Director: Pete Docter
Cast: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader
Review Author: Tony
Rating: 4.75 / 5 Glasses of fine brandy
Well, Pixar knock it out of the park yet again, which to be honest by now I should have expected, however with their last three entries Cars 2, Brave (which I found rather boring) and Monsters University being underwhelming compared to their usual superb output, Inside Out is a dramatic return to form. This is without a doubt one of Pixar’s best films, which is an amazing feat considering their library of ground-breaking work.
What makes Inside Out one of Pixar’s best films and potentially the best film of 2015 so far (it’s tied with Mad Max: Fury Road for me) is its deep understanding of emotions. This is Pixar’s most complex story to date, exploring the impact emotions have on our own well-being. Based on director Pete Docter’s own experience of watching his daughter grow up, the film has a very personal feel to it but also a universal appeal which most people can relate to. While not the first time Pixar has tackled a serious issue, this is probably their most thought out story, which kids and adults can both enjoy.
The story of Inside Out is about Reilly, an 11-year-old girl and the five manifestations of emotions- Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger who live inside Reilly’s mind. The emotions help influence Reilly’s actions through a control panel and help her form new memories. Of all the five emotions, it is Joy who usually takes control to keep Reilly happy and to help form happy memories. However, Joys finds this task significantly more difficult as Reilly’s family moves with her to a new home in San Francisco, turning Reilly’s world on its side.
I’m a sucker for animated films, ever since I saw Shrek and Ice Age (the first one, because my god do I despise the sequels) I’m usually the first to line up to see any film in this genre. Inside Out captures everything I love about a great animated film from comedy which can be enjoyed by young and old alike, deep emotional scenes which have me fighting back tears and visuals that had my jaw on the floor. Inside Out is hilarious with some laugh out loud moments to brilliant visual gags, I still find myself smiling when I think back on this film. The animation and visuals are fantastic, playing perfectly to the aesthetics of the film’s plot and producing some truly eye bursting scenes. However it’s the emotional impact this film will leave on you which is truly astounding. For a film geared at a younger audience, I feel it’s the adults who will be feeling all the emotional punches.
The voice cast are stellar with spot on casting and every character gets their moment to shine. Amy Poehler is the ever cheerful and optimistic Joy, and while Joy has the best intentions for Reilly, she can come across as a bit of a control freak. Joy is just an animated version of Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreations. Phyllis Smith (who is actually Phyllis from the American office) is a revelation as sadness. Sadness has probably the most important role in the film, even if she seems more of a nuisance at the start.
Inside Out is an excellent film and one of the best Pixar films to date. It just falling short for me compared to my two favourite films from the studio, Toy Story 3 and The Incredibles, but those are masterpieces so it’s not exactly much of a complaint saying that Inside Out is only short of a masterpiece. I also feel that the film is made to be more appreciated by adults as a lot of the themes are quite heavy and would probable going over young children’s heads; however the vibrant animation and mix of slapstick should keep them well and truly entertained.
If you haven’t seen Inside Out yet I would recommend you drop whatever you are doing right now and treat yourself to the best film of 2015 (so far). It’s the full package, great humour, clever visuals, emotional story with a lot of heart. It would be an actual crime for Pete Docter to not receive a nomination for Best Director at the 2015 Academy Awards, as this film was his brainchild and his best film to date. I can’t sing this film’s praises enough and to be honest I’ve plenty more I’d love to share about it but I won’t as I refuse to spoil any of this wonderful film.
SERIOUSLY GO SEE IT NOW!!!