A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
Directed By: Pete Docter
Produced By: Jonas Rivera
Written By: Peter Doctor, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley
Starring: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Lewis Black
Running Time: 94 Minutes
And here I was, thinking Disney Pixar had made an animated film about the Travelling Wilburys…
Instead of receiving the animated George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Roy Orbison, I was presented with six central characters, five of which were emotions in a young girl’s head.
What?! How could this possibly work?
My scepticism with Disney Pixar has been proven wrong with almost every single picture. Being blown away by a floating house to clowning around with a crippled fish, the incredible world of Disney Pixar proves that absolutely anything is possible.
It’s clear through Inside Out, the latest release, that the writers and animators have taken the next enormous step in their creative endeavours, not looking back for a second in the process.
Arguably the production pairing’s best film since Toy Story 3, Inside Out is equally as emotional, through-provoking and, most importantly, relatable; a quality of almost every film under the company name. What is so commendable about Inside Out is that it’s so cleverly written and laid out; it just works!
Furthermore, the original property is stand-alone, modest and enjoyable for almost every single demographic imaginable; there’s something for absolutely everyone!
Exploring what exactly goes on inside the mind of a female tween, Inside Out focuses on the five emotions that make up Riley, a gifted and delightful daughter struggling with moving house.
The emotions, Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Fear, come together and attempt to assist Riley in adjusting and coping with it all, but their innate characteristics seem to clash and create problems in the process, leading to yet another thrilling animated adventure of colour, sound and visual delight with a profound underpinning message to take home afterwards!
Inside Out is not only the best film to emerge from Disney Pixar since Toy Story 3, it’s one of the best films to emerge from 2015 overall. It’s to be expected with films such as these, but it’s the writing that steals the show.
Undertaking the challenge of bringing emotions to life in character form is one thing, but taking an audience on an emotional roller coaster that generates almost every possible reaction in 100 minutes is another. What the writers were able to achieve within this film is nothing short of extraordinary.
With immense depth and creativity thrown into the screenplay, Inside Out finds a way to be relatable to every member in the audience.
Whether it be some classic slapstick or some subtle grownup humour, Inside Out will tickle your funny bone, sometimes resulting in pure hysteria. But also be warned, the film is as funny as it is saddening. At several points, it will strike you right in the heartstrings and yank them out of your chest. The film takes turns with almost every scene, resulting in tonal and reactive shifts to match, so a box of tissues may prove to be of use.
The cast, consisting of some recognisable voices, is superb and diverse. Amy Poehler (Joy), Bill Hader (Fear), Lewis Black (Anger), Mindy Kaling (Disgust) and Phyllis Smith (Sadness) encapsulate every aspect of their characters through superb voice acting.
It may seem as though simply speaking for a role is the easy way out in that the animations do the brunt of the work, but without the right voice at the helm, no amount of animation techniques will bring characters to ‘life’.
Riley, voiced by Kaitlyn Dias is crucial to the plot line, but on the other hand, she doesn’t have much to do as a character. She takes on a sort of metaphorical robotic form as the narrative focuses primarily on the intricate mechanics within her conscious and unconscious states.
Her parents, voiced by Diane Lane (Man of Steel) and Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks) offer some immense dynamic range throughout the film and emote genuine guidance, support and concern for their daughter.
Throughout the film you often wonder if certain emotions are necessary, and if certain feelings were omitted, would it produce a greater outcome.
The best quality of Inside Out is that it is able to lead an audience on, wondering about certain narrative routes, and suddenly give them a stunningly visceral explanation. The underlying messages within Inside Out are profound and important, addressing individuality and uniqueness on an enormous scale.
Inside Out is one of the cleverest films to be released in 2015. The approach to the human mind and our unique buildups is supremely intelligent and enjoyable for everybody. From the establishment of the initial story to the concluding chapters of the film, the bumps, twists and turns result in you feeling quite literally inside out.
It’s 100 minutes of sensational escapism that results in deep self-reflection and mixed emotional reactions, which is indicative of Disney Pixar’s return to top shelf form.
With a lovely musical number about loved-up volcanoes to kick off proceedings and a sensational end-credits montage to conclude, Inside Out is worth your while, whoever you are!