Those bright sparks at Pixar have done it again, taking a fiercely original approach to animated filmmaking that connects with both adults and children. Intriguingly, this movie will be a very different movie depending on your age, because it explores the point where childish happiness gives way to more complex emotions. The basic idea may not be completely original, but the way director-cowriter Pete Docter (Up) approaches it is inventive, provoking constant laughter and even a few tears.
It's set inside the mind of 11-year-old Riley (voiced by Kaitlyn Dias), where the control room is run by Joy (Amy Poehler), who struggles to keep the darker emotions in check. Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust (Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Louis Black and Mindy Kaling) aren't easy for Joy to manage. And when Riley's parents (Kyle MacLachlan and Diane Lane) move the family from Minnesota to San Francisco, Riley's difficulty fitting into her new environment causes serious turmoil in her mind. Joy and Sadness find themselves lost in the recesses of Riley's memory, and must team up with Riley's forgotten imaginary friend Bing Bong (Richard Kind) to get back to headquarters, where Fear, Anger and Disgust are making a mess of everything.
As expected, the animation is simply gorgeous, combining bright colours and all kinds of textures to create both the real world and the expansive universe inside Riley's head. These things will provide both laughs and thrills, while grown-ups will also engage with an extra psychological layer of meaning, as Joy and Sadness travel through abstract thought to get to the imagination and ultimately to dreams, which are like a full-on movie studio that uses memories to create sleep-time blockbusters. There's also a brief but freaky visit to the subconscious. Through all of this Joy and Sadness discover that they need each other to function, which adds a surprisingly moving kick to everything that happens along the way.
Continue reading: Inside Out Review
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