That’s the only word that can sum up my opinions of Inside Out, which came out in the UK this week. It’s once again Pixar at its finest, reminding me exactly why it is by far my favourite film production company. I believe I have spoken before in my articles about my admiration for Pixar, loving every film they’ve yet released, and it’s now getting to the point where I know longer worry about being let down by their films when I finally get to see them in the cinema. They just seem to have unlocked the exact right formula for making great movies. Who knows what it is? Whether it’s their creativity, their brilliant animation, the voice actors or even the music you love, this film will be no exception.
The basic plot centres on the workings inside a young child’s mind as she grows up. Riley, the girl in question, is controlled primarily by five basic emotions: Fear, Anger, Disgust, Joy and Fear, which take the form of little people inside her head. Because of this, there are two separate plotlines that take place simultaneously within the film and they each impact on each other throughout. When a panic breaks out amongst the emotions because of a problem with Riley’s memories, Joy and Sadness find themselves stranded together across the other side of Riley’s mind. They must go through various areas, including imagination and the dream studios, as well as board the Train of Thought on their journey home, an also meet Bing-Bong, Riley’s childhood friend. Without these two emotions, the others struggle to manage Riley’s life and she slowly drifts into a breakdown. Joy and Sadness must get back to the main control centre to sort out Riley’s life before it is too late, and on the way, they learn that they need each other more than they had at first realised.
The film features several star names, including Amy Poehler, best known for her part in the American comedy show ‘Parks and Recreation’ and Phyllis Smith, known for her role in the American version of ‘The Office’. Both gave emotional performances throughout, no pun intended. For me the final half hour of the film was what really made it stand out, since it featured the most heartfelt moments as Riley reached the height of her emotional turmoil. The film will be fun for both children and adults alike, with adults appreciating the darker reality of the emotions, while there are plenty of fun, action-packed moments to keep the kids interested.
The musical score to this film was just as original as can be expected from a Pixar film, and really brings the moments in the film to life. It’s this element of Pixar films that I think is so important for keeping Pixar films always feeling fresh and new, since the animation style remains similar in each production. The score, by Michael Giacchino, highlights both the joyous and sad moments in turn, immersing the viewer in the story.
There certainly is room for a sequel here, considering the first film leaves Riley at the age of 12, just before puberty, but I am hopeful that Pixar don’t recklessly jump into making another film before they have a good new story to tell. Usually Pixar are very good at knowing when it’s right to make a new film in a series, another reason why I love the company, since they leave it just the right amount of time. Both Toy Story 3 and Monsters University were released so that those who were children when the first films were released were now getting ready to go to university, meaning that the audience grew up at the same speed as Andy and Boo did, and could relate well to the new storylines. Whether or not a sequel appears we will wait and see, but personally I think, if timed right, could be amazing.
Image from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inside_Out_(2015_film)#/media/File:Inside_Out_(2015_film)_poster.jpg