INSIDE OUT | REVIEW

Not much promotion needs to be done for INSIDE OUT – people just need to say “Pixar‘s new movie” and a billion dollars will start pouring itself into the coffers of Disney. Not that they need more money, like, forever, but the Pixar people make mostly genius films that just melt the mind, hug the heart and sooth the soul. And so it is with INSIDE OUT, the latest Pixar that goes into the mind of a teenager’s head and explains all their is about emotions. Personally the trailer did little for me but the people of the world are raving about this one, as is Kernel Blake, who reviews this one for Salty. Get your Pixar on this week after INSIDE OUT releases Thursday 18th in Australia (19th in U.S.). It runs for 94mins and is rated PG. All the best…….JK.

 

INSIDE OUT MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
INSIDE OUT | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | TEASER POSTER IMAGE

 

BY BLAKE CURRALL

Being an unabashed Pixar fan over the years, I was very happy to hear that one of the studios finest, Pete Docter, was back at the helm of the animation giants’ latest offering, INSIDE OUT. After the blatant cash grabs of the Cars and Planes franchises, Pixar’s reputation as the pioneers of ground breaking animation and wonderful storytelling was starting to look a little shaky, but the return of Docter (director of the brilliant UP) to the director’s chair has returned Pixar to the top of the heap with INSIDE OUT being their best production in years.

The concept itself is inspired, telling the story from the point of view of the emotions in our heads, with Joy (the always amazing Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and the powder keg Anger (Lewis Black) all combining to shape our personalities and who we are as people.

We begin with the birth of the films protagonist Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) and in turn the formation of her emotions inside her head, controlling what she feels and how she reacts to the outside world, creating memories and a personality divided up into ‘cities’ in her mind, such as family, friendships, goofiness and a love of ice hockey for example, shaping her as a person.

 

INSIDE OUT MOVIE IMAGE
INSIDE OUT | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE IMAGE

 

With Joy at the controls of Riley’s mind, she grows into a fun loving and happy child, but when her father takes up a new position and uproots the family to San Francisco, the emotions in Riley’s head are put to the test as she leaves her friends, her home and her life behind in Minnesota. As per usual with the best that Pixar has to offer, the opening sequences of this film tug at the heart strings like a harpist making us feel the emotion just like the ones in Riley’s head.

The film constantly cuts between the real world and Riley’s mind, and when Joy and Sadness are accidentally ejected from the emotional control centre of Riley’s head into her greater subconscious after some meddling of memories by Sadness, it’s up to Fear, Disgust and Anger to run the ship without the guiding hand of Joy to keep things on track. From here the film breaks into two, with Joy and Sadness trying to find their way back into their emotional hub while the other emotions are left to try and control Riley as her world continues to change dramatically. And what do you get when Fear, Disgust and Anger are left in charge and Joy and Sadness are left out of the equation? Well, in short, you get a teenager. These are universal experiences but told from a fresh point of view, with Anger taking the controls with a hilariously short fuse.

 

INSIDE OUT MOVIE IMAGE
INSIDE OUT | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MUM (DIANE LANE), RILEY (KAITLYN DIAS) AND DAD (KYLE MACLACHLAN) AT THE DINNER TABLE

 

With Riley beginning to rebel against her parents and new life, Joy and Sadness trek across her subconscious, trying to save her fondest memories and return control to Riley’s life. Along the way, Joy & Sadness meet Bing Bong (the unmistakable Richard Kind), Riley’s imaginary friend from childhood, now banished to the back of her mind living off her stored memories of their time together. It’s here where you find out why you always get that annoying song stuck in your head, with a running gag that will have you cursing the tune played for days after seeing the film.

Bing Bong teams up with the two lost emotions, who must trek through the mind’s darkest corners – Imaginationland, Long-Term Memory, Abstract Thought, Dream Production (a hilarious Hollywood-style parody of how our dreams are made) and the caves of the Subconscious – in order to get back to base, and restore happiness to Riley’s life. As Riley’s personality cities start to crumble with her continued rebellion and her personality begins losing its sense of friends, family and happiness, Joy, Bing Bong and Sadness hatch a plan to get back to Riley’s control centre with the last remaining option available. What follows is sacrifice, redemption and a revelation that what you thought wasn’t needed to grow as a person, was what was actually needed all along.

 

INSIDE OUT ANGER IMAGE
INSIDE OUT | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | ANGER (LEWIS BLACK)

 

This is Pixar at its best, an incredibly original and high concept story filled with wit, laugh out loud humour, sweetness and of course, emotion. Docter, directing from his own co-written script, works with the best animators in the business to bring us a film full of heart, that is clever and fun and reminds us how great a studio Pixar have been over many years. The animation levels are amazing, with the subdued tones of the real world San Francisco mixed with the colourful, imaginative design of Riley’s mind. I unfortunately only had the opportunity to see the film in a 2D format, but can imagine how brilliant it would look in 3D with the added depth and texture of the characters and locations really popping off the screen, it’s the way I’ll see it on repeat viewings.

If you are a fan of Pixar, you will love this, it’s back to what they do best. With their best talent behind it and a great comedic cast list that also includes Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan as Riley’s parents, the film delivers where it counts, humour, action and emotion. Speaking of which, I must have a word to the cinema, it was very dusty in that theatre at times….

I can’t recommend this enough, a great, fun ride that I enjoyed immensely. Also, stick about through the credits for some great gags showing the emotions inside other characters heads, with one that had me snorting with laughter. As an added bonus, there is also a short film called Lava that plays before the feature that is also one to tug at the heartstrings. Damn you Pixar, excuse me, there’s something in my eye….

 

4 Pops