In 1995 Pixar animation studios would unload the first fully computer animated movie of all time and has completely changed the way animation has worked since then. That movie was the masterpiece known as Toy Story (one of the greatest films in HISTORY in my books). Since ’95 Pixar has released a nearly non stop series of brilliant movies, that are not only colorful, action packed and fun for kids, but have deep meaning, underlying themes and wicked humor for adults.
They have been the standard bearer of great animation for 20 years now, with only a few missteps (Cars, Cars 2, and in my books Monster’s University). And here they are once again with another masterpiece to add to the list.
Inside Out, which I can assure you right now will be on my Top 10 list in December.
Inside Out is directed by Pete Docter who directed some of the Pixar greats (UP!, Monster’s Inc.) and wrote even more classics for Pixar. Docter has a brilliant knack for digging really deep into the human emotions and bring realistic feelings to the big screen in a way that nobody else seems to be able to match. The first 10 minutes of UP! for example showcased love and lost in one of the most beautiful and best moments in movie history. Or the way he so perfectly captures fear in Monster’s Inc.
He does it again with Inside Out this time making an entire movie about emotions but using them to masterfully showcase how depression can happen. This is a masterclass in human emotion.
The story is about a little girl named Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) a seemingly happy young lady who has a loving family in mom (Diane Lane) and dad ( Kyle MacLachlan). They live in Minnesota were Riley has lots of friends and many memories. We get to travel inside Riley’s head were here emotions live and her memories are stored.
There is Joy (Amy Poeheler) a spirited almost fairy like creator who is kinda like the leader of the emotions. Sadness (Phyllis Smith) a sad sack who is always depressed and blue much like her appearance. Angry (Lewis Black) a fire red, hot tempered fellow, literally blows his top, with flames coming out of his head! Fear (Bill Hader) a pencil shaped Purple nerd, who finds everything scary. And Disgust (Mindy Kaling) who is green much like the face you make when you are sick and finds everything to be gross.
We get a funny as hell introductory scene with the emotions and how they work together, to make a young lady who is perfectly balanced in her emotions.
In one of the films VERY best scenes we get to see the inside of both Mom and Dad’s mind, with their emotions taking shots at the way both genders can act at times, which is funny as hell. A final scene at the end of the film amps this up to the max which will have you howling!
Riley’s world however comes crashing down when she finds our her father got a new job in San Francisco and they have to move. Riley hates everything about her new home, were the Pizza has gross toppings, her first day of school is a disaster and there is nobody for her to play with. We start to see Riley take a turn for the worst.
Meanwhile in her head everything is gonna crazy because Sadness has messed with some of the core memories turning them from yellow to blue and making them gloomy. This leads to a mishap were Joy and Sadness get sucked into Riley’s personality islands and long term memory. They most go through a series of events, including the destruction of the personality islands that make up Riley’s being and finding Riley’s long lost imaginary friends Bing Bong (Richard Kind) who desperately wants to get back in touch with her.
I will let you discover the many wonders of Inside Out for yourself but I will say that the stuff that takes place in these scenes ranges from funny as hell to sadness that will both effect the adults and the kids.
Needless to say this is a wonderful film for kids of all ages, with its bright and fun colors that saturate every frame of this film, to the wonderful non stop action scenes that will take their breath away, to the thought provoking look inside the mind of a child.
I can’t imagine any child not loving this.
As good as Inside Out is for children it is the adults who are likely to leave the cinema in deep thought. Much like with how Wall.E had underlying themes of Obesity, consumerism and global warming, Inside Out is full of things to discover for the adults.
However what it must brilliantly does is showcase how crippling depression can be and how it can take over everything in your life and change memories. This is powerful stuff, thought provoking stuff, that will leave you stunned and emotional.
This is a powerful film.
Inside Out can sit amongst the level Pixar films like UP!, The Incredibles, the Toy Story sequels, and Ratatouille just a notch below classics Wall.E, Toy Story, and Finding Nemo. The animation is breath taking, the voice work is fantastic (everyone shines here) and the story is both great for kids and adults and will leave both with a range of emotions.
To put it simply Inside Out is one of the very best movies of 2015.
Grade – A
(Side note, in front of Inside Out, much like all Pixar movies is a short film called Lava. Now I am usually a massive fan of their shorts but this time they absolutely stunk out the joint. Lava is the story of two volcano’s falling in love and singing the same song over and over again! It is truly HIDEOUS!
GRADE – F)