtime imaginary friend, without saying goodbye? Were you ever the new kid in school and all you could think about was your friends back home, or being happy at home? This film hits on so many experiences growing up, and while you may not have experienced every single one of them you still understand and relate to these things.
Visually, Inside Out is one of the more colorful films and while it doesn’t offer any groundbreaking animation which Pixar is guilty of in the past, its still a beautiful film to look at.
What this film does for me is shows me that Pixar still has the creative juice to deliver a good story unlike anything we’ve seen before. It also makes me look at myself within and revisit all the good and bad memories I had growing up, and makes me appreciate being able to have those. Inside Out is a film definitely worth checking out for audience members of all ages.
Inside Out is a 9 out of 10.