HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool
Piano, The
Deadly Games
King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen
Porky's II: The Next Day
It Happened Here
Giant from the Unknown
211
Top of the Bill
Set It Off
No Way Out
Traffik
Pitch Perfect 3
Insidious: The Last Key
Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, The
Dirty Carnival, A
King of Hearts
Crowhurst
And the Same to You
Racer and the Jailbird
Superman and the Mole-Men
Phantom Thread
Sweet Country
Loophole
Irma La Douce
Brigsby Bear
Wish Upon
Gringo
Finding Vivian Maier
Shape of Water, The
   
 
Newest Articles
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
   
 
  Inside Out Mind GamesBuy this film here.
Year: 2015
Director: Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen
Stars: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Kaitlyn Dias, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan, Paula Poundstone, Bobby Moynihan, Paula Pell, Dave Goelz, Frank Oz, Josh Cooley
Genre: Animated, Fantasy
Rating:  9 (from 2 votes)
Review: Like all of us, tomboyish eleven year old Riley (voiced by Kaitlyn Dias) is guided by her emotions. The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center in Riley's mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. Joy (Amy Poehler) rules the roost, keeping the other emotions, Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Smith) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling), in check. But when Riley is suddenly uprooted from her happy, hockey-playing home in Minnesota to begin a troubling new life in San Francisco, her emotions are in turmoil. As Riley struggles to adjust to her changing world, she grows sadder each day. Whereupon, to safeguard Riley's happiness, Joy resorts to desperate action with unforeseen consequences.

Inspired by his own experience of an uprooted childhood director Pete Docter takes what is in essence the simple story of a little girl's anxieties over moving home and fashions a mind-bending epic, weaving a sense of wonder about the human psyche. Co-written by Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley, Inside Out transforms pre-adolescent insecurities into an event with consequences as world-shattering as anything in 2015's other grandiose epics Avengers: Age of Ultron or Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Yet Pixar's trippiest film also proved to be their most divisive. For as many praised its wit, heart, ambition and ingenuity, an equally vocal contingent lambasted what they perceived as a 'repetitive plot' (another Pixar film with two mismatched characters on an eye-opening journey) with a preponderance of 'psychobabble', 'uninspired visuals' (really?) and, perhaps most ludicrously, 'anti-male bias.' Should saner heads prevail, Inside Out may well be remembered as Pixar's most groundbreaking, nuanced and emotionally resonant animation along with Docter's equally affecting Up (2009).

From Toy Story (1995) to Finding Nemo (2003) and beyond, Pixar have always told stories that set characters on the arduous road to emotional maturity. Inside Out is at once their most literal treatment of this theme while also the most inspired and complex, quite possibly taking a stylistic cue from the classic cartoons of artist-led studio UPA. In particular Gerald McBoing-Boing (1951), made in collaboration with pioneering children's author Dr. Seuss. Among many achievements the film triumphantly visualizes abstract ideas in a manner immediately accessible to younger viewers. Hence glowing memory orbs serve as Joy's tangible goal, giant, crumbling 'Islands of Personality' signal tumultuous changes in Riley's morphing psychological state, mind workers dispose of useless memories (which leads to a very funny reoccurring gag about an annoying bubblegum commercial) and train of thought is a literal Train of Thought. Even the throwaway gag about how facts and opinions look the same is genius.

Interwoven midst such highlights as a jaunt through the realm of Abstract Thought and a dream factory styled like an old-time Hollywood studio that expand the possibilities of the animated medium, Inside Out finds new ways to tug at our heartstrings while making us think. Especially moving is a subplot involving Bing-Bong (Richard Kind), Riley's forgotten imaginary friend, which has a devastating emotional pay-off. The filmmakers ground their visual flourishes in an intelligent story hinging on a message that change is a necessary part of growing up and sadness a perfectly healthy part of that process. As our protagonists come to realize, one cannot be happy all the time and forced happiness is no way to deal with the complexities of life. Amy Poehler's exuberant vocal turn drives the movie though the entire ensemble etch vivid characters in particular Phyllis Smith's oddly lovable Sadness. Some beautifully poetic sequences (e.g. the scene where Joy ice-skates along with Riley's memory) go a long way to underlining Joy's core motivation. The manic pixie has her share of flaws but at heart her love for Riley is sincere. It also helps that Riley herself is perhaps the most faceted and affecting human character in Pixar's arsenal since Carl Fredricksen. Well voiced by young actress Kaitlyn Dias she is a likeable pre-teen whose fragile sense of self-worth buckles under the strain of change and trying to stay strong for her family. It is also great to hear Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan's voices in a Pixar movie. Ultimately, Inside Out reaffirms the much maligned ideal of traditional family values without seeming excessively sentimental. It is conceivable that the film's greatest achievement could be that simply discussing its plot with a child can allow a greater insight into a family's collective emotional mind-set.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1041 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)
Posted by:
Graeme Clark
Date:
4 Jan 2016
  I thought I would find this more affecting than I did, it was like watching an animated psychology textbook at times, which left a clinical air leavened by the jokes. There was also an interesting attitude that accepted, almost with defeatism, that life was going to build a wall of misery or two somewhere along the line and you were going to have to face them eventually - the little girl barely scales the one in the film at all. Yet as brooding as all this could be, it was appropriately brightened up by a great, humane sense of humour and an endlessly inventive visual style. If only half of family animations could be so ambitious.
       


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
George White
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
   

 

Last Updated: