Inside Out: Pixar Is Back In Fine Form!

What better place to be on a sweltering hot summer evening than a movie theatre. Our Movie Dude Toth made the right choice and spent an evening in the theatre watching Inside Out; here are his thoughts on Pixar’s latest work.

Hey, it’s the Movie Dude Toth daring Pixar to “hit me with your best shot!”  Anton Ego quoted Pat Benatar in the Pixar classic Ratatouille, and now I’m quoting Anton Ego from that classic master chef rat movie.

In the film, the dry and vampiric critic Ego, is daring the new chef to wow him with a new food item that is still amazing and will garner good reviews. Well Pixar has accomplished something similar to this feat with the movie Inside Out.

I will explain in a minute but let me sum it up by saying that Inside Out is a special film that fits easily among Pixar’s best films including Monsters Inc., Up, Wall-E, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, Toy Story and The Incredibles.

Director Pete Docter made the movie Up, and he is once again able to juggle some very funny scenes with scenes that will undoubtedly tug at your heart strings. A well written script, stellar voice cast, inventive/ beautiful animation, and emotional concepts grounded in logic make Inside Out a must see summer film!

Let’s start with the cast, Amy Poehler is excellent as Joy who is kind of the self-appointed emotion who is in the driver’s seat inside 11 year old Riley’s mind.

Lewis Black absolutely kills it as Anger, who is ready to swear up a storm at a moment’s notice. Bill Hader is also very good as Fear, who has enough neuroses for all of the other emotions and then some.

I love The Mindy Project so I was very happy to find out that Mindy Kaling provides the voice of Disgust who keeps Riley safe from broccoli and bad fashion.

Finally Phyllis Smith from the American version of The Office plays Sadness who plays a very important role in the film.

The chemistry between the five emotions is really great and you can tell that the actors spent some quality time together talking and joking around.

The plot is not of great importance in a film like this, but the attention to detail and the intelligent script shows that a lot can be done with very little.

A seemingly everyday circumstance in someone’s life like moving from one city to another is all the plot needed to make a film full of emotion, adventure, and amazing insight.

As usual this will be a spoiler free review, and with Inside Out there are a lot of surprises that deserve to be discovered on your first viewing. I can say that I have revisited this film more than once this summer, and that is a sure sign of a good to great film!

There is something about the way that the Pixar team is able to get to the core emotions felt by people who are about to start a new phase of life that is amazing.

In Up, it was about an older person coming to terms with what life was really about by discovering what his beloved partner valued most in the world. In the Toy Story series, it was about what it means to be a child and then how that slowly changes into adolescence and eventually young adulthood, brilliantly told from the perspective of many toys. Inside Out is also exploring these themes but this time from the unique perspective inside the mind of an 11, soon to be 12 year old girl.

Inside Out’s plot deals with important memories the movie’s characters refer to as core memories. This is a very important idea that some psychologists refer to as long term memory. The long term memories that some believe influence many of the decisions we make later in life are what these “core memories” refer too.

Now there are many different theories on the human psyche and why people act the way they do, but the one offered in the movie is logical and based on some fact. The film’s directors, producers, and actors consulted with neurological experts to make sure that the film’s plot had some basis in reality. Children and adults (at least open minded ones) will be able to learn something from watching this movie.

I believe that Inside Out is one of Pixar’s best movies and it has obviously connected with many people based on the box office numbers. My only wish is that movies like this could connect with as many folks as more typical big summer fare like Jurassic World.

Is it too much too ask for escapist entertainment to be a bit more thought provoking? I think not and believe that movies aimed at the whole family need to be held to higher standards.

Inside Out meets the higher standards with an intelligent script that has something to say about our human condition. It also manages to be very entertaining for children and adults.

The humour in the script and the perfect delivery of the lines by the cast had me laughing aloud many times during the film. The strong emotional connection established by Riley’s emotions, in this case, also made the film surprisingly deep and had me choked up several times especially during the movie’s final 30 minutes.

If you don’t get a chance to see this at the theatres (it is still playing I believe), make sure you see it when it comes out on Blu-Ray/DVD/On Demand/Download. Inside Out is a wonderful film to experience and should not be missed!