Pete Docter (director of Monster's Inc. and Up) returns to offer us another emotional, yet extremely heartwarming, animated movie. Beautifully complex, inside and out.
Inside Out has given us something that we’ve been sorely missing for a few years now: a Pixar classic. Easily the best Pixar has had to offer since Toy Story 3 (although of course Brave and Monster’s University were still a lot of fun), Pete Docter’s endlessly creative tale of the emotions inside a 11-year-old girl’s head expertly plays the audience for both laughs and tears.
Each actor near perfectly embodies the emotion they are portraying, especially the two leads. Amy Poehler of course brings her A-game as Joy, the exuberant de facto leader of the emotions in Riley’s head, while Phyllis Smith is both hilarious and heartbreaking as Sadness. Smith is quite an inspired bit of casting; having only really had exposure in the U.S. version of The Office, you wouldn’t expect her to turn up in a blockbuster kids’ film.
As with every Pixar film however, Inside Out is not just for children. Probably the darkest of Pixar’s filmography in some respects, Docter (along with co-screenwriters Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley) explores the depths of the human mind in quite a profound way, one that proves to be deeply affecting. Michael Giacchino’s wonderful, often melancholy, score helps this clever writing to hit home even harder.
For the most part though, Inside Out is incredibly uplifting – it’s hard not to be with such a bright, gorgeously designed world – and is at its core a family film. That being said, some of the themes will probably resonate a lot more with the adults in the family. Either way, Pixar have proven that they’ve definitely still got it.
Inside Out (2015), directed by Pete Docter, is released in the UK on DVD and Blu-ray by Walt Disney Studios. Certificate U.