Directors Ronaldo Del Carmen and Pete Docter are pretty prolific in the way of animated films, and have worked on hits such as Up, Monsters Inc., and Toy Story, just to name a few. Now the pair have teamed up to direct Disney Pixar’s new animated movie Inside Out, and boy do they have another winner on their hands. This wonderful children’s film centres around the little voices we all have inside our heads, governing how we think and feel. In the case of 11-year old Riley (Kaitlyn Dias), these voices come in the form of Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Anger (Lewis Black).
So far, Riley’s had a pretty happy life, growing up in Minnesota with her two loving parents. But when the family has to leave behind their small-town life and move to big city San Francisco, things start to shift in Riley’s mind – particularly after Joy and Sadness are accidentally thrown out of emotion headquarters, leaving only Fear, Anger and Disgust running the show. With two major emotions stuck in the depths of Riley’s mind, Riley’s feelings are going haywire, and Joy and Sadness must find their way back to headquarters if they’re to set things right and stop Riley from making a huge mistake.
It’s a pretty abstract concept for a children’s film, and while under tens will be able to appreciate the beautifully bold animation, crazy characters and slapstick gags, this film is more squarely aimed at a more mature-minded audience. The demand for children’s films to have more adult-appeal has gone up in recent years, and Inside Out is certainly one that’s going to please all-ages. Although, I will send out a warning to parents that this film gets a little bit deep and a little bit dark at times, and the sometimes intense themes could be a little confronting for slightly older kids who have a bit more of a grasp on the way the mind works.
In saying all this, I couldn’t recommend this film more. It’s the best animation since Toy Story 3, and just as that film did, Inside Out has some real laugh-out-loud moments as well as misty-eyed ones. The concept is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before, and while it had the potential to be too obscure and abstract to grasp, Ronaldo Del Carmen and Pete Docter have produced incredibly intelligent and emotive story that will have you completely enthralled and feeling like a kid again. It’s clear that they’ve thoroughly researched the science behind the human mind and very cleverly incorporated this throughout the film, to create one of the most imaginative and unique animations films ever made.
Inside Out is a prime example of the genius amount of creativity being pumped into animated films these days, and with the most contemporary animation technologies and an absolutely gorgeous story to boot, this movie is sure to please kids and adults alike.
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