Peter Feldman
2 minute read
20 Jun 2015
10:00 am

Inside Out movie review

Peter Feldman

Emotion-filled, fun animation

GRAND ADVENTURE. 11-year-old Riley’s Joy emotion (voice of Amy Poehler). Pictures: Ster-Kinekor.

Inside Out is Pixar’s 15th feature and proves to be an amazing journey, a humane and emotional-driven cinematic experience that will appeal to all members of the family.

It’s funny, it’s clever, it’s frenetic and the animation is brilliantly executed with bright and bold imagery coming at you from all angles – and in vivid 3D, nogal.

The story is simple. Riley (Kaitlin Dias) is an 11-year-old girl growing up in Minnesota. She is uprooted when her father starts a new job in San Francisco.

Like all humans, Riley is guided by her emotions. There is Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith) and they all exist in Headquarters, the control centre inside Riley’s mind. Here 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 maintain things in a positive light, there is conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house, and school. And it makes for some hilarious moments.

Pixar are the creators of such gems as Up and Toy Story and fans will be overjoyed by the boldness of this venture, which takes the notion that people hear these little voices in their heads.

The various emotions share a physicality that matches their temperament. Disgust is green with a great sneer, Anger is red and fire comes out of the top of his head when riled, and Sadness is blue and downtrodden.

They fight for control of Riley’s life and when Joy and Sadness go AWOL from their psychological HQ we trek through some bizarre mental byways, including the Abstract Thinking Department, where Joy and Sadness briefly become 2D characters and then, for a moment, one-colour squiggles.

They even meet the Invisible Friend (Richard Kind), a pink candy-floss elephant for all occasions. There is also the dream department, where the day’s memories are dramatised as on a movie set.

These sequences come fast and furious and one is overwhelmed by the chaos that ensues.

But through all this the filmmakers manage to turn the everyday rough and smooth of childhood experiences into a thoughtful, inventive adventure, with striking and unexpected imagery.