A Joy to behold: A review of Inside Out

Inside Out (2015)

Inside Out (2015)

First and foremost, I LOVE Pixar. Ok, no, I ADORE Pixar. I can’t quite remember the moment that I fell in love with them, I think it might have been when my true appreciation of film began around 16. All I know that those films have touched my heart in ways that no other has. ‘Ratatouille’ is my favourite film of theirs and one of my favourite films of all time. Even through the disappointment of a fairly uninspired ‘Cars 2’ and the imperfect ‘Brave’ and ‘Monsters University’ I have been waiting for the moment when they produced more exceptional works that rivals their very best films.

When the reviews of ‘Inside Out’ started flooding in, with unanimous praise, I became fervently excited. On the day it was released in the UK I was finally able to see the film that I knew would be just what I wanted it to be and so I sat down with some friends to watch the latest Pixar “masterpiece”?

1 minute in I had shed a small tear up, laughed and revelled in the beauty of the animation. This is the film I had been waiting for, and more. This is Pixar at it’s highest peak, a peak that they are likely to beat in the future. I loved it. I adored it. I spent the entire running time with a broad smile on my face and by the time the credits rolled I was in no doubt that this was my favourite film of the year, hands down (Sorry ‘Whiplash’).

It’s wonderful to see Pixar returning to creating original stories that challenge both children and adults alike, with a story that is so forward thinking and intelligent that no other film in recent memory has managed to create anything half as good. The simple idea of emotions as characters controlling the life of an 11 year old girl (Riley), as she navigates the perils of moving across the country from her old home. The emotions, Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Fear are perfectly cast. Amy Poehler as Joy is a more optimistic (if that’s possible) version of Leslie Knope. Phyllis Smith (of The Office US) has the voice and tone down pat whilst Lewis Black (Anger), Bill Hader (Fear) and Mindy Kaling (Disgust) are so perfect as the voices of the Rileys 5 core emotions that you couldn’t possibly see anyone differently in that role (especially Joy and Sadness).

‘Inside Out’ is as funny as any Pixar film, I laughed more times than I could count, from giggles to guffaws and beyond. The stand out for me is Anger as the short tempered fuse that causes many a child hood tantrum. Yet what really stands out is the emotions that the film makes you feel yourself. It made me cry, a lot more than it made me laugh and I felt tears drip down my face as the films most emotional scenes played out. One utter gem of a scene involved Joy on dream duty in Riley’s unconscious mind, ice skating alongside one of her greatest memories to Michael GIacchino’s beautiful score.

It’s a film that has a message, a wonderful message that will resonate with everyone, It’s OK to be SAD, and as with the Toy Story trilogy this is a film about growing up, childhood and what makes people, people. Without wanting to give anything away, ‘Inside Out’ has a powerhouse of brilliant ideas amongst the jubilant emotions and heartbreaking sadnesses, vast canyons of memories, islands of personality and in one bizarre sequence a room of abstract thought are all from the genius that is Pete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen, Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley.

Then there’s the score by the genius Michael Giacchino who has composed scores for some of my favourite films and TV shows (Ratatouille, Lost and even this years Jurassic World) and this is no exception. His score for ‘Inside Out’ is beautiful with a theme as wonderful as ‘Married Life’ from ‘UP’, the scene that brought people to tears in under 5 minutes (made by his love and death theme).

There’s nothing I don’t love about this film. It’s everything I wanted and more and took my breath away. I’ve only seen it once but I’m going to see it again and again.

Rating: A 10/10


The short film ‘Lava’ that came before it was also wonderful. I loved the Hawaiian theme and music and the animation was stunningly rendered.


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