Director: Pete Docter
Writer: Meg LeFauve, Josh Coley, Pete Docter
Stars: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black, Bill Hader, Mindy Kalling, Richard Kind
Inside Out is a long awaited breath of originality since Up (2009) and has arguably Pixar's best director Pete Docter return to the chair to create yet another jewel in his Pixar crown.
Pixar has always been a huge part of my life and childhood. Pixar is the movie studio that I hold closest to my heart (alongside Lucasfilm) and has given me the earliest memories of escapism and fantasy that caused me to fall totally in love with these worlds that are so fantastically and beautifully crafted and created. And so after what seemed to be a creative drought after Up (2009), Cars 2 (2011) and Monsters University (2013) lacked originality, I was waiting for something clever, original, emotional and diverse from Pixar again. After sitting down to watch Inside Out and the Pixar short movie that they play before every feature began to roll, it already had me choked up and amazed with a beautiful animated world that consisted of such a heartbreaking but heartwarming subject. When the screen cut to the Disney and Pixar logo's after the short film ended I knew I was in for an experience and yet another beautiful Pixar memory.
Inside Out's story revolves around a young girl Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) who is forced to move away from her beloved home in Minnesota, but what goes on inside her head whilst this difficult transition in her life and the chaos that takes place inside is really what makes this movie shine above the rest. 80% of the movie is shown from the perspective of 5 animated emotions inside her brain during this transition, Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and my personal favourite Anger (Lewis Black). These 5 emotions are separated when Riley's core memories are lost inside her brain and results in Joy and Sadness exploring the beautiful depths of Riley's brain to restore those core memories to its glory. The story deals with classic Pixar themes, youth and growing up, love and loss and pure emotion. Pixar achieve yet again a story that's written to appeal to both younger and older audiences. There are jokes that will make adult and kids laugh, it includes themes that relate to adults and kids and it includes problems and dilemmas that everyone will deal with in one way or another throughout their life, and those are the key ingredients that makes Pixar films so special. Children's films that include an element that young kids can learn from is something which is rare nowadays, with movies like Minions (2015) and both Smurf movies for example, that rely too heavily on poop, fart and banana jokes are just clogging up the animated movie scene and will do nothing but decrease the rate of a young boy/girls developing intellect. Inside Out achieves in developing a story that kids can learn from and recognise in every day life, a story that shows Dreamworks and other animation studios who's boss when creating a story. The writing of the movie is just constructed perfectly and pure outright genius that immersed me completely, and I don't think I've had an experience like that from Pixar since Up (2009).
Visually this is the best looking Pixar movie to date. Bright colours that connote different emotions inside her brain and vivid beautiful lands that represent different parts of her personality are so jaw dropping to watch and left me drooling. You can tell Pixar really pushed the boat for their visuals and created the most diverse Pixar world yet, Inside Out makes you feel like Alice in a wonderland by creating a unique world where you feel as though you are part of the quest to get Riley's core memories back on track.
Casting wise Inside Out excels also. Lewis Black as Anger is possibly the best casting choice so far this year. He creates this hilarious personification of Anger that is by far the best parts of the film whenever Anger is in frame, and had me laughing long after Anger's scenes. Phyllis Smith is also brilliantly casted, as a huge huge fan of The U.S Office (2005) Phyllis Smith was always a quiet and soft spoken character in The U.S Office (2005) and she brings that soft spoken voice and adds humour and emotion to the character of Sadness brilliantly. Amy Poehler's happy voice can be heard a mile away, with her performance in Parks and Recreation (2009) she also carried her enthusiastic screen presence from Parks and Recreation (2009) and develops it further when portraying her character of Joy. Alongside these three Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling play their respective emotions hilariously and completely round out a showcase of amazing performances throughout the whole film.
Pixar have created yet another kid-freindly movie that shows us what Pixar movies are all about. Their masterpieces such as the Toy Story Trilogy, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc. and Ratatouille are all not children's films in my opinion, just kid-friendly movies that deal with adult concepts that are shrouded with kid-friendly features and components. With these features in mind Inside Out falls into the Pixar masterpiece category with ease and restores Pixar back to its roots.
I genuinely didn't have any flaws with this movie at all. I absolutely loved this film and Pete Docter truly has restored what made Pixar in the first place, original and clever concepts that relate to both young and older audiences through beautiful animation and handcrafted worlds and environments. This movie is as perfect as animated movies can get and is a movie that has come at the best time with all the other poor animated movies out there nowadays. Inside Out is by far my favourite movie of the summer so far. If you haven't seen this movie already I implore you to do so and lets hope this is the start of a long run of Pixar masterpieces.