Standing Room Only

Inside Out - A Spoiler-free Review

Jun 19, 2015

# | Rica Wiersema

The human mind has always been fascinating to observe. For centuries, scientists and psychologists and philosophers have struggled to understand it. Countless books have been written in attempts to explain how it works. However, very few children’s movies have dared to take on the challenge like Pixar’s latest creation, Inside Out.

The film is written and directed by Pete Docter, the creator of Monsters, Inc., and Ronnie del Carmen, who has worked on the art and animation for multiple Pixar movies including Monsters University and Ratatouille. And in the face of Hollywood’s summer sequels and formulaic storylines, Inside Out is both vibrant and refreshingly original.

The story centers around the life of a young girl named Riley. Riley is controlled by the five Emotions that operate within her head: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust. This colorful team is usually able to work together and keep Riley happy without much trouble, but when Riley’s family moves from Wisconsin to San Francisco, chaos breaks out at “Head”-quarters. Joy and Sadness are accidentally lost in the deep recesses of Riley’s mind, and the movie follows Riley’s (literal) emotional journey as Joy and Sadness try to make their way back to Headquarters.

Inside Out stars a vibrant mix of celebrity voices with Amy Poehler from Parks and Recreation and Phyllis Smith from The Office in the leads as Joy and Sadness, respectively. The movie shows the value that each Emotion has in our lives, and it reveals the cost of repressing any or all of them when they’re needed the most.

The resulting film is a vivid, comedic, surprisingly complex work of art. Its story is simple enough for children to understand, yet it examines the intricacies of the human mind without dumbing them down. Viewers get to see the ‘causes’ of memory recall, dreams, personality traits, and even how annoying songs can get stuck in someone’s head! Young viewers will definitely giggle while watching the Emotions and their ridiculous antics, but adults will laugh (and perhaps cry) even harder because they know only too well what Riley’s going through.

Inside Out is a precious tale that is definitely worth watching many times over. It will delight audiences of all ages… and it will definitely, definitely get inside your head.

Category: film

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