I started Shaunyland by writing a movie review of the stage-to-screen adaptation of Les Miserables so I thought I’d take a short break from American Month (and the flop that that is) today and give you a review of one of my new favourite films of all time, Inside Out.
I adore Disney and if you didn’t know that already then I don’t know where on Earth you have been. As a result of my passions, I rushed down to the first screening of the new Pixar film on Friday morning, the day the film was released in UK cinemas (I actually considered catching the film in New York the day it came out in America but I resisted temptation). To summarise my opinions simply: not only is this film a genius in how well crafted the story is, which in turn is set on a background that is both visually stunning and incredibly well imagined, but the film is also genius in the stunning animation and voice acting and the general craft behind an animated motion picture. I adore it, and I hope you all will adore it too.
The story follows an 11 year old girl named Riley and her mother and father who move from Minnesota to San Francisco on behalf of her father’s job. In contrast to this story of Riley’s move and her settling in to her new life, we meet the five dominant emotions in her head and the world that they all live in: Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Fear (Bill Hader). The emotions introduce us to this fantastically well-imagined idea of how the brain works and how our personalities are constructed as well as our dreams and our memories which is expertly thought out. When Sadness starts to overtake Joy in being Riley’s dominant emotion though, Joy and Sadness end up in a feud in Riley’s brain which mirrors her loneliness and struggle in her new life. As a result, Joy and Sadness are taken across Riley’s brain and must find their way back to the main control centre of Riley’s mind which, for the time being, has been left in the hands of Disgust, Fear and Anger… three emotions that don’t have the best result on an 11 year old little girl. The story is expertly well written and wonderfully executed.
Like I said before, the concept of the film is a genius one. Every aspect of the brain and psyche that you could ever think of has been given a wonderful Disney-esque explanation and it’s so charming to see such a well crafted idea come to life. Not only that but the two storylines that run in parallel to one another are so moving and heartwarming that you will be hard-pressed to not cry (I never cry at movies but I cried twice at this film… it’s so touching). As well as the expertly crafted storyline is the stunning animation which even though that isn’t a deciding factor for some, it’s still lovely to see. The world in Riley’s brain is so filled with gorgeous colour and detail that the visual aspect of the film left me stunned a few times. A stunning watch and a perfect example of some perfect animation. The voice cast contribute to this with perfection and every single cast member plays the part perfectly; I don’t think I have seen such a stellar performance in the cast of an animated film since the Toy Story movies.
I truly think that this is one of Pixar’s best yet and is definitive proof that animated features are not a dying art form. This film is one that someone of any age can engage with and understand and connect with too and for that reason, this film is a must-see. Go and see it!