Review: Inside Out (2D)

insideout

Pixar elite director Pete Doctor returns with another colourful yet human experience with Inside Out.

Riley, a young eleven year old girl, experiences the hardships of moving house with her parents, her emotions are running riot inside her mind. Literally. Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust are all present and failing to cope, especially when Joy is lost.

Inside Out is an incredible stand out experience in Pixar’s library, there isn’t anything quite like this which may prove it to be divisive among the general public. Pixar have always held “family friendly” as keystone of their productions, catering to both adults and children.
Despite what critics have said already, I think Inside Out is angled far more towards teenagers and adults.

The film is dealing with mental states, neuroses and the building blocks of youthful experiences that can shape who we grow up to become. That’s some heavy and frankly endless material right there! Couple that with a (mostly) fully realised fantasy organisation within all of our characters’ heads and the characters there too! Come to think about it… an hour and a half seems too short.
The trailer gave little away, so I didn’t know what to expect, but I felt somewhat short-changed in the delivery of these concepts. The film barrels along, often at breakneck speeds to keep children entertained, while throwing great jokes and awesome visual metaphor left and right, but I wish there had been more attention given to some aspects.
Example: Riley is young, her emotions (and by extension; the characters in her mind) are young and inexperienced, so they are prone to becoming frantic and don’t even know how their own surroundings work. We as the audience therefore don’t know how it works either. This is great as far as the concept is concerned, but I would have liked some comparison with mature minds (such as her parents – who’s emotions are barely featured beyond what was seen in the trailer!) to show us why everything is so fraught all the time, like a sixth character for maturity or restraint.

There isn’t much attention given to the human characters either; Riley and her Dad have bare bones of character given while Riley’s Mum has absolutely no development at all! Asides the memory of a hunky helicopter pilot, that is.

It is an extremely ambitious project to be sure, especially to cater for both young and old. Pixar deliver gorgeous visuals and top quality animation, even the soundtrack stood out to me, and though these are a given nowadays they shouldn’t be ignored.
It really sounds like I found a lot to dislike about the film, but in all honest it is worth a watch! It has a unique and challenging premise for a family film and had me laughing throughout as well as feel a lot of familiarity with the story.
(Sure, I may have shed a tear somewhere too)
With the simplicity of the film but the complexity of the subject matter, I just found a lot to nitpick.

Inside Out is a great film, perhaps more angled towards older audiences who will pick up every joke and reference (and there’s a lot of them!) and will likely take away more from the film than the kids.

Additional Marshmallows: Is it wrong that I found the character of Joy intensely annoying?

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