When The Good Dinosaur was delayed from last year to this November, Pixar fans were disheartened to find out that 2014 will be the first year - since 2006 - without a Pixar film. However, not only is there that still to look forward too but there's also another film first: Inside Out. And, straight out of 2015's Edinburgh International Film Festival, here's my review.

Pixar have created some of cinema's most iconic animations ever, from Toy Story to Finding Nemo and more. Unfortunately, the studio slipped a little in recent years, with the unimaginative and lacklustre cash-grabs such as Cars 2 or Monsters University. Nonetheless, the studio's films were at the pinnacle of my childhood; growing up with the likes of Monsters Inc. and The Incredibles. It's safe to say, I had really high expectations for Inside Out, and it did not disappoint. This film is phenomenal and a return to when the studio was at its best.

Opening with the beautiful, touching birth of our main character Riley, it's clear - right from the get go - that this is a film that is going to tug on the heart strings. It even tops the record of Up, for the quickest film to get the audience tearing up. Inside little Riley's mind, Amy Poehler's exuberant Joy is born - to coincide with what she is feeling. However, as she begins to cry, Phyllis Smith's Sadness is introduced too. It's funny, it's sweet and it sets the stage nicely for what's to come.
As Riley grows up, we see that Joy and Sadness are joined by other emotions Fear (Bill Hader), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Anger (Lewis Black); the 5 of which guide Riley through her life and create her personality. Everything has been going smoothly, for the emotions - with the majority of Riley's memories (coming in little orbs) being positive. However, when her and her family are forced to move away from Minnesota to San Francisco, things begin to go awry in Riley's head. If things couldn't get worse, an incident arises which causes Joy and Sadness to get stranded from HQ and lost in Riley's vast long-term memory.

What directors Pete Docter and Ronaldo DelCarmen have created with Inside Out is something beautiful. Riley's head is a beautifully captured, lavishing world so nuanced with creativity and detail. Everything has been thought out so well and it all blends together to make a film so visually gorgeous and clever. From long-term memory to imagination land to dream productions and more, the film exudes creativity but it all makes sense too; all just an understandable and approachable fa├žade for a compelling look at how our emotions really work. It's genius, quite literally.

The voice acting in this film is magnificent. Everyone has been cast so perfectly. Amy Poehler excels as Joy; so energetic and effervescent but never too annoying. Phyllis Smith is great as Sadness, her voice constantly sounding depressed and melancholic, what typically comes with being sad. Then there's Mindy Kaling who sounds like your everday teenager, full of attitude and disgusted by everything - thus, being Disgust. Bill Hader is wonderful as Fear, full of anxiety with his constant paranoia and trembling voice. However, it's Lewis Black that really steals the show here, as Anger, so brilliantly conveying such frustration and taking the belly share of the laughs.
That's another thing, Inside Out is hilarious. It's a Pixar film and has all the keynote comedy you'd expect from one, with laughs flying fats and from all directions. The interaction between our central emotions is so witty and wonderful. We also get to take a look into the minds of Riley's mum and dad too - voiced by Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan, respectively. The best thing about the film's humour though is that is appeals to all. There are jokes that will make the little ones giggle but there's also some more mature ones, that will make all the grown ups chuckle too. Oh, and the credit sequence is absolutely top-notch: gut-bustingly funny. However, the real core of the animation is the emotion.

A film about emotions should stir emotions and it does. The drama in Inside Out is so poignant and heart-moving that it's sure to draw tears. I was lucky enough to get to see the film in a packed house, at a press screening - where everyone was so atoned to these emotional films - but there wasn't a single dry eye by the time the credits rolled. It's hard to talk about the emotion because the less you know about the film, the better it is. However, just know that the message of this film, about how our emotions work, is heart-warming, compelling and resonating. It's a good life lesson for kids but for adults too, bringing back some old memories. It's a film that will make you think afterwards and will make you appreciate all the bad and good you've been through in your life.

Very occasionally do we get a film so meticulously crafted. Everything works. Inside Out is a film for everyone to enjoy and everyone to relate too. The younger audience will be fascinated and entertained by the adventure and the dizzying colours whereas the older demographic will appreciate the poignancy and heart of the film. With the laughs of Finding Nemo, the warmth of Monsters Inc and the ingenuity of Toy Story, Inside Out is an awe-inspiring picture that is one of the most daring, inventive and heartfelt films Pixar have ever released. It's certainly up their alongside the studio's classic, aforementioned projects. 

Pixar are back, and better than ever, with what is their most daring, most unique and most emotional films to date, let alone one of their best. Inside Out is everything you want it to be and more: a resonating, genius masterpiece and an instant classic.

Inside Out opens on July 24th, 2015.

About the Author

Awais Irfan
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.

Related Posts