Pixar's Inside Out is that sort of film that has an instant timeless feel about it. Pulling on different story tropes, what the film excels at is showing how seemingly separate A-storylines and B-storylines correlate with each other, and this is why this film, should be at the fore-front of award ceremonies.
Some minor spoilers up ahead, but if you've seen the trailers it should be all good.
The Main Idea:
Joy and Sadness are whisked out of the headquarters and bring the film into the action quite quickly, after an enjoyable and beautifully animated introduction of the emotions. The two try to head back over to the head quarters, by navigating their way through long-term memory, to reach the different personality islands in the hopes of crossing their beams to get home.
Meanwhile back at headquarters Joy's absence starts having some negative effects, and while she's not their the B -story line with Riley and the other three emotions gets their own little bit of drama.
Along the way, there's a growth in Joy as an important realization dawns on her. The movie really is all about her, and her beautifully animated self, with showing how the role of Joy can change while growing up.
The soundtrack is quite possibly the best from Pixar yet, working it's own journey throughout the film. The direction in this film is enough to make you deal with kids oozing mucus next to you in the theatre. The cast was expertly chosen. The world building was well-realized, though I wish more places were explored, or the places that were explored had more depth, but with a 1 hr and 45 min run time I guess the characters couldn't.
The humour in this film was also quite surprising, seeing as Pixar hasn't had the funniest movies in the past. But it was a nice touch, that was manipulated very effectively to balance out some more of the heavier sides of the film, while also keeping the kids entertained while the parents remain stunned by the film's complexities.
One thing I think Pixar could've done better, was flesh out the characters a bit more, such as Riley, and all the other emotions. However, I understand why they couldn't, seeing as the film had to explore so many concepts in a short amount of time, and fleshing out characters with only real one emotion would have been quite a feat for all five of them (Sadness and Joy got their fair share of development).
What's more Inside Out has brought back credit-skits, which were always my favourite back in the day. While I guess animating a gag reel is too cost-ineffective, seeing the other emotions was a definite treat.
All in all, this film has been able to show just how well crafted Pixar's story-telling abilities are, and is a cinema definite. It shows how much animation has grown since the nightmare inducing humans of Toy Story, and is a definite way of giving some story-telling tips. The short that preludes this film was a beautiful photo-realistic music-love video, that has a tune that just keeps getting sent up to my head-quarters (hopefully you'll get that reference).
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