Review by Anthony Tyson on 6/24/15
'Inside Out' has been a movie I have been waiting for since I heard about the plot synopsis last year. It even made my top 10 most anticipated films of 2015 for this year, sharing a list with The Force Awakens- which is the most hyped I have ever gotten about a film I think. Suffice it to say that it had quite the large shoes to fill. With Pixar's excellent track record only somewhat marred by the 'Cars' and Planes movies, It seemed that this movie might be that next great Pixar movie. Especially when you consider the source material, which examines the very emotions and thoughts inside your head. Great track record and a fresh idea doesn't always mean success however, as the bad taste of Cars still hasn't quite left for me. Fortunately for 'Inside Out's case, this was the former. Great Pixar films communicate larger themes then traditional kids films, and translate well to both adults and kids alike. 'Inside Out' accomplishes this in spades.
The main plot of this film, "What if you could take an in depth look at the voices that Inside of your head", is told through a young girl named Riley and the 5 core emotions that make her- Riley. These 5 emotions are Joy(Amy Poehler), Anger(Lewis Black), Disgust(Mindy Khaling), Fear(Bill Hader), and Sadness(Phyllis Smith). These emotions monitor, as well as decide how Riley interacts with the world around her. Largely led by the exuberant Joy, these emotions have led to a largely happy life for Riley in her home at Minnesota. When Riley and family moves to a new home however, Riley has to deal with being in a unfamiliar place for the first time- giving up the friends and life she had in Minnesota. A time of great change for anyone, this film explores to some very, at times, hard things to deal with- all from the perspective of what goes on in someone's head. This story is just really incredible, full of great highs and lows, leaving you with the kind of feels at the end that only Pixar can do.
All of the voice actors are incredible too. Mindy Khaling and Bill Hader did great jobs, while Lewis Black dishes out some hilarious lines in his role as Anger. I seriously picture my own version of Anger as Lewis Black now. The surprising thing however, is that Amy Pohler (while still excellent) wasn't the best performance necessarily in the film. Phyllis Smith, who you would likely know as Phyllis from the Office, was the biggest surprise as Sadness. Starting out in what seems like a smaller role early on, things quickly change and you learn that she and Joy both share some of the most precious moments from the film.
On top of a very engaging story and dynamic voice acting, 'Inside Out' reminds you why Pixar truly is one of the best at their craft. Visuals have a stunning palette of colors, and one of the scenes in particular actually has the animators switch different types of dimensions for a moment. Additionally, the team who made the look of Bing Bong (I cant tell you who he is so I don't spoil the movie) is to be commended. He reminded me of a friend I once had when I was little.
'Inside Out' is definitely a movie that holds up with the best of the excellent films we have had this year so far, and it's a reminder of why Pixar is so good. If I had one complaint to pick at the movie, is that the traditional short Pixar always does at the beginning of their films was just a bit too much cheese for me. At the end of the day though, I still enjoyed it, so take that with a very small grain of salt. Great characters, great story, great resolution and pacing, and just that great heartwarming feeling at the end.
An excellent Pixar film, I think this is the ideal film to take your friends and family to. I also think this is a surprisingly educational film as well, and I think that kids in particular will come out of it with more understanding of how we as humans work. Please, GO SEE THIS MOVIE!! :)