Even amongst Pixar's library of modern classic, Inside Out stands out. Its colorful characters, gorgeous animation, and smart message makes it Pixar's newest masterpiece.
The film follows five emotions, Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hader), and Disgust (Mindy Kaling) as they help navigate an eleven-year-old girl named Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) through life and growing up. When Riley and her parents move from Minnesota to San Francisco, Joy becomes determined to keep Riley happy, often at the expense of Sadness, who's still trying to find a place in Riley's life. When Joy and Sadness are set off on a journey through Riley's mind, the audience is made to deal with themes of depression, loss of innocence, and growing up.
What is there to say about this movie that hasn't already been said? The voice cast is perfect (Poehler shines as the controlling but well-meaning Joy) and concept is among Pixar's most imaginative. It strikes a perfect balance between edge-of-your-seat action scenes, painfully real family scenes, and quiet moments that really make you think. The film also has what most family-oriented films lack these days: fitting comic relief. I went in ready to hate Bing Bong (Richard Kind), Riley's forgotten imaginary friend. I was almost positive that he would be another side character thrown in to get cheap laughs and sell toys. But Bing Bong, along with being funny, has one of the most emotional arcs in the whole film. He also serves a purpose, which can hardly be said about similar characters (Olaf, anyone?).
In short, Inside Out is the best film I've seen this year and sets a new standard of excellence for both Pixar and animation as a whole. You'll laugh, cry, and discover new ways of thinking about emotion and the mind in general. Believe the hype and go see it.