Inside Out – Movie Review

Inside OutInside Out – PG
Release Date: Fri 19 Jun 2015

Inside Out is a 3D-animated feature from Disney/Pixar directed by Pete Docter. It focuses on 11-year old Riley (Kaitlyn Dias), who is having a hard time adjusting when her family moves from Minnesota to San Francisco. Luckily, her anthropomorphic emotions are there to help including Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Sadness (Phyllis Smith) and their de facto leader Joy (Amy Poehler.)

Things go from bad to worse when Joy and Sadness accidentally get transported from headquarters to long-term memory, leaving only Anger, Fear and Disgust to rule Riley’s emotions. She becomes sarcastic and irritable. Meanwhile Joy and Sadness try multiple times to get back to headquarters working through Riley’s mind which is something like a theme park, complete with Imagination Land and Dream Productions.

The first and third acts are very strong. Learning how the emotions work and interact is interesting and has a lot of humor. Likewise, the ending is very satisfying and is bolstered by the biggest laughs of the movie, which is a sequence that takes place over the beginning of the credits. The problem is that the majority of the time Joy and Sadness spend stranded in long-term memory is extremely repetitive. They try the same plan several times in a row and knowing that (unless the movie takes a weird twist) they will eventually make it back to headquarters.

The animation is extremely good all the way around. The emotions have a fuzzy quality to them, and human characters are stylized without feeling overly plastic skinned. There’s a particularly great newborn baby animation that shows how realistic Pixar could go if it wanted to drop it’s signature style.

This is the kind of movie that kids will enjoy and parents will endure for the good stuff at the beginning and end. This isn’t the worst of Pixar by any means, but it is Pete Docter’s weakest movie to date mostly because Monsters, Inc. and Up were incredibly strong.

Amber, Aaron and I saw it in the theater and had a discussion in the car:


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1 Response

  1. Thomas Watson says:

    The movie is funny and emotional. One of Pixar’s best films.

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