“Do you ever look at someone and wonder what is going on inside their head?”
Pixar returns – this time bringing something a little different to the table. Inside Out looks into the head of a young girl named Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) exploring the core emotions that control her. Therefore, Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Fear (Bill Hader) and Anger (Lewis Black) run the control panel of Riley’s mind. However, when Riley has to relocate from Minnesota to San Francisco, her emotions have a little trouble dealing with change.
As always, it’s astonishing how Pixar manage to produce films that cater to both adults and children alike. In a generation full of mediocre children’s films, Pixar has almost always been top-notch when it comes to making great films, and Inside Out is no exception. With emotions being the main characters, the human mind is presented to us in a distinctly creative way. It touches on almost everything from the difficulties of growing up, to dreams, fears and imaginary friends. Imagination is present throughout the film, as well as sharp cinematography, bursting with vivid colours. I must also point out how well Pixar went against using stereotypes here – Riley took on ice hockey, rather than figure skating, which was a joy to see as it proves that girls don’t have to be elegant or conform to gender stereotypes. I especially like how it is a mature film. Strictly speaking, ridiculous burping and farting scenes, (like in the majority of children’s films nowadays) are fortunately avoided here.
The voice cast is excellent. Amy Poehler especially brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm to her character, Joy, the primary emotion at the beginning of the film. But the star of the show here is Phyllis Smith, who voices Sadness very well. Personally, I feel she has presented us with one of the best, most convincing voice-overs. Inside Out reassures us that it is okay to cry, and it is also okay to be angry, and it is wonderful to be happy. But one emotion simply cannot survive without the others; a balance is needed. It also strikes an interesting conversation regarding mental health. There is a good amount of humour featured, a memorable use of irony was the ‘Train of Thought’.
Once again, this is Pixar at its finest. It’s fresh material, fun, and surprisingly deep. And as an audience, I assure you, you will end up feeling each of the emotions in just 94 minutes. Definitely Pixar’s stand-out film with regards to themes, and not letting substance be ruled by style. A very intelligent film that allows you to dig as deep into it as you would like. I know I certainly did…