Directors: Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen
Running time: 1h 42m
Production companies: Pixar, Walt Disney Pictures
Screenplay: Pete Docter, Josh Cooley, Meg LeFauve
Staring: Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Richard King, Bill Hader, Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black
“I say we lock ourselves in our room and use that one swear word we know. It's a good one!”
This was very nearly a mediocre three star review but a strong ending and a few profound messages drag this movie well into the four stars. Inside Out is the scientifically inspired, potentially educational movie of an eleven year old girl, Riley, and her emotions. The movie essentially takes place in the brain, or control centre shall we say, of our protagonist. The five main characters Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear and Anger, control “Brain HQ” each playing off of one another, fighting for control of the emotions Riley will exhibit. As an eleven year old girl Riley’s controlling emotion is predominantly Joy but one day her parents decide to up sticks and leave her home town of Minnesota for the not so joyous San Francisco. Subsequently Riley’s world gets flipped upside down. Her once fond “core memories,” which form the basis of her personality, start to fade into sadness and in an attempt to prevent this, Joy ends up dislodging these memories and drags Sadness along with her into the depths of the “Wilderness of the Brain”. With Joy and Sadness gone, the brain HQ is left under the control of Anger, Disgust and Fear. As you can imagine this is not a combination that is going to go down well but is so reminiscent of that period of childhood. This movie possesses very little in the way of spoilers but just like in life, it’s not the destination that matters, it’s the journey. One could know the ins and outs of the story and still have a great time watching this movie.
In what I hope will be the first of many instalments, Inside Out takes us on the journey through our own childhoods. The fond memories we cherish. The sad memories we’d rather forget. How important is Joy? Would our lives be better without Sadness? These are questions I for one have struggled with in the past but this movie does a fantastic job of answering them. Rife with metaphor, both thematically and visually, this is a movie for both young and old alike but unlike other Pixar and Disney movies, Inside Out caters more towards the children. However, there is still plenty for adults to sink their teeth into. The science of memory recollection is particularly well shown and the concept of a control desk at the hands of these five emotions is a wonderfully creative insight into the emotional struggles we all go through. With a few particularly humorous occasions this premise definitely has the potential for much more and hopefully the next instalment (which has to come sometime soon right?) will centre on the teenage years and we will see more of the humour that is prevalent in other Pixar greats.
With wonderful animation and strong performances from a star cast, including Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling and Richard King, this will go down as one of Pixar’s greats. If you haven’t seen this movie already, I strongly recommend letting Pixar take you down memory lane all the way back to your eleven year old self.
“Can I use that swear word now?”