Review of 'Inside Out'

inside_out.jpg A girl named Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) is born, and in her mind, Joy (Amy Poehler) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith) are created that control her emotions. As she grows older Joy and Sadness are joined by Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling). Each of the emotions negotiate to control how Riley will feel using a “control panel”. Inside her mind are “islands” that contain core values for Riley such as “Friends” and “Family”. Riley enjoys her life in Minnesota with her friends and playing ice hockey. When her father is offered a better job he decides to move the family to San Francisco into a small apartment and, of course, away from all of Riley's friends. Riley tries to make the most of it but at her first day at school Sadness manages to tinge a happy memory but when Joy tries to stop this Joy and Sadness are sucked into the long-term memory. They have to make their way back to the control room but this proves to be difficult and meanwhile, controlled only by Fear, Anger and Disgust, Riley's emotions are in a downward spiral…can Joy and Sadness return before Riley does something drastic? With her core value islands toppling one after another they are running out of time.

When I first heard the premise of this meeting I thought it was an intriguing idea - An insight into the mind of a young girl in an abstract way. I did not see it really as a film for young children - I was right, though the young may enjoy the action they may have trouble following the abstract concepts here of how young children actually think.

The animation is, of course, superb and the story quite a lot of fun though, perhaps to be expected, Joy and Sadness's trip back to the control room does seem to be long and drawn out ratcheting up the tension again and again. I particularly enjoyed a series of scenes at the end of the film that show the same emotional control rooms in other key characters from the film - Very funny.

Imaginative, innovative and wonderful. Witty and amazing.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2016-10-23

Directed by: Pete Docter and Ronnie del Carmen

Studio: Walt Disney Pictures

Year: 2015

Length: 95 minutes

Genre: Animation

Other reviewed films by Pete Docter, David Silverman and Lee Unkrich: