So I had the pleasure of partaking in Fathom Event's Insider Access to Inside Out event at my local AMC theater this evening which allowed me to see the film early, get a virtual behind-the-scenes tour of Pixar Studios, and see a live Q & A with Amy Poehler and Pete Docter. It was a very cool experience. Now for the review.
"Inside Out" stars Amy Poehler in the lead role as Joy, the first emotion experienced by Riley as a new-born infant. Poehler captures Joy's positivity and upbeat personality really nicely, proving to be a good opposite of Sadness. Phyllis Smith voices Sadness, which is basically what the name implies. A very depressed character who dwells on unhappy things, seeing these two personalities clash throughout the film is good fun as you begin to see them effect each other.
Other emotions are seen in this film. Anger is voiced by Lewis Black, who has some of the more hilarious lines in the film. His constant tantrums cause interesting effects in Riley throughout her life and its rather interesting to see what exactly will cause him to blow up. Bill Hader voices Fear, a thin emotion who worries about everything which could go wrong for Riley. He also adds a good deal of comedy to his scenes, especially when mingling with the other more confident emotions. Mindy Kaling voices Disgust, who deals with everything from clothes to food. Disgust is probably the most underused of the five emotions, providing mainly support and some contributing lines here and there. Regardless, all of these actors do great at bringing out the individuality of their characters.
Seeing the Joy-Sadness interactions is probably the source of the most comedy in this film. There's a part where Joy is literally dragging Sadness across the ground because she's too sad to move. These interactions never get old and it's neat to see how they both change over the course of the film.
As per usual, Pixar does great work with its animation. The characters and environments look great, giving "Inside Out" a unique look. Seeing buildings crumble and collapse along with the ground looks really well done, giving a sense of realism to this animated world.
There's also a plethora of hysterical moments in this film, many of which had the entire theater laughing. While adult humor isn't used in a blatant way, such as it would be in "South Park," the film still finds ways to be relateable to adults nonetheless. Many of the jokes are call backs to our own childhoods so seeing situations which are shown in both Riley's life and in her head are often some of the most nostalgia fulfilling.
It's also neat to see this representation of the mind. The idea of everyone having five central emotions which dictate our emotional responses to virtually every event and thought we have is neat, along with the intricate system for storing memories. I always like these types of things, as they give me something to think about, rather they have an ounce of possible truth to them or not.
Overall, I really, really enjoyed "Inside Out." I had virtually no flaws with it outside of the short film "Lava" that played before the film, which was a tad cheesy for my taste. The characters are all really interesting and seeing their individual influences on Riley's mind is cool. It kept my attention the whole time, never having a dull moment in which I would normally check my watch. The pacing is great, the music works well at supporting both the comedic and emotional scenes, and I loved seeing the other versions of the emotions in other people's minds too. This is easily one of my top films of the year so far. Do yourself a favor this weekend and check it out.
But those are my thoughts on "Inside Out." Leave yours in the comments below!
Check out my video review of "Inside Out" here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKzpJmvylCs