The Voices in Our Head
The animation studio that showed us toys with feelings, cars with feelings, planes with feelings, now brings us Inside Out, where feelings have feelings.
As with almost every Disney movie, the plot is extremely simple. It’s the story of childhood turmoils: Forced to say goodbye to her friends and the happy life she’s built in small-town Minnesota, 11-year-old Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) is abruptly uprooted when her father lands a job in San Francisco. A disastrous first day at the new school and a sports tryout gone wrong are only the tip of the iceberg. But we don’t see it unfold from Riley’s perspective; they’re experienced through the eyes of her emotions (as weird as that sounds). Joy, voiced by Amy Poehler, has been the leader of the group since Riley was born. Poehler’s voice is smooth and perfect, and every word she says actually makes you feel like a ray of sunshine. Fear, voiced by Bill Spader, is comical, clumsy and over-cautious about Riley’s well-being. Disgust, voiced by Mindy Kaling, is uber cool. Lewis Black voices Anger, and he finds the verbal equivalent of blowing your head up in flames. Sadness, voiced by Phyllis Smith, will make you feel emotional with every word she says, and gives the movie a whole new dimension.
Inside Out is the journey of these five feelings of Riley, trying to find the perfect mix to keep her happy.
Inside Out is technical brilliance from Pixar, with everything from Personality Islands, a literal Train of Thought and a prized vault of Core Memories that have shaped and moulded Riley’s spirit. Many will be dazzled by bright animation of the retro-styled interior landscapes, and by the darker, more realistically rendered ‘real world’.
Pete Docter, does what he does best; makes sure there isn’t one dry eye in the audience. His most symbolic creation is Bing Bong, Riley’s nearly forgotten imaginary friend. Part elephant, part dolphin who cries candies, Bing Bong scavenges the dusty shelves of his creator’s memory, waiting for the adventures once promised. He’s the symbol of what the movie is really about: the gradual, almost imperceptible demise of childhood.
The gags are just constant. The minor workings of the brain like clearing not needed memories, or peeks into other minds will crack you up. Watch out for the dinner table conversation and our entry into the minds of the mom, the dad and Riley – pure brilliance. At other times you’ll be wiping away tears.
Inside Out, is about leaving childhood behind, something that scares many people. It’s also about realizing the value of all feelings. Joy isn’t the driving force in our lives. Disgust, fear, anger and sorrow are all aspects which can heighten your state of joy or make you realise the value of happiness.
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