Inside Out Review

Inside Out Review

Inside Out tells the tale of Riley, a young girl who is removed from her normal life in Minnesota and moved to San Fransisco for her father’s work. The film revolves around the emotions inside her head – Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling). Each emotion is represented by a colourful character who, when Riley is feeling normal, operate together as a team but when Riley’s emotions begin to spiral out of control, so do the characters inside her head. Inside Out is a highly creative film and deservedly earns its place as one of the best Pixar films ever made.


The film’s imagination and creativity is its strongest feature and does a commendable job of representing Riley as a regular person rather than an emotionally unstable youth. Her actions and beliefs are plausible which lends credence to the idea that emotions are behind everything she does. Inside Out also manages to visually represent the mind and memory in interesting ways. The core emotions are in the control room and they manipulate how Riley behaves and what memories are created and stored in her long-term memory. As a result of her upbringing she has core values, represented by towns, such as friendship, family and hockey – her favourite sport. This is an intriguing premise and a fascinating route to take as we also get glimpses into the minds of her mother and father who have a different balance to their emotions. It also leaves open the possibility of sequels down the road but for now Inside Out is very much Riley’s story, and it has a clear arc.


Inside Out Review

From left to right – Sadness, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Joy


Inside Out is also fun to watch on several levels. There is plenty to like for younger audiences from its energetic characters, colourful setting and its humour. But there is plenty for adults to enjoy too and the film will likely really resonate with parents, who are as much a part of the story as Riley is. Their interactions and influence on their daughter is key to the plot of the film, resulting in a poignant and realistic story. Inside Out’s story is, well, one of Pixar’s most emotional, and it certainly tries to tug at your heartstrings particularly in the final third of the film’s running time. Although, its story is simplistic and, at times, a little overly predictable it works as an emotional adventure through the mind of a young child going through a dramatic change in her life. The major conflict in the film is between Joy and Sadness who can’t seem to get along, however Inside Out tells a fitting story about accepting sadness as a necessity and acknowledging sadness isn’t necessarily a bad emotion.


Inside Out Review

Riley’s memories are represented by these spheres


The film’s strong story and emotional core is aided by a fantastic voice cast. Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) stands out as Joy but is matched by the other emotions too, especially Sadness played by Phyllis Smith (The Office). Another highlight is Bing Bong voiced by Richard Kind (A Bug’s Life), Riley’s imaginary friend who has remained in Riley’s long-term memory for many years, and is as weird and wonderful as you might expect. Overall, the voice cast do a good job of representing an emotion without going too over the top with their performances.


In conclusion, Inside Out is Pixar at its best. The film tells an emotional yet plausible story about a young girl and her emotions and explores a highly creative and unique concept while having something to say about everyday life. Inside Out works on many levels and is certainly entertaining for children and adults alike. Aided by a fantastic voice cast, Inside Out is a fascinating journey through the mind.



Have you seen Inside Out? What did you think of Pixar’s latest?

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